Olio in Bayfield
Everybody knows that feeling that first whiff of warm weather after a long, chilly winter means only one thing - it’s time to start getting excited for patio season! But did you know that, in Bayfield, there’s another season in the world of outdoor dining to get excited about? At Olio, feeling that first brisk chill of wintery air after a long, hot, summer means only one thing - it’s time to start getting excited for… yurt season!
A yurt is essentially a tent with a wooden frame - they are remarkably sturdy when erected, but can be quickly disassembled, and are made of lightweight materials suitable for easy transport. Centuries ago, nomadic farmers in Central Asia used yurts as comfortable temporary housing as they travelled from one pastureland to the next. So many years later, yurts have remained popular in Asia, especially in Mongolia. Mongolian tradition dictates that one must always enter the yurt right foot first, without stepping on the threshold or touching it with your foot.
As a restaurant situated smack dab in the middle of one of Huron County’s quaintest tourist destinations, Olio knows the importance of having an appealing patio for folks to enjoy during the busy summer season. On the other hand, winter dining in Southwestern Ontario has traditionally been looked at as an exclusively indoor sport. A few years ago, Olio owners Joanne Oliver and Brent Hillier decided to change that perception. After being inspired by a Toronto pub that had erected a yurt as a solution to winter weather, they realized it was just what Bayfield needed. Olio’s yurt is constructed in the traditional Mongolian style, using yak hair. It can accommodate up to 18 people, making it the perfect place for a memorable special event.
Whether it’s patio season or yurt season, Olio is the restaurant of choice for diners looking for an evening of casually elegant food in a relaxed environment. Located on Bayfield’s historic Main St, Olio’s menu has roots in traditional Italian food, but it isn’t afraid to wander away from home. You’ll find classic Italian elements like risotto and fettuccine on the menu, but you’ll also find things like turmeric rice and black bean salsa. The name says it all - ‘Olio’ literally translates to “a miscellaneous collection of things.” Dishes crafted with local ingredients and an attention to detail are a big hit with their clientele, and the menu is regularly refreshed to reflect the season and keep things interesting. The compact beverage menu is comprised of an approachable wine list, classic cocktails, and beers both local and domestic.
If you’re interested in experiencing all the glory that is yurt season, Olio’s in Bayfield is the place for you. Making your reservations early is highly recommended - it’s a popular yurt, and space is limited! 19B Main St N, Bayfield