on June 29, 2013
"a Mano" means "by hand" and Ristorante a Mano means that everything is freshly made, using delicious fresh ingredients. The food is Italian, the taste is delicious, the service is very good and the wine is wonderful. The restaurant is owned by the group that owns other well known Halifax restaurants, The Bicycle Thief, Il Mercato, and La Frasca, most of which are also Italian or have heavy Italian influences. The Bicycle Thief is a more expensive top end restaurant for a very special occasion, the other three are more affordable. We dined there for the first time with a group of 8 old friends, enjoying the wine, various dishes and good conversation. The restaurant has subdued lighting with lots of windows on two walls for natural light. It's situated in a condo development on the Halifax waterfront so you can see the lights on the harbour. They also have an outdoor patio for hot summer nights. The prices aren't cheap but they are reasonably affordable. I had a beer and a glass of wine, a starter, pasta and dessert and tea and the total with taxes was 65 CAD. The drinks, of course, are a tad pricey but the quality of the wine is very good. A glass of wine will run you between $9 and 13 and a bottle of wine from $22 to 90 with most of it over 40. Lovely crisp thin crust pizzas and the pasta dishes are around $15 (though our diners thought the tomato sauce on the pizza was a bit bland.) The meat and fish dishes average about $20 or so. Starters are about $9 and salads a bit more as they seem to have some fancier ingredients than your bog standard tomato and lettuce fare. We really enjoyed the meal and the service. It did seem a bit odd that there was no offer of a bread bowl or plate on the table before or during the meal. The toilets for men and women consisted of one "stall" for each so there can be queues. The entry is level for accessibility. Find the restaurant at the Bishop's Landing development on the waterfront. There is some parking available on site and on the streets around it, on Lower Water Street though it's not always easy to find a spot. it's a nice walk along the waterfront if it's a nice night so you could park further down or take the ferry or walk down the hill from Barrington street if coming by bus.
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