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“Expensive and Uppity” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Press Gang Restaurant & Oyster Bar

The Press Gang Restaurant & Oyster Bar
5218 Prince Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 0B1, Canada
+1 902-423-8816
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Ranked #11 of 583 Restaurants in Halifax
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $16 - $33
Cuisines: Seafood, Continental, Oyster Bar
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Entertaining clients, Romantic, Doing business, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Grand Parade & City Hall
Description: The Press Gang, located in the heart of downtown Halifax, is one of the city’s oldest historic stone structures dating back to 1759. Boasting a formal dining experience like no other in the city, The Press Gang features an extensive menu with a rich array of exquisite seafood, meat, game and poultry dishes to satisfy every palate. Enjoy a vast selection of fine wines and world- class cocktails.
Halifax, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Expensive and Uppity”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

Food way over-priced. Portion sizes small. Snobby waiter...you could feel the judgmental vibes from this uppity individual. Didn't make our friends from Cape Breton feel welcome at all. It was their 25th wedding anniversary and all our first time at this restaurant we wanted to make it special and we mentioned this to the waiter. He brought a very small glass of champagne for the couple but that was it. We won't be back...ever.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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329 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    212
    79
    19
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    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
219 reviews 219 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
“An excellent dinner out in Halifax”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

We heard rumours this might be a good place to try. Was it ever! The ambiance was great and our reservation secured us a nice table for two. Service was very good, knowledge server and just the right amount of attention. I couldn't decide on baked or fresh oyster, chose a variety of fresh ones as recommended. Main course was excellent, my wife commented her halibut was the best she had ever tasted. And for an end of the meal treat, it was an excellent scotch from their very extensive list. One ounce servings range from $12 - $189. They also had a short wine list of 1/2 bottles with decent wines for couples who don't want a full bottle. And they were priced at about 1/2 a full bottle which you don't see very often. And diners were there in suits and some in jeans, it all worked.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amherst, New Hampshire
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Great oysters”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

The restaurant is hard to get parking for, but the trouble was worth it. The oysters of which we tried two of four varieties were to die for. It was Whiskey Tuesday and having just come from the Glenora Distillery, it was a treat to be given a glass of Breton Rare since we enjoyed it very much. Dinner was excellent, and our server was cheerful, and made us feel like we were his special customers. We ate in the private dining room in the back, and that afforded us an intimate dinner. However, the tables across from the bar looked inviting. Next time we'll take a table there just to experience it. The decor is stone walls, it is a historical building, and it has a certain ambience that you don't often find. The menu is pricey, but we found the food well worth it. Business casual to dressy seems the norm.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
“Ambience and service good but menu pretentious and silly.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

This place is welcoming, comfortable, and dimly lit: a place to visit with friends, not to go on your own with a book. Staff are very friendly and efficient. The wine list is alright.

There is not much wrong with this place except the menu which is pretentious and silly. I spent at least 20 minutes scouring this document desperately trying to find something I could eat with pleasure. Naked oysters were the only option in first courses. Choosing a main course was almost impossible as every dish came with a preposterous assemblage of bizarre ingredients. This is an increasing problem around the world as far too many chefs think they are great artists and use a variety of incongruous ingredients and garnishes as a subtitute for real cooking which is to present superb, fresh ingredients in a non-mucked-about way that allows them to speak for themselves.

When pressed for about the fourth time to decide, I opted for chicken wrapped in prosciutto. The chicken was succulent and tasty but the strange vegetable concoction which accompanied it was awful. My friend's scallops and then duck breast were pronounced ok, although I noticed he pushed aside quite a bit of the extraneous nonsense.

Sadly, Trip advisor does not have a "good" category and because of the above, and because prices here are quite high (main courses between $30 and $42) I cannot award it a "very good". So "average" it will have to be.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nova Scotia
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“What a treat!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

We had not eaten at the Press Gang for several years and the reviews have been continually great, so we chose to go there for our fortieth anniversary. We had a lovely large corner table. The service was top notch. But the food was amazing. We chose to have the chef's drill which was four plates with three treats on each one. It was a sampling of the best stuff on the menu and some things not on it. For the perfect oyster on the shell to the chocolate on the dessert plate it was all delicious. We will be back.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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