The List: 12 Romantic Patios Around Columbus
One of the best things about living in Columbus is the summer weather season, or as it’s more commonly called, patio season – the time of the year when happy hours come earlier, drinks flow more freely and with more frequency, and date nights last longer. Summer’s a great time to be in love; as the air heats up, so do our passions. And there’s no time better spent than sitting and gazing into lovers’ eyes. Try doing it on one of these patios this summer:
With a stunning view of the Scioto River, especially at sunset, the patio at Milestone 229 is built for intimate evenings. Tucked into the heart of downtown, Milestone 229, officially located inside Bicentennial Park at 229 S Civic Center Dr, offers diners the opportunity to nibble on classic American fare as they admire Columbus’ only outdoor water park. Modern fountains shoot jets of water into the air at set times, and at night, the streams are set off in different colors, making for a truly awesome sight. The patio is also covered, so if you’re there during their Sunday Brunch, the only thing that’ll burn is your love. Make your reservation for Milestone 229 at www.milestone229.com.
Known for its elegance, sophisticated taste, and stellar service, the patio at The Refectory reflects its reputation – it’s simple in its presentation, but ideally so, as the hidden garden is the perfect spot for those who want to get close. Surrounded by a tall fence and lots of flowery bushes, dinner on the patio at The Refectory is like dining in a different country. It’s easy to imagine yourself caught in a French movie, especially at Champagne Under the Stars, a summer event combining sparkling wine and live jazz. Take a vacation anytime by visiting www.therefectoryrestaurant.com.
De Novo Bistro & Bar
Despite its location on South High Street, the patio at De Novo Bistro & Bar is made for lovers. With its small tables, and tall, lush chairs, the patio is designed for patrons to get close. There are flowers planted along the rail that encompasses the patio, allowing for privacy from the few pedestrians on that side of town in the late evening. De Novo’s patio is the perfect place to start date night: valet your car and enjoy an exotic meal in the warm summer air, then walk the short block to a show at the Ohio Theater. The restaurant is also open late, so there’s also always the option for a nightcap when the show is done. For more on De Novo’s summer bites, visit www.denovobistro.com.
The Boat House at Confluence Park
The only waterfront view of Columbus’ amazing downtown and skyline can be seen from the patio of The Boat House at Confluence Park, located at 679, West Spring Street. The restaurant sits at the intersection of the Olentangy and Scioto Rivers, making it one the most amazing places to dine by candlelight. The patio itself is like a deck, complete with wooden floors, and when the sun goes down, and the fire pit is lit, the scene is straight out of a Caribbean sunset postcard. On Friday nights, there’re seafood specials and live music, the perfect way to kick off a weekend for two. To see who’s playing this week, check out www.facebook.com/riverclubcolumbus.
It might be a little tricky to find Basi Italia if you’re not familiar with the Short North icon. It’s located on a street that looks more like an alley, and they have never been ones for lots of public announcement. But if you do seek out the secluded spot, you’ll be happy you did, as Basi easily has one of the most beautiful, mellow patios in the city. It’s tucked away to the back of the eatery, a collection of tables under garlands of flowers naturally wrapped around a beamed roof with twinkle light scattered all around. There’s usually soft music playing in the background, and is the perfect place to impress your date. Discover why everyone loves Basi every Wednesday evening with Vino on the Veranda. Find out what wines they’ll serve for your next stopover at www.basi-italia.com.
The Worthington Inn is one of Central Ohio’s go-to spots for weddings and anniversary celebrations due to the magnificent ballrooms housed at the 649 High Street institution. But the patio at Worthington Inn deserves equal praise, as it too is chic and accommodating. The round tables make it easier to sit as close to the one you’re with as you wish, and it’s fenced off from the street by a combination of black gate and shrubbery that still allows for a view of historic High Street. It’s cozy and elegant. Stop in for First Wednesday of the Month Wine Dinner, and see why The Worthington Inn is more than just ballrooms. For menus and availability, visit www.worthingtoninn.com.
Bel Lago Waterfront Dining
The name truly says it all: Bel Lago was designed to not only be a dining destination, but a place with a view. The specially-designed patio offers stunning pictures of the Hoover Reservoir, and when the sunlight bounces off the crystal-like water, it’s hard not to feel like you’re in some exotic location as opposed to Westerville. The Open Sky Deck is the perfect spot to sip summer cocktails in the sunshine, like every other Thursday when Bel Lago holds Wine on the Water – 10 wines for $10. It’s the perfect time to unwind, slow down, and spend some time with your favorite person. Save your spot at Bel Lago Waterfront Dining by going to www.bellagorestaurant.com.
Barcelona Restaurant & Bar
Fondly referred to by the staff as “the secret garden”, Barcelona’s back patio is the ideal spot for lovers to kick back and sip on their favorite cocktails. The combination of the stars sparkling through the many old trees in the German Village, draping the patio in just the right amount of shade and shadow, and the smells of the dozens of flowers and plants scattered around the intimate space, makes this spot ideal for holding hands. Plus, tapas is the ultimate finger – hence feeding – food. Every Sunday you can enjoy a plate or two, a delicious, and well-priced, bottle of wine and let the wafts from the live band set the mood as you Un’wine’d. For wine selection and more, check out www.barcelonacolumbus.com.
Alana’s Food & Wine
For lovers of all things local, Alana’s Food & Wine is a revelation. The chef creates the menu based on ingredient availability and feeling, and the restaurant itself is inside a grand, rambling old house. Thus the patio, really a rehabilitated front porch, is the ideal place to enjoy some old-world romance in the heart of Olde North. The design and feel of the patio is simple and fuss-free, like the ambiance of the entire space, making it a classic joint for romance. To see what the chef will be whipping up for your shared pleasure, follow Alana’s at www.facebook.com/alanasfoodandwine.
M at Miranova
You really shouldn’t be intimidated by M at the posh Miranova Place. Despite its fancy appearance, they encourage everyone to come in, from the casual happy-hour goer, to the business-dinner guys, to lovers, especially as their patio overlooks the Scioto River, and offers a breathtaking panorama during dinner and drinks. The sporadic whistles of a train rolling along on the tracks nearby only adds to the romance of the patio, which is elegantly draped in soft white cloths and appropriate lighting. M at Miranova takes reservations for their patio, so stop in to enjoy an evening very soon. For reservations, visit www.matmiranova.com.
Lindey’s Restaurant & Bar
What makes Lindey’s patio so remarkable isn’t the fact that it’s located in historic, and beautiful, German Village, or even the fact that it boasts its own special menu which often includes main-event fare at reduced prices. What makes this patio one of the most romantic in the city, and ideal for both old lovers and new puppies, is how you feel when you sit there: like you’ve stepped into an oasis, complete with smiling strangers who always refill your drink, umbrella-ed tables that allow just the right peek of sun or moon light, and a babbling fountain in the middle of it all that mimics the sound of lapping waves. It’s a preeminent spot for a quick lovers’ getaway. To book your trip, visit www.lindeys.com.
Haiku Poetic Food & Art
Shimmering lights peeping out through ropes of flowers hanging on low beams, a tiny river that runs and laps the breadth of the space, keeping time to the several murmurs and laughter, and plentiful servings of fresh sushi that demands to be fed with the fingers, are some of the best reasons to make your next date on the patio at Haiku Poetic Food & Art in the Short North. The ambiance is calming, and friendly, even right in the heart of the energy of North High Street; it’s the kind of place that celebrates being in love. Add to that some of the most amiable, and least nosy staff around, and you have the makings of a very special evening. For your next date night idea, visit www.haikushortnorth.com.
Whether you’re having a summer fling, rekindling old love, or are full-fledged head-over-heels and enjoying it, there’s a patio with your, and your lover’s, name on it. So take advantage of the long days, the sultry nights, and all that’s to see, try, and taste before it’s all gone.
Photos by Jennifer René of Jennifer René Photography.
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