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Opinion: Burnaby’s best patio offers sanity amid COVID-19 jitters

Not everyone is ready to eat inside

Let’s face it, COVID-19 restrictions on in-person dining may have been lifted, but not everyone is ready to go eat out.

That’s why patios have become such a saviour.

My partner still refuses to eat in a restaurant due to her concerns about ventilation systems. She’s still studying the issue.

But she’s OK with a patio.

Burnaby has more patios than ever before thanks to the City of Burnaby’s newish program to allow restaurants to expand their outdoor spaces. Hastings Street in the Heights has a bunch of new patios now set up on the street around Gilmore after concrete barriers were dropped in there.

Those will do in a pinch, but there is the traffic you have to listen to.

No, what you really need is Burnaby’s best patio at the Hart House.

It’s not just outside, it’s like dining in the middle of a Swiss forest complete with a dynamite view of Deer Lake. The Hart House has spread out its tables onto the huge tract of grass that it has access to so diners feel like they are really physically distanced.

Depending on the time of day, you can eat in the sun or in the shadows as the sun passes. It’s tranquil and divine – providing some sanity when you are dying to eat out but don’t want to risk your health.

I’ve raved about the Hart House’s menu, but they also have a fantastic wine list what led it to win the Burnaby NOW readers contest in that category.

“The goal of Hart House’s wine program is to offer wines that complement Chef Mike Genest’s Mediterranean-style cuisine, thus adding to guests’ enjoyment of their visit to our Burnaby restaurant,” reads a post by the Hart House. “Given the flavour palette of the menu, it’s not surprising that wines from Italy, Spain, and France are favourites on the Hart House list. We do, however, have a longstanding commitment to featuring fresh local ingredients in our cuisine, and this enthusiasm for homegrown options carries over to the cellar, where there’s a strong British Columbia presence, particularly from smaller producers … Our goal is to please all our guests, and for that reason we offer a selection of excellent-quality bottles (and wines by the glass) at a range of price points. Wines on our list pair well with most dishes on our menu, and guests who are uncertain of what to choose are welcome to use the suggestions on the menu as a guide.”

So, there you have it. Enjoy eating outdoors while the sun is still shining.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.