New York City has officially entered Phase two and that means outdoor dining is back! Here are 10 fantastic places to dine al fresco.
Loulou is a delightful French petit bistro in the heart of Chelsea. Their outdoor seating area can comfortably and safely house 15 tables, but they’ll continue to provide takeaway meals as well. Executive Chef Jarett Brodie’s resume is a veritable who’s who of NYC fine dining establishments including stints at Jean Geroge’s Mercer Kitchen and Tom Collichio’s Craft. His menu features the famous Loulou burger made with grass-fed beef, clothbound cheddar, and caramelized onions. Diners can also enjoy the duck leg confit with apple rosemary puree and gala chutney. Libations including craft cocktails, beer, and wine are available as well.
In addition to takeout and delivery, Nerai will have 8 seats for lunch and dinner al fresco. Their much-anticipated courtyard will be ready for outdoor dining later this month. Moshe Grundman has been the Executive Chef since 2017 and his deep understanding of Mediterranean flavors combined with his unique flair has made Nerai an unforgettable dining experience. The seafood orzotto with octopus, shrimp, and mussels or the lavraki (sea bass) are perfect summer meals to enjoy al fresco. Their wine program is highly esteemed and pairings are always exquisite.
Vegan and kosher diners can dine outside with plenty of options at Beyond Sushi. This independent NYC chain will have 26 available seats spread out across 4 locations in Manhattan. Well-known for its innovative approach to sushi, Beyond Sushi uses vegetables, grains, and fruit to replace fish. This is the first time they’ve ever offered outdoor seating.
Hole in the Wall
Both the FiDi and Murray Hill locations of Hole in the Wall will be open for al fresco dining from Thursday-Saturday with 10 and 15 tables, respectively. The Flatiron location is still on the way. Executive Chef Brent Hudson is known for his Australian cooking style and it is beautifully on display in the Hole in the Wall menu. Start the day with a “Breaky Roll” filled with applewood smoked bacon, chorizo pate, folded eggs, chimichurri, mayo, all on a milk bun. Don’t worry...it comes with tots on the side.
For a truly elevated experience, diners should visit Haven Rooftop. Enjoy Midtown Manhattan views paired with a “Cloudtini.” The menu is eclectic including tuna tartare, sliders, steak au poivre, and buffalo wings. Diners should be advised that the dress code is business casual. That means no hats, gym wear, or beach gear. Shorts are allowed as long as they aren’t jean shorts.
What better way to celebrate New York City entering Phase 2 than with a slice? Fornino is opening both locations: Brooklyn Bridge Park first and Greenpoint to follow. They’re serving up a wide variety of wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, salad, and boozy beverages. The Park location will have rooftop seating for up to 100 guests and Greenpoint is opening the backyard with 24 possible seats. Reservations are encouraged though not required.
Ainslie has a wide variety of outdoor seating options. It’s brand new rooftop has 26 seats in addition to the 36 seats in the sidewalk cafe. The beer garden can hold another 50 hungry diners. Executive Chef John DeLucie and lead pizzaiolo Erasmo Lassandro are excited to get back to making what they love. Wood-fired pizzas, free-range chicken, NY strip steaks, and Atlantic salmon are just a few of the mouthwatering options on their menu.
Ten Hope has ample space for socially distanced dining in its 2,500 square foot patio. Diners can enter directly from the street into a vine-draped, open-air eatery. Executive Chef Travis McGinty has dreamed up the perfect summer menu with everything from shrimp and scallop ceviche, to shakshuka flatbreads. Imbibe from a rotating frozen cocktail menu or choose from a generous list of spiked spritzes. Ten Hope is open Monday - Friday 5-11 pm, Saturday and Sunday from noon -11 pm.
The Lowery Bar & Kitchen
Perfectly situated on a corner, The Lowery Bar & Kitchen is making the most of their sidewalk space. With 12 tables and high tops, they’re maneuvering around bike lanes to bring Sunnyside residents some of their favorite pub fare. The house burger is made with the Pat La Frieda house blend, roasted garlic aioli, crispy onions, and pickles on a brioche bun. Flatbreads toppings vary between brunch (weekends only) and dinner. This summer, The Lowery set up two frozen machines. Beat the heat with frozen margaritas or a truly delightful piña colada. Check their Instagram for daily specials.
The Bonnie is the go-to cocktail spot for Astorians and it also happens to have a fantastic food menu. After serving takeout for several months, The Bonnie has opened their back garden to dine-in costumers with plenty of socially distanced seating. The bartenders are shaking up a house rum punch (with passion fruit and velvet falernum) and strawberry margaritas. Or, let them pour you an old fashioned on draft or a seasonal frozen cocktail. The menu has favorites like shishito peppers with tajin salt, mac and cheese (don’t forget to add the bacon!), and a bright, strawberry poppy seed salad.