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The Best Outdoor Dining Spots In The U.S.

Posted: 08/17/2012 10:47 am

By Food & Wine

From rooftops with panoramic city views to exquisite hidden gardens, there's a new crop of restaurants with terrific food and fantastic outdoor spaces popping up across the country. Here, Food & Wine names America's best outdoor dining.

More from Food & Wine:

America's Best Bars
Best Burgers in the U.S.
Best Pizza Places in the U.S.
Best Fried Chicken in the U.S.
Best Steak in the U.S.
America's Best Boardwalks

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  • Dallas/Fort Worth

    <strong>Chicken Scratch. </strong>Chef Tim Byres's fantastic new fried chicken restaurant shares its sizable backyard with his new bar, The Foundry, where bands play live music every weekend. <strong>Mansion Restaurant at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.</strong> Chef Bruno Davaillon, formerly of Alain Ducasse's Mix in Las Vegas, serves luxurious dishes like wagyu beef tartare and foie gras with pistachio butter on the restaurant's elegant, oak tree-shaded red-brick terrace. <strong>Plus: <a href="" target="_hplink">Best Fried Chicken in the U.S</a></strong>. <em>Chicken Scratch. Photo courtesy of Chicken Scratch.</em>

  • New York

    <strong>The NoMad Rooftop.</strong> At his new restaurant The NoMad, "F&W Best New Chef 2005 Daniel Humm reinvents dishes like fruits de mer, creates new classics and borrows favorites from his Eleven Madison Park," writes F&W editor in chief Dana Cowin. The restaurant's rooftop has quickly become a coveted reservation, both for its phenomenal food and its view of the Empire State Building. <strong>Shake Shack.</strong> Restaurateur Danny Meyer's take-out kiosk in leafy Madison Square Park has spawned 15 locations over the past four years. Its fantastic burgers have a cult following among Gotham burger geeks. <a href="" target="_hplink">Plus: <strong>Best Burgers in the U.S.</a></strong> <em>The NoMad Rooftop. Photo © Daniel Krieger.</em>

  • Los Angeles

    <strong>Gjelina.</strong> Everyone from local artists to Victoria Beckham congregates at this hot spot for chef Travis Lett's rustic but meticulously prepared Cal-Med food--much of it cooked in a wood-burning oven. A fire pit burns at the center of the red-brick-floored courtyard, surrounded by vintage tables. <strong>The BLVD Restaurant at Beverly Wilshire, Four Seasons Hotel.</strong> Located in the white-hot center of Beverly Hills, this restaurant's alfresco tables offer primo people-watching and celebrity-spotting on the corner of L.A.'s iconic Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive. <strong>A-Frame.</strong> At his second L.A. brick-and-mortar restaurant, Roy Choi (an F&W Best New Chef 2010) serves superb Korean-inspired pub food like spicy beer can chicken. The restaurant's tree-flanked patio has long communal wood tables and a supercozy bonfire. <strong>Plus: <a href="" target="_hplink">America's Best Bars</a></strong> <em>A-Frame. Photo © A-Frame.</em>

  • Chicago

    <strong>Chicago Cut Steakhouse.</strong> With a 120-seat bi-level terrace that boasts views of the Chicago River and the Loop, this is the legendary steak town's ultimate outdoor spot for superjuicy dry-aged beef. <strong>Big Star.</strong> Highlights of this supercool "honky tonk" taqueria from Paul Kahan (an F&W Best New Chef 1999) include excellent pork-belly tacos and greasy-good queso fundido (a glorious melted-cheese appetizer studded with chorizo). Dim lighting, fashionably disheveled bartenders and country music encourage down-and-dirty drinking of highbrow and lowbrow beers, but there are also exceptional cocktails by Violet Hour mixologist Michael Rubel. Both are best sipped on a large patio that has sleek metal tables and cheery bright yellow chairs. <strong>Plus: <a href="" target="_hplink">Best Steak in the U.S.</a> </strong> <em>Big Star. Photo © Steve Dolinsky.</em>

  • Washington, D.C.

    <strong>J&G Steakhouse.</strong> When the weather gets warm, the congressmen and senators who dine at superstar chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Capitol Hill steak spot can opt for the sidewalk café instead of the restaurant's discreet indoor private dining areas. <strong>Standard.</strong> Co-owner Tad Curtz built his seasonal (March-December) barbecue spot by hand, from the wooden bar to the outdoor patio's blue picnic tables. The menu features classics like pulled pork and brisket sandwiches as well as made-to-order doughnuts and craft beers. <strong>Plus: <a href="" target="_hplink">America's Best Doughnuts</a> </strong> <em>Standard. Photo courtesy of Standard.</em>

  • Boston

    <strong>Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks.</strong> At this popular Boston hotel restaurant, chef-restaurateur Jeremy Sewall highlights East Coast seafood in dishes like New England haddock with spaetzle. The awning-covered sidewalk patio is flanked by colorful flowering plants in white wainscot flower boxes. <strong>Temazcal Tequila Cantina.</strong> Helmed by two-time James Beard Award-winning chef Todd Hall, this taqueria-tequileria's 60-seat terrace overlooking Boston Harbor has become a Liberty Wharf summertime hotspot. <strong>Oleana.</strong> At the decade-old Oleana, chef-owner Ana Sortun serves her Eastern Mediterranean menu in a honey-colored dining room and a foliage-covered 50-seat yard in residential Cambridge. <strong>Plus: <a href="" target="_hplink">Best Grilled Cheese in the U.S.</a> </strong> <em>Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks. Photo courtesy of Eastern Standard.</em>

  • San Francisco

    <strong>Slanted Door.</strong> Chef Charles Phan's vaunted Vietnamese restaurant at the Ferry Building has a large terrace with a view of the bay and the Bay Bridge. <strong>Bar Agricole.</strong> Rhum agricole-lover Thad Vogler, who designed the cocktail menus for Beretta and the Slanted Door, co-owns this airy, rustic-industrial tavern with a supermodern outdoor patio. Chef Brandon Jew sources ingredients from local farms for seasonal dishes like sweet yellow corn soup with charred peppers. <strong><a href="" target="_hplink">Click Here for More of America's Best Outdoor Dining</a></strong> <em>Slanted Door. Photo courtesy of The Slanted Door Group, Angkana Kurutach.</em>


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