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Italian restaurant takes over posh Pear Tree space in Burnaby

Portobello Ristorante is moving to Burnaby on Hastings Street in the Heights
A seafood dish at Portobello Ristorante, which is moving to Burnaby on Hastings Street in the Heights. Portobello photo

A Vancouver institution has decided that life is a little bit better in Burnaby.

Burnaby Heights that is.

Portobello Ristorante is moving from its spot on West Broadway to 4120 Hastings St. at Gilmore – formerly the home of the iconic Pear Tree restaurant.

The space is one of the best in all of Burnaby. It’s small, intimate and chic. It seems perfect for the kind of fine dining Portobello is known for. The restaurant is known for having the artwork of featured artists on its walls.

Portobello is owned by chef ‘Pino’ Milano and his dishes range from pasta to seafood to meat dishes like veal shank.

I was particularly excited to see so much seafood on the menu, especially sautéed squid in a tomato sauce. I’m a sucker for any kind of calamari that isn’t deep-fried.

Another starter is based around burrata cheese, a soft Italian cheese that pairs well with arugula, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.

The Heights is obviously no stranger to Italian food with its long history of residents from the old country. Between Anton’s, Sopra Sotto, Cioffi’s and more, the area is well-stocked with Italian food.

Now we look to have another fine addition to this neighbourhood.

Portobello isn’t up and running just yet. It sounds like it will be another few weeks. Not exactly the best time to open a restaurant, but if it’s as good as I remember, then people will come.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.