We went to Hali's Bistro several times last summer and found it to be an acceptable experience, albeit on the expensive side. However, when we went again recently, we found that the food has significantly declined in both quality and quantity. I ordered the fresh lake trout, fully expecting to be served a whole fish. Unfortunately, all I got was two very small (i.e. just bigger than a loonie) individual pieces of trout. Definitely not a full serving. The trout was accompanied by a couple of pieces of broccoli that were grossly overcooked and discoloured. The menu claimed that the fish was served with the "feature rice of the day." Well, the featured rice of the day was apparently plain white rice.
It is really unfortunate that so many restaurants in Haliburton routinely open with great fanfare and then rapidly go out of business. There is a strong demand for decent restaurants, particularly in the summer months when the town is overflowing with cottagers and tourists. However, for whatever reasons, the operators of these restaurants simply cannot provide a reasonable dining experience (food, service and price) on a consistent basis. They seem to operate on the assumption that they have a "captive audience" and that they are only competing against the other sub-par restaurants nearby. They're not! Cottagers and visitors will either go to other resort towns (e.g. Muskoka) with hugely better dining experiences or simply wait until they go back to Toronto and spend their money there.
Based on our recent experience, combined with the many other similarly negative reviews on Tripadvisor, it looks like Hali's Bistro is about to go on the "critical care" list.
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