Never mind the congested sidewalks, scent of garbage and honking cabs, New Yorkers love their al fresco dining. From the UWS to downtown, we've scouted out the best spots to enjoy your meal outside.
Tom Colicchio's new restaurant is certainly the best dining spot in Manhattan overlooking the East River. There are 44 seats on a terrace that's lined with comfy sofa-like seating around the perimeter, dotted with plush pillows for really getting cozy. The popular Top Chef judge tapped Sisha Ortuzar to lead the kitchen, where the modern American cuisine has scored solid reviews.
Riverpark, 450 E. 29th St. (212-729-9790 or riverparknyc.com).
It's easy to overlook the food in the Meatpacking District because of all the rowdy drinking that happens there, but at recently opened Brasserie Beaumarchais (formerly Bagatelle), chef Nicolas Cantrel delivers delicious, classic French fare. Dining al fresco, you'll be surrounded by cobblestone streets and excellent people-watching. On weekends, the popular "Le Grand Brunch" is similar to what you'd find in trendy restaurants along the Mediterranean, complete with loud music and drunk people dancing, so consider yourself forewarned.
Brasserie Beaumarchais, 409 W. 13th St. (212-675-2400 or brasseriebeaumarchais.com).
The John Dory Oyster Bar
April Bloomfield lures people in with her seafood preparation, and the raw bar and crudo dishes alone are worth a trek to the John Dory, located off the lobby of the Ace Hotel. Nabbing a table is no small feat, but with sidewalk seating coming mid-June, your chances will improve. There's also a $15 happy hour special of a half dozen oysters or clams with a glass of bubbly or pint of oyster stout from 5-7pm or midnight to 2am daily.
The John Dory, 1196 Broadway (212-792-9000 or thejohndory.com).
Edi & The Wolf
Indoors, Edi & The Wolf is warm with its dark paneled wood and rustic appeal. But the 30-seat outdoor patio befits the traditional Austrian "heuriger" or wine garden. Hanging plants and crawling vines surround you in a cozy dining space. You'll feel even more at home ordering anything from baby back ribs to spaetzle. The wine list is well edited, and hit Edi up for recommendations if he stops at your table.
Edi & The Wolf, 102 Ave. C (212-598-1040 or ediandthewolf.com).
The Tangled Vine Wine Bar & Kitchen
A new outdoor seating area also comes with new dishes and wines at this UWS spot. Grab one of the 30 outdoor seats, sip on organic wine and enjoy Chef David Seigal's menu. Brunch on Sundays (think house-smoked pastrami hash, sausage and broccoli rabe pizzetta with ricotta and marinated tuna crostini) is also outside and features half-priced cocktails.
The Tangled Vine Wine Bar & Kitchen, 434 Amsterdam Ave. (646-863-3896 or tangledvinebar.com).