Notes From The Kitchen


Last Thursday we hosted our third Craft Draught Showdown and the first of 2019! Garrison put up a valiant effort but Propeller Brewing Co. came out on top.

If you haven’t been to one of these yet, we have 5 more lined up for 2019 and we feel some rivalries a-brewin’. You can purchase tickets for any of Chef Dolente’s Craft Draught Showdowns right now! They make great gifts as birthday or celebration dinners.

April 11: Sober Island vs Brightwood
June 13: Saltbox vs Hellbay
August 22: Big Spruce vs Spindrift
October 17: Tanner & Co. vs Tatamagouche
December 5: Garrison vs Schoolhouse

Don’t want to miss any of the action? Treat yourself to all 5 and get a $50 gift card for use on any other night at The Carleton! Contact us at to take advantage of this offer.


For all of February we’ve been participating in Discover Halifax’s Dine Around event. We’ve been running a prix fixe menu that offers a starter + main for $30 and you can add dessert for just $5! This offer ends on February 28th, so book your table now and come try some of Chef Dolente’s amazing food.

Take a peek at the menu.

Reserve a table.

In Concert With: Bishops Cellar & Chef Michael Dolente – Italian Food & Drink


The first in a series (TBA), but this one’s a little special. Focusing on the best that Italy has to offer in food and drink, Chef Dolente and Bishop’s Cellar team up for a dinner revolved around exquisite pairings!

10 courses paired with Italian wines and liqueurs for $125 (plus tax and gratuity). Only 14 seats. Casual but refined dining with all your foodie questions answered by Bishop’s Cellar and Chef Dolente.

Get your tickets HERE.



Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! We’re taking a break from December 23-30th and January 1-3.⠀

We have a few more sell out shows before Christmas and then we open up again for our New Year’s Eve party! If you don’t have your tickets yet, get ’em soon!

Thank you for an AMAZING 2018!!!

NEW YEAR’S EVE – “HOGMANAY” – DINNER AND A SHOW – with Shannon Quinn and Special Guests

Ring in the New Year at The Carleton (that would be Monday, December 31st for the calendarly challenged) with food, fiddles, friends and… kilts?

Hogmanay (Scots: [ˌhɔɡməˈneː]; English: /ˌhɒɡməˈneɪ/ HOG-mə-NAY) is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year (Gregorian calendar) in the Scottish manner.

Enjoy a 3 course dinner with an amuse bouche and two rounds of bubbly (on arrival and at the bells). Shannon Quinn and special guests will be providing the music from 10pm-2am! Shannon has been performing as a fiddler/vocalist for the past 16 years and is an award winning celtic folk musician from Halifax.

For the dinner and show, tickets are $85 (plus HST, includes gratuity) and reservations can be made from 7pm – 9:30pm by clicking HERE or by calling us at 902-422-6335. If you’re just planning on coming for the entertainment tickets are $20. We still recommend making a reservation even if you’re just interested in the music!

Chef Dolente’s New Year’s Eve Menu

fresh shucked local oyster, gremolata

Albacore tuna crudo, anchovy emulsion, caper, preserved lemon, squid ink cracker

citrus braised fennel, blood orange, toasted almond, crème fraîche

ricotta salad
house ricotta cheese, pickled cucumber, blackberry, hazelnut, buttermilk whey dressing

pasta cacio e pepe
house made cavatelli, Parmigiano, Pecorino, cracked black pepper

wild Nova Scotia scallops, cannellini bean cassoulet, chorizo, sun-dried tomato butter, chive

confit Québec duck leg, smoked parsnip, toasted farro, blueberry brown butter emulsion

vanilla bean panna cotta
passion fruit, pineapple, coconut

chocolate ganache
amaretti cookie, salted caramel


New Dining Experience at The Carleton

The Carleton has a brand new menu!

Chef Michael Dolente has put together a menu that is innovative and exciting. Inspired by ‘small plate dining’, this menu is built on the philosophy of eating to socialize.

Small Plate Dining means:

• Trying new flavours
• Personalized experiences
• Afforable, expertly crafted dishes

“The small plates approach is how I love to both cook and eat. More of a dining and social experience rather than a meal just because you’re hungry and have to eat. I want our guests to be able to try multiple different plates and flavours at the same time while shared with friends and loved ones. Food for me is about family and friends being together and sharing a great experience through food.”  — Chef Dolente

Musically themed and offering something to suit every palate, all food items are affordable and priced to include tax. Also, 80% of the menu is gluten free!

Don’t worry, we still have the frites.


Our new Happy Hour starts today (Oct. 4th) as well! Check out the poster below and we’ll see you after work or on a relaxing Sunday.  😉


It’s Halifax Urban Folk Festival Time Again!

If there’s anything good about the summer winding down, it’s because that means it’s time for the annual Halifax Urban Folk Festival, happening at The Carleton from Sunday, August 26th – Sunday, September 2nd, inclusive. This 9th version of HUFF boasts one of our best-ever line-ups and although the Steve Poltz/Carmen Townsend and Tim Baker & The Halifax All Stars shows are already SOLD OUT, there are plenty of other great shows still to choose from!

Do yourself a favour and come out to see, and hear, some of the best live music in Halifax. This festival rocks!


That’s a Wrap!

A huge shout out to all the talented artists who graced The Carleton stage in celebration of our 10th anniversary.  You were freakin’ awesome and we thousands (yup) of long-time and brand-new fans thank you for the music.

Special commemorative “tour” tshirts are still available at the joint for only $15.  They are snappy and will identify you as someone who (a) was there for this historic celebration and/or (b) is an active supporter of live music in our lovely city.

If you have a passion for food…

Please join The Carleton for the first of our In Concert With series as Chef Michael Dolente welcomes visiting chefs, winemakers, brewmasters, and performers to play together and serve up one of a kind creations.

On Sunday, March 25, Chef Michael is joined by Guest Chef Mark Gray from The Watch that Ends the Night. Together they will prepare and present an eight course dinner with such delectables as world-renowned sustainable Faroe Island Salmon, tender and ever-so-slightly smoky Charred Octopus, classic Sirloin of Beef in Sauce Bordelaise, and Hennessy Tiramisu (coffee, cognac, cocoa, all your favourites!).

Consider pairing with drinks specially chosen to complement each component of the menu, including a refreshing pre-dinner Aperol, the lovely off-dry layered aromas of Wither Hills Pinot Gris, and the exuberant dark cherry and ripe cassis of one of the very few organic ports Fonseca Porto.

Click here for Tickets !


Is The Carleton open? You betcha!


For Immediate Release  Monday, February 12, 2018

After an extensive month-long renovation, Halifax’s multi award-winning live music venue and restaurant The Carleton has re-opened its doors!

Executive Chef Michael Dolente introduces superb new menu offering refined and casual local fare

(Halifax, NS) – After an extensive month-long renovation, Halifax’s multi award-winning live music and restaurant, The Carleton is poised to offer an unforgettable social dining and live entertainment experience and has officially re-opened its doors.

“The Carleton team is thrilled to welcome guests to our refreshed digs!” said owner, Karen Spaulding. “From grey wood flooring to rich indigo walls, quartz bar to brass finishes, cozy seating to intriguing light fixtures, we have kept your comfort and enjoyment top of mind. Our private dining room has been fully upgraded to host personal and corporate events and on a practical note, long time patrons will appreciate the private modern washroom facilities.”

An exciting complement to the refreshed space is the introduction of a superb new menu by The Carleton’s new Executive Chef, Michael Dolente. “We invite you to discover Chef Michael’s winter menu, including new favorites such as calamari, scallop crudo, and a divine panna cotta,” added Spaulding.

Chef Dolente, who recently moved back to Halifax to take on the role at The Carleton, started his career in Nova Scotia and grew up working in kitchens such as The Cellar,   The Henry House and the Delta Halifax Hotel, where he completed his apprenticeship and earned his Red Seal. In 2012, he moved to Toronto to expand his knowledge base and experience and became Sous Chef at the Thompson Hotel. From there he opened The Shangri-La Hotel kitchen and refined his culinary and managerial skills as Banquet Chef, specializing in fine dining, European and Asian cuisines. Dolente appeared on the Food Network’s “Chopped Canada” and competed in the Hawksworth Young Chef Competition, where he earned first place in the Toronto heat.

“I am very excited and humbled to be back in my home town doing what I love in one of Halifax’s most historic buildings,” said Dolente. “We are working hard to bring a refined yet very approachable menu offering to our valued diners.”

With Chef Dolente at the helm in the kitchen, The Carleton looks forward to participating in several local food festivals and experiences, including the Savour Food and Wine Festival (Feb. 22), Burger Week (March 22-28) and Delish (April 28).

The re-opening of The Carleton offers an exciting line up of live music experiences, including this Wednesday’s SOLD-OUT Valentine’s Day Concert (Feb. 14), featuringAriana Nasr’s Edith Piaf Show.

As the 2018 entertainment program takes shape and the venue nears its 10th Anniversary celebrations in May, The Carleton promises a stellar array of local, national and international talent for all musical tastes.

Upcoming shows include: Quiet Parade EP Release Show (Feb. 16, 7pm), Son Latino(Feb. 16, 10pm), The Tom Rich Band (Feb. 22), Jon Bryant (Music Heals Fundraiser March 3), The March Hare (March 4), Alfie (March 9), Craig Cardiff (March 14 & 15),Liam Corcoran & Tyler Messick (March 23), Lynn Miles & Lynne Hanson (May 16),Harry Manx (May 23), Irish Mythen (May 24) Madison Violet (July 26), Fred EaglesmithTif Ginn (August 11) and more.

The venue will also host comedy performances, including James Mullinger (Feb. 17) andGreg Proops – The Smartest Man in the World Podcast Taping as part of the Halifax Comedy Festival (April 26).

For a full events list, visit:


Our Hours

Tues – Wed 4 PM – 11 PM
Thurs 4 PM – 1 AM
Fri – Sat 4 PM – 2 AM
Sun – Mon closed UNLESS there’s a scheduled show

About The Carleton

The Carleton is housed in a building in Halifax, NS that was built in 1760 and was the home of Richard Bulkeley. Apart from two churches, Bulkeley’s home is the oldest building in Halifax, NS. It was reported to have been made from the ruins of Fortress Louisbourg. Since 1786 his residence has been known as ‘The Carleton’. As one of Halifax’s premier live music venues for the past 10 years, The Carleton has earned numerous awards and accolades including three East Coast Music Awards and eight Music Nova Scotia Awards for Venue of the Year, and most recently the 2017 Canada Live Music Award for Best Small Venue in the Country.

For more information on The Carleton, visit:

Follow The Carleton socially:
Twitter: @CarletonHalifax
Instagram: @CarletonHalifax

Media Contact:

Wendy Phillips, Phillips Public Relations Ltd.
(902) 492-0960 /


We’re Back In The Saddle (Again)!!!

We’re back in business baby and The Blue Lane is going to entertain us all on our first open SaturdayFebruary 10th – since the renovations started waaaaay back before Christmas in the year 2017. We’re encouraging everyone to come in to see what we’ve done with the place (a TON of stuff), so we’re making it easy with a cheap $5 admission at the door and live music starting around 9 PM. We’re excited, we hope you are too!!!

The Blue Lane is one of our local favourtes and they play a fusion of rockabilly, jazz, blues, indie rock and pop music. The band has a unique sound that weaves sultry vocals, intricate harmonies, jazzy guitar shreds and passionately thick beats. In 2017 The Blue Lane released their 2nd EP Blind and the five song EP was awarded Music Nova Scotia’s “Jazz Recording of the Year.”

Since 2015, ECMA award winning artist Rachael Henderson (lead vocals/bass), Morgan Alexander Cruickshank (guitar/vocals), and “The Machine” A.K.A Connor Booth (drums/vocals) have been writing and performing genre-blending original music.

Take a ride with The Blue Lane, you’ll like it!