Up a long, wooded road in Burnaby Mountain Park, Horizons Restaurant waits, its towering wraparound windows granting spectacular views of budding rose gardens, stately Japanese totem poles, and Vancouver below. These surroundings absorb visitors so completely that only when their dishes arrive—wafting up the garlic and herbs of Executive Chef John Garrett’s innovative West Coast–inspired dishes—can they tear their eyes away. Chef Garrett grills BC seafood and steaks on an alder-wood barbecue, pairing the meats with locally sourced produce and accentuating sauces. When discussing his food philosophy with reporters from Dine Out Vancouver, the culinary artist put it plainly: "start with freshest ingredients, prepare them simply to enhance their natural flavors, and let those flavors shine through."
Once plates have been cleared and glasses have been drained, satisfied guests stroll past the gardens and pristine lakeshores of Burnaby Mountain Park. Forests of lush trees and winding trails make the park an ideal landscape for taking long nature hikes or burying leftover crème brûlée in the ground for later.
A cozy picture of Tudor revivalist design, the lakeside Hart House Restaurant purveys creative menus full of exquisite dinner, lunch, and brunch delicacies lauded for their casual elegance. At the helm of these sophisticated dishes is executive chef Alana Peckham, who grew up in Vancouver and applies her knowledge of Pacific Northwest ingredients when crafting dishes such as steelhead salmon with green beans and a pea purée and Fraser Valley duck breast. During warmer months, guests can enjoy Chef Peckham's creative fare on the patio with a Pimm's Cup or a local wine before cracking into an espresso crème brûlée.
Seasonal events, such as the Lobster Supper, celebrate fresh, local fare. Hart House's glass-walled lakeside cottage, sprawling green backyard, and second-storey private rooms also make it an ideal location for business meetings, weddings, and reenactments of The English Patient.
With its burnished leather chairs, high-backed wooden booths, and burgundy walls, the look of Copper Club Restaurant & Lounge’s dining room hearkens back to a turn-of-the-century smoking parlor or baron’s study. It’s a stark change from the airy lounge space next door with its vaulted ceiling, wall of windows, and blue and orange plush couches. Though the two spaces harbor aesthetic differences, their cuisine unites them, as chefs sear certified Angus beef from Canadian ranches and Ocean Wise–approved sustainable seafood to populate their menu of West Coast-based fusion fare. Each dish melds fresh flavours with flourishes evocative of worldly cuisines, from Asian mango salsa and coconut tomato sauce to St. Louis–style barbecue. Once dining companions have cleared food from plates and spoons from noses, they can retreat to the lounge for live music until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
Oscar's Pub immerses patrons in a casual neighbourhood atmosphere while immersing stomach interiors in hearty pub fare such as wings in 10 sauces ranging from spicy to sweet. Burgers and entrees feature AAA Canadian beef marinated in au jus, as internationally inspired eats such as wonton soup traipse across the menu for a more global experience than slumber parties held by U.N. ambassadors. Ever-changing upcoming events include wings and ribs nights as well as karaoke Sundays, which urge guests to flex their vocal pipes. UFC, European soccer, football, and Canucks games shine down from 11 high-definition wide-screen televisions to illuminate revellers and intimidate french fries into lying still.
Milo Bigler traces the origins of his passion for food to a childhood spent in the kitchens of his parents’ resort and spa in the tiny Swiss village where he grew up. He went on to pursue a culinary education, eventually winding up in Canada, where he has prepared meals for politicians and royalty. He has opened multiple restaurants, including Calvin’s Café in 1991.
At Calvin’s, Bigler prepares everything from breakfast platters to steak dinners. He crafts sandwiches, makes soups, and tosses salads, each with a tasty little twist thrown in. He enhances his spinach and goat cheese salad with pickled mustard seeds, and polka-dots his open-faced smoked salmon bagel with caper berries. To keep things interesting, he cooks completely different menus at different times of the day, offering unique morning, lunch, afternoon, and dinner menus.