The Georgia Straight
Prime patio picks for dining during the pandemic
Across British Columbia, food and drink establishments have been busy shifting gears over the past few days to adapt to the new provincial health orders announced on March 29, which mandate the closure of all indoor dining services.
With outdoor patio service still permitted (in addition to takeout, pickup, or delivery), numerous establishments were already prepared. Others have quickly adapted.
If you’re considering dining out on a patio in the coming weeks, here are some fresh-air options to consider that you may have not been aware of.
THE ROOF AT BLACK+BLUE
Black + Blue’s third-floor outdoor dining room and lounge The Roof (1032 Alberni Street) first opened in 2013.
But on March 18, it reopened after a West Coast–inspired makeover that transformed the rooftop dining space and lounge into a gardenlike setting.
With a palette of natural earth tones, the new design features warm millwork, wood-plank flooring, curved cedar booth seating, and integrated lighting.
There are also greenery and floral accents, custom planter boxes, a grand garden pergola showpiece for both shade and style, suspended foliage, and a wooden feature wall mounted with floating candles.
The menu has also undergone a refresh, with grilled items such as beef, chicken, fish, and seafood, fresh oyster platters; a seafood tower; and salads.
H TASTING LOUNGE’S SECRET GARDEN
We’ve been asked to stay in figurative social bubbles. But why not be in literal physical bubbles?
That option is available at the H Tasting Lounge (1601 Bayshore Drive) at the
Westin Bayshore, Vancouver hotel, which launched the Secret Garden this month.
Guests can dine in one of five translucent garden domes from noon until 10 p.m. every day for lunch and dinner service. Each dome, accented with floral touches and greenery, seats up to six people.
Diners can order from a menu that spans octopus salad ($19), vegan burgers ($18), mushroom linguine ($29), and miso ling cod ($31).
A minimum spending (before taxes and gratuities) of between $150 to $300 (depending on the time and day of the scheduled visit) is required for each dome. Reservations can be made online.
The Secret Garden continues until May 2. Meanwhile, the establishment has also temporarily expanded its outdoor patio to offer more seats with views of Coal Harbour and the North Shore. These are available on a drop-in basis and depend upon weather conditions.
EARLS POP-UP PATIOS
Three Earls locations are adapting to the current health orders by creating new outdoor patio spaces.
At the Fir Street location (1601 West Broadway), the restaurant has transformed the parking lot into Tanqueray Terrace, with greenery and picnic tables. A tent will be added for rainy weather. And as an added bonus, it will have its own Tanqueray cocktail menu.
In South Surrey, the newest Earls location, at 16071 24th Avenue, opened a new patio called Cornerside Patio.
Meanwhile, Earls Bridge Park in Burnaby (3850 Lougheed Highway) already has a sizeable patio. But it’s also expanding its outdoor seating capacity by launching a new Backyard Patio next week, which will be located on grass facing Lougheed Highway.