Dining Al Fresco and Sipping Under the Stars

Faith Hope Consolo

In summer outside is inside and inside is outside. Manhattan is the place to see and be seen! The best parades are on the patios, dance on the decks, roam the rooftops and stroll the sidewalks.

ViceVersa, 325 West 51st Street serves contemporary Italian cuisine in the Theatre District. The plant-filled back patio is a welcome escape.

230 Fifth, 230 Fifth Avenue (W. 27th Street) in Nomad, is New York’s largest outdoor rooftop garden, open year round, and a fully enclosed penthouse lounge. There is a breathtaking view of the skyline from the garden and the penthouse lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows. Food is served until midnight and they are famous for their cocktails.

L’Apicio, 13 E 1st Street, in the East Village is a pasta lover’s heaven and the outdoor patio surrounded by greenery will take you away to Italy drinking a glass of fine wine. Modern Italian dining and cocktails in an airy, vibrant space with an open kitchen.

Palma, 28 Cornelia Street, in the West Village is renowned for its ambiance featuring exposed wood beam ceilings and white stucco walls. When you step outside, you will find an ivy-covered garden complete with fresh herbs and flowers. Inside or out, the traditional Italian fare is fabulous.

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Barbuto, 775 Washington Street, in the West Village is in a massive garage space on the ground floor of Industria Superstudio on Washington Street, between Jane and West 12th Streets. When the garage doors are raised, the whole restaurant has an open-air feel and sidewalk seating. Chef and Owner Jonathan Waxman creates a sophisticated Italian menu.

La Lanterna di Vittorio, 129 MacDougal Street is a romantic Greenwich Village Italian spot with an intimate garden seating area with ivy-covered, exposed-brick walls and a glass ceiling that welcomes natural light. Not to mention the live jazz in the adjoining bar. Perfect for a date night!

Bar Pitti, 268 Sixth Avenue (Houston & Bleecker Streets) in Greenwich Village has sidewalk tables for people watching and is a celebrity favorite. The wine list and simple Italian dishes are perfection. They do not take reservations and only accept cash.

Grand Banks, Pier 25, is located aboard the Sherman Zwicker, a large wooden schooner docked at the southwest edge of Hudson River Park in TriBeCa. Famous for the view, the experience, oysters and cocktails on the water.

Lafayette, 380 Lafayette Street (Great Jones Street) in NoHo is a spectacular French restaurant and bakery from Chef Andrew Carmellini with first come first serve patio seating under azure awnings. C’est magnifique!

Riverpark, Alexandria Center – 450 E. 29th Street in Murray Hill by Tom Colicchio has an interesting location; an office building adjacent to the FDR Drive with free garage parking. Seating ranges from outdoor tables, the main open dining room, or the more intimate café section with windows facing the East River. New American food is served and seasonal ingredients are supplied by the Riverpark Farm adjacent to the restaurant. Talk about fresh!

Birds & Bubbles, 100B Forsyth Street, the lovely Lower East Side chicken and champagne eatery; is the perfect place to enjoy the outside patio. Exposed brick, terracotta tiles and strings of lights set the stage for an intimate summer barbeque.

Seamore’s, 390 Broome Street in Little Italy, by Restaurateur Michael Chernow serves sustainable seafood complete with an outdoor sidewalk dining space dotted with striped umbrellas.

Cipriani Club 55, 55 Wall Street, Financial District’s finest in the historic Merchants Exchange Building with an impressive outdoor terrace among the building’s granite columns with sweeping views of Wall Street.

The Highline, between Little West 12th and West 18th Streets in the Meatpacking District is an outdoor food court of artisan food vendors lined up along the City’s prettiest stretch of repurposed railway. 

The Biergarten at the Standard, 848 Washington Street, is a classic German beer garden with a downtown vibe. One of the Meatpacking District’s hot spots. Also go up to The Top of The Standard on the 18th Floor for a jaw dropping City view from the sexy cocktail lounge. 

Dos Caminos Meatpacking District, 675 Hudson Street at 14th Street, is one of the five NYC outposts of this modern Mexican eatery offering plenty of sidewalk tables.

Take your seat outside and enjoy a beautiful day or a starry night. The open-air options in New York City are limitless and delicious!

Happy Summer and Happy Dining!

Faith Hope Consolo, Chairman of Douglas Elliman’s Retail Group, writes the "Faithful Food" column for Total Food Service. Ms. Consolo is a leading retail broker and advisor who covers the national market. She is a specialist ranging from fine restaurants to fashionable fast foods. "To find the best retail space, You Need Faith." Email her at fconsolo@elliman.com