We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Highway Robbery at The Bicycle Thief” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Bicycle Thief

The Bicycle Thief
Ranked #6 of 710 Restaurants in Halifax
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $100
Cuisines: Italian, Canadian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Bar scene, Business meetings, Special occasions, Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Brunch, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Neighborhood: Downtown Halifax
Cambridge, MA
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Highway Robbery at The Bicycle Thief”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2014

I don’t like writing negative reviews at all. It’s not always fair, because I might have been there on an off night. From time to time, though, certain things need to be said. I spent several days in Halifax, and I have been fortunate enough to experience many different restaurants all over the world. And now I will tell you why our meal at The Bicycle Thief was a serious mistake. You can and should do much better, and you can easily avoid wasting your time, your patience, and your money.

We asked for a table without a reservation, noting that we could show up within just a few minutes. They had a table waiting for us, which was great. The problem was that the restaurant was not particularly busy, and the table was isolated and directly under an air vent. So we knew immediately what they really thought of us.

The server was generally courteous and made an effort, but when other parties started to fill up his section, we felt somewhat ignored as he went back and forth ignoring us until we could flag him down.

On balance, the cuisine was not so bad. But it certainly wasn’t good. I admit having high standards, having lived, studied, and worked in Rome and Florence. The highlights were the cocktails and the main courses, which were more than reasonable and would have made for a decent experience were it not for the astonishingly disrespectful and poor service we received.

The musical selection was something like Motown’s greatest hits. Don’t get me wrong: I love some nice Motown grooves from time to time. But did it fit the atmosphere or help to enhance the ambiance, though? Not so much, my friends. Not so much.

Now for the incident where The Bicycle Thief showed its true colors, revealing the supreme disappointment of the evening. One of the dishes we ordered contained an ingredient that was not listed on the menu and that the person who ordered it could not eat because of a dairy allergy. The parmesan cheese might normally be a welcome addition, but I am much more used to servers asking customers if they would like parmesan, much like pepper, added to the dish if not specifically listed – here, the parmesan was added without request, and no pepper was offered at all. We asked for a separate dish with “any” pasta, a small amount of plain Marinara sauce, and nothing extra, the sort of thing most with hardly any cooking experience can make for about 50 cents, retail. You would think they would have something like that ready to go. It took at least ten minutes to bring it out, in a portion size that was obviously too large. The true affront came with the check: they had the balls to charge an extra $7.00 for a repair dish that was to add to something we did not order. The first thought to cross my mind was, “OH NO YOU DIDN’T!!!” But yes, they did. To make a baseball analogy, that was a charge-the-moundable slap in the face.

As the evening wore on, and the experience deteriorated, it became obvious that we would not be coming back to The Bicycle Thief, nor would they ever wish to see us again.
Lastly, there are better, less expensive, more pleasant restaurants with better service all over Halifax. This place gets good reviews, and it takes itself very seriously. It thinks it’s a brilliant centerpiece of the local scene. Trust me – it ain’t.

If anything good comes of this review, I hope that The Bicycle Thief will treat its customers without naked contempt in the near future. Everywhere has room to improve; The Bicycle Thief has more room than most.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Squeegie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,032 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    1,181
    583
    171
    72
    25
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wantage, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
187 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Delightful setting for lunch”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2014 via mobile

We picked this at random for lunch and loved its setting on the waterfront. Service was quick but charming and I had a good pasta dish and my husband had a lobster roll which was very good.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Loretta L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Good but not as it was last July, 2013”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2014

What happened? We made a special trek from Montreal for a birthday dinner because we had so enjoyed the food last summer. To their credit, the staff were so accommodating when I called the night before our reservation to let them know our train would be at least an hour late arriving in Halifax. They so graciously offered to keep our table available until closing time. Much appreciated. The lobster chowder did not compare to the clam chowder we enjoyed last time; my crab cakes were light, crispy with no trace of bread filling; the fish that was featured (a sea bass) was good but the veggies were bland and not seasoned. My pasta with olive oil, garlic and clams would have been better if the pasta was not clumpy. The lemon curd cake with meringue was good but could have had more lemon curd. Service was attentive but again, not as good as we remembered.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank JeannieandJono
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent lunch”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2014 via mobile

Went there 1st time at the end of July. We had lunch and cocktails, great wine selection. My husband had the tenderloin burger, cooked medium rare, very good, huge portion. Calamari was one of the best we had. I had the lobster roll, lemon twist to it, very good and again huge portion! Very friendly and attentive staff! Great view right not the waterfront ! A bit pricey but definitely worth it because of quality and service. Had a great time, will be back for sure!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Kate S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Didn't live up to the hype”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2014

This was to be our big treat during a few days in Halifax, having booked it weeks ahead. Our experience was a bit mixed. The service was good, very lively and friendly, and the food was tasty. However, the noise was incredible - I don't mind a lively restaurant at all, but not at these prices. Certainly not suitable for a romantic dinner.
The other issue was portion control. The seafood ravioli main was more of a starter size, whereas the beef rib would have fed a family for a week. Overall we didn't feel it was what we'd expect at this sort of price.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Susan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Bicycle Thief also viewed

Halifax, Halifax Region
Halifax, Halifax Region
 
Halifax, Halifax Region
Halifax, Halifax Region
 

Been to The Bicycle Thief? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing