RestauRanting: Front & Central, Wolfville, NS

The first time I saw the menu for Front & Central, the boy and I were walking around downtown Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The menu was posted on the outside of a cute little blue house. As we scoured the menu, the boy and I picked out numerous dishes we wanted to try, so we made a mental note to definitely make reservations on our next trip to the maritimes.

The month after, we were back in Wolfville and I wanted to make lunch reservations, as they had a 2/$20 deal on plates. *(The restaurant does small plates rather than full sized entrees.) Unfortunately they were no longer serving lunches, only dinner. I assume the lunch menu is a seasonal offering for tourists, since we called to book when school had started again. I was more than happy to do dinner instead of lunch and made reservations for that evening at 5pm.

When we showed up, we were the only people in the restaurant aside from another couple off in the opposite corner. Our waiter (I don’t remember his name) was quick to bring us some water and menus. The boy looked over the wine menu and I checked out the food options. (He always takes care of the wine for us, he’s just better at it than I am.)

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He picked a white wine, again I don’t remember what kind it was, but I think it had Acadie in the name. It was good, like all his wine choices are, and it went well with the dishes we ordered.

We decided on four dishes, which we shared. I like restaurants that do the small plates cause it gives you the chance to try a bunch of things, rather than just ordering one meal.

As a starter, instead of the usual bread, the waiter brought us some truffle popcorn, pickled vegetables and deep fried chickpeas. The truffle popcorn and chickpeas were awesome and it was a nice surprise over the usual bread and butter that is normally offered in restaurants.

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The first dishes the waiter brought out was the Mushroom and Barley Risotto – with mushroom ragout, brown butter cream sauce, parmesan and truffle oil.

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As well as the Buttermilk Marinated Calamari – with truffle and roasted garlic aoili, arugula and lemon.

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Once we were done with those, it was time for the Pan Seared Halibut – with a ragout of summer vegetable, lobster bouillabaisse broth, micro basil and olive oil.

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And a serving of the Scallops – served with a pea puree, chanterelle mushroom, pickled pearl onions, chamomile, nasturtium and crispy prosciutto.

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We debated on doing another plate or two, but instead we opted to try one of the desserts, and I’m so glad we did. The Sour Cream Ice Cream – with Meyer lemon infused extra virgin olive oil, raspberry balsamic vinegar and Malden salt – was reason enough to go to Front & Central. It was the BEST ice cream I’ve ever tried. Sweet and salty, it was definitely an amazing finish to a spectacular dinner.

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While I didn’t go into detail about all the dishes, they were all amazing. I really enjoyed Front & Central and will be going again as soon as possible. I do believe the menu changes every so often, which makes me happy, cause I can see this becoming a usual go-to for the boy and I.

I don’t think I’m going to rate restaurants, as menus normally do change, but if I were to rate them, Front & Central would score very high. If you’re ever in the small town of Wolfville, NS, I highly recommend checking out this restaurant.

Chef-In-Training Mandy

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