Highwayman Restaurant & Bar, the sister restaurant of Field Guide, made it onto to Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants third annual list.
Highwayman is one of 30 new additions to the 2017 list. Field Guide was left off, after being ranked number 52 in 2016.
Highwayman tied for 93rd place with La Quercia in Vancouver. Over 82 judges compiled the list, including The Coast’s Melissa Buote.
Field Guide and Highwayman are owned and operated by Ceilidh Sutherland, Dan Vorstermans along with partners Adam MacLeod and Michael Hopper.
MacLeod said they are “not aware of the process to determine rankings” and they are are satisfied with the designation, but it’s not everything.
“It’s good,” he said. “For us it’s a year of work; all of the staff can claim a part of it.”
The restaurant introduced a new menu Wednesday evening, the day the list was announced.
“It’s good from a personal perspective to get the designation and we definitely put in enough work to earn some of the things that come our way, day in and day out,” said MacLeod.
Restaurants have the ability to push a city forward and influence culture and the foodie scene in Halifax is buzzing. “People have definitely been dining more this winter than last,” MacLeod said.
Highwayman is trying to “push the city in a different direction,” said MacLeod. They want to make dining at Highwayman a cozy and fun event.
“Part of the goal is to get people off of treating their dining experience as a really serious thing; it’s more having a good time and positive attitude,” he said. “That will carry you through a good night.”
A handful of Nova Scotian restaurants have cracked the Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants lists in past years, including Edna, Fleur de Sel, Chives and Da Maurizio.
In 2016, Highwayman was on Canada’s Best New Restaurants by Air Canada enRoute. They came in at number 9.
The Starving Sailor, owned by Adam Rosenbaum, is a food blog that focuses on Halifax restaurants. Rosenbaum says the menu at Highwayman is trendy. The restaurant’s seasonal menus mixed with local ingredients have been noticed.
“This kind of restaurant has come to prominence in the last few years for doing simple but delicious and high quality food, very cocktail-centric menu and chef-driven approach,” Rosenbaum said.
“Since the city’s culinary scene is relatively young, people who are not from Halifax likely see the Highwayman as the restaurant that stands out,” he said, adding that Field Guide is his favourite restaurant in the area.
MacLeod said, “it’s tough to quantify,” how the designation will affect Highwayman’s business. Regardless, their future looks bright.