The made-for-boys lifestyle newsletter Thrillist said it best, saying of New York “we’re the world capital of Crapping Your Pants Over Even Fleeting Opportunities to Not Be Inside.” I agree, which is why this week I’m taking it outdoors.
Bia Garden– There’s a 50 seat garden in the back of this Vietnamese eatery, where you can sit back and order coolers of beers (you’re charged upon consumption). Asian street food is the inspiration for the menu, which offers all kinds of sweet-salty-sour deliciousness. 154 Orchard nr Stanton, LES
Mermaid Inn: the front patio at this E. Village seafood spot overlooks traffic-clogged 2nd Ave, so ignore that and ask for a table in their peaceful back garden, a perfect spot to have a lobster roll and a glass of sancerre.
Morandi: The problem with so much NYC outdoor dining is that you’re sitting on a busy, exhaust-filled avenue listening to taxis honk at each other. Not so at Morandi, where a little square separates the sidewalk tables from the craziness of 7th Ave. Love this place for Aperol Spritzes, pasta, and the fava bean salad.
Barbuto– The floor-to-ceiling windows open up wide to let the breezes in down quaint, quiet Washington St in the West Village. Honest, simple Italian. Not entirely outdoors, but you won’t get a sunburn either.
Bar Pitti- it’s a classic, it’s Italian, it’s a fun scene and it’s a must-do. It’s also cash only so hit the ATM beforehand.
Sant Ambroeus- oh man this place is sooooo charming and on one of the most beautiful W. Village blocks. European in flavor, a bit pricey, I love it for quiet breakfasts.
Locanda Verde– did you know they have a few tables set up in the hotel’s courtyard? It’s super chill and beautiful, away from the banker-dominated crowds in the main restaurants. They don’t really advertise the tables, so it’s still sort of a hidden gem. And it’s AWESOME. Tribeca.
Other note-worthy gardens and outdoor spots: Bobo, Grotto, Le Jardin Bistro, Five Ninth, Relish in Williamsburg, 10 Downing, Gemma on the Bowery.
Epistrophe or Cafe Gitane– both in Nolita, both bohemian and charming and wonderful for a glass of Rose.
Bar Carrera– spanish wine bar (Houston and MacDougal location!) whose doors open wide to the sidewalk, allowing for a couple of high-top tables that are perfect for watching the crowds cruise by as you drink Estrellas. G. Village
Felix– if you’re feeling awfully European and love a day filled with Italian men in futbol jerseys. Soho
B Bar: a little big, a little crowded, but not painfully so. Noho
d.b.a: they have a gravel-packed back “garden”, best for serious beer-drinking, scotch-swilling, and tequila-shotting. You can also have food delivered (phew). E. Village
Cabana at the Maritime: the patio up above the 9th Ave traffic is beautiful, and I like the retro LA vibe. Meatpacking
Tortilla Flats: down’n’dirty margarita pitchers and the people who love them. W. Vill.
Another Room– chill spot in Tribeca, next to Tribeca Tavern and Cercle Rouge which also have nice outdoor options, Another Room has a really excellent, huge wine and beer list. Have a chimay or a glass of grenache and score one of the outside picnic tables, it’s low-key. You can order food to be delivered, too.
Rooftop drinking: A60– the roof at the Thompson hotel, Above Allen at the new Thompson Hotel, Soho House if you’re a member (or just know one), 230 Park to remind you of the college days when everyone drank outside on the first nice day, Brass Monkey in the Meatpacking, Met Museum roof bar (if it’s open) for art, culture, and an incredible Central Park view.
And READ THIS: NY Mag’s list of places to drink outside.. some of them may not be open yet.
So readers, any suggestions to add to this? Let’s get the 2010 outdoor season rolling.