So when my mother offered to babysit recently and let us have just such a night out, the offer inspired not just gratitude, but a little trepidation. Such a valuable event shouldn’t be wasted – we wanted to make the most of the opportunity.
Our favourite place to eat in my mom’s hometown was closed for Canada Day, prompting us to venture to the nearby town of Wolfville in search of deliciousness.
Businesses in the small town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia compete for customers with those in nearby New Minas. Thankfully this has proven to be an inspiration, with Wolfville carving a niche for itself by shunning big-box stores and becoming an eclectic collection of small shops, pubs, coffee shops, and restaurants. The home of Acadia University, Wolfville also has a high concentration of professors, artistic types, and has been home to several talented “retired” chefs over the years.
Making the right dinner choice for our child-free evening out was very important to us. A walking tour of the main street turned up several promising options for dinner, but turning down Elm Ave we spied an awning tucked back from the street, proclaiming “Turkish and Mediterranean Restaurant.” We love food, and it had been a long time since we’d had anything Mediterranean, so the sign drew us in even though it looked like it was probably a diner-style establishment – not quite what we were after.
My husband later said that walking into Troy Restaurant was like being in a science fiction movie, where you walk through a small innocuous door and there’s an impossibly large complex inside. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with lamps, vases, and other decorative accents imported from Turkey.
The lamps were my favourite part of the decor, although my iPhone wasn’t up to the task of a good photo of them.
Troy is a new restaurant, having opened about a month ago. The owners had operated two restaurants in Halifax (our waiter wasn’t sure which ones), and this one has the feel of a labour of love.
At the back of the restaurant, there’s a giant open grill, surrounded by reams of dried ingredients like chili peppers, which forms the front of the open kitchen area.
One of the owners is stationed there, lovingly grilling kebabs and lamb chops over the charcoal. It’s plain to see that he loves his work–and if you had any doubts, the first taste of your kebab would melt them away.
But the star of the meal were our entrees. We both ordered spicy kebabs – Gary had the lamb and I had the chicken. I was expecting a souvlaki-like dish, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. The kebabs were made of ground meat mixed with spices and they were heavenly. More cacik came with the kebabs, along with a light salad. The “spicy” part of the kebab was the red sauce you see on the right of the plate.
I also appreciated that the skewers were removed before the kebabs arrived at the table – I’m a klutz and always manage to get food on myself removing food from skewers.
We were full but we couldn’t resist trying the only dessert on offer – baklava. Again, the dish was fresh and delicious (although I really wanted some ice cream with it, probably because it was a warm, humid evening).
Our waiter, who obviously shared our enthusiasm for the food, told us that the owners “wouldn’t even put a sign out by the road,” because they wanted to build business by word-of-mouth.
I hope they do, because I can’t wait to go back.
And with our entire meal coming to only $61, taxes in, we can definitely afford a repeat visit!
Give them a try:
12 Elm Ave