This winter could be an argument for global warming. This week we hit 70 degrees in NYC. People are out in flip flops and shorts, and dogs are getting longer walks. What I’m really looking forward to is dining outdoors. If you’re on the same mind frame; put these spots on your radar:
Epicerie Boulud & Bar Boulud: 64th and Broadway. Outdoor dining available now. Daniel can do little (if no) wrong in my eyes. To the pleasure of hungry Upper West Siders, he seems to be taking over the block between 63rd and 64th. You can’t go wrong with either of these restaurants. Grab a Bahn Mi or DBLT at Epicerie or go for a more serious meal at Bar Boulud. Either way, you win.
Flex Mussels: 154 West 13th St. outdoor dining. Flex has a gorgeous front patio that opened earlier this week for a Spring celebration. If you’re ready for outdoor dining today, this is your spot. Although the patio officially opens on March 20, it will remain open as long as the weather cooperates. Needless to say, you should get…mussels.
Jeanne and Gaston: 212 West 14th Street – outdoor seating begins in late April. This new West Village eatery has a backyard any restaurant would be jealous of. While it’s not set up yet, I got a sneak peek…it is lovely. This may become my go to place for lunches in the sun. I recommend the Escargot Napoleon Bordelaise ($13) and the burger Jeanne and Gaston style ($18).
Jones Wood Foundry: 401 East 76th St. Outdoor dining available in May. This upper east side gastropub has one of the loveliest outdoor spaces in NYC. It’s a tiny garden courtyard amid 19th century townhouses. It only seats 12, so be sure to book ahead of time.
Pera: 54 Thompson – Outdoor seating available in May. The Soho location of this well established NYC name has a “secret” garden that seats 90. There’s even a cabana that seats 12 (make sure to request it if you have a large enough party). It is pretty new, so get there before it’s hot and reservations are hard to get.
Spice Market: 403 west 13th Street. If you’re a fan of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and a little spice, this is the outdoor spot for you. Spice Market’s outdoor terrace will be opening up in early April. This is the spot to see and be seen; so make sure to wear your best.
Spina: 175 Avenue B. Outdoor dining begins March 30. If you’re in the East Village, do not miss eating at Spina. Fresh pasta (made daily on site), a great wine list, and outdoor seating make this a perfect spot to grab brunch on weekends. My favorite brunch item is the breakfast ravioli ($13).
The Back Yard at 160: 160 Freedom Place. “The Yard” has a brand new chef, attitude and name. Chef Alessio Selleri, who has plenty of Michelin experience, is taking over the kitchen and will be focusing on rustic Italian food with the same amazing ingredients the restaurant has always used. Their outdoor dining area is in the front of the restaurant and a great place to refuel after spending a day at Riverside Park.
The Mermaid Inn: 96 Second Avenue. Chef Michael Cressotti’s scrumptious seafood house only gets better with outdoor dining on March 28, 2012. You can’t go wrong with any of their seafood dishes, but you need to ask your bartender to make you a Fresca, they’re off the hook.
Yefsi Estiatorio: 1481 York Ave. Outdoor dining begins early April. I think this place would be perfect for a first date. You can grab small Greek dishes (from Chef Christos Christou) in an intimate garden. We’re expecting great stuff from this recent addition to the Upper East Side.