By Patricia Canole
Approved outdoor dining is officially here and will remain in effect until late October. Face masks are required for restaurant staff. For diners, no mask is required while at their table. Also, in accordance with state law, tables must be at least six feet apart. Many restaurants have tighter restrictions including limiting the number of people in the party, so it is wise you check before you go. Here, some of our outdoor dining favorites.
Located in Chelsea (176 8th Ave.) has 15 tables available for al fresco dining. Menu items from Executive Chef Jarett Brodie include the Loulou Burger made with grass-fed beef, clothbound cheddar and caramelized onions, Duck Leg Confit with Apple Rosemary Puree and Gala Chutney, and Steak Frites featuring a 7 oz Skirt Steak and Béarnaise. That is in addition to craft cocktails, wine, and beer.
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Midtown East’s popular Greek restaurant (55 East 54th Street) provides outdoors seating as well as an expansive new courtyard for lunch and dinner. Indulge in dishes from Executive Chef Moshe Grundman like Shrimp Mikrolimano with Tiger Shrimp in a Tomato Ragu, Lavraki, Short Rib Yiouvetsi and Seafood Orzotto with Octopus, Shrimp and Mussels. Additionally, wine, beer and other beverages are served. New on the menu is Santorini Sundays featuring a special three-course prix fix dinner menu for $48 per person.
With four locations throughout Manhattan, you’ll find eight tables at their Upper East Side (1429 3rd. Ave.) location, three tables at their Midtown outpost (62 West 56th St.), six tables in Nolita (215 Mulberry), and nine tables in Union Square (229 East 14th St.). Across all four venues, you’ll find Executive Chef Guy Vaknin’s signature vegan and kosher specialties including his vegan take on a spicy tuna roll with the Spicy Mang, in addition to the Mighty Mushroom, Sweet Tree Roll, Sunny Side Roll, Pickle Me Roll and Smoky Jack Roll. They also go far Beyond Sushi with dishes like their Fun-Guy Dumplings, Chipotle Seitan skewers and the Nutty Buddy Rice Paper Wrap. The tables are offered first come first served.
Located at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park has outdoor seating for 100 available to take in the sunshine and chef and owner Michael Ayoub's wood-fired pizzas, salads and sandwiches and alcoholic beverages. Fornino’s rooftop happy hour is Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 pm with $5 beer, $8 wine, and a $10 daily drink special. Fornino also has 24 seats in their backyard at their Greenpoint location (849 Manhattan Ave.). Reservations recommended.
This Williamsburg staple has opened their new rooftop with 26 seats in addition to having 36 seats on the sidewalk and 50 seats in their garden. Ainslie's Executive Chef John DeLucie and lead pizzaiolo Erasmo ‘Mino’ Lassandro offer a tasty menu of wood-fired pizzas, pastas, free range chicken, NY Strip Steak, Atlantic Salmon and Wood Fired Rosemary Wings. The restaurant, wine bar and beer garden feature an extensive alcoholic beverage menu. Be sure to join the fun with the All You Can Drink Brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 4 pm.
This wine bar and restaurant (286 Columbus Ave.) offers 8 outdoor tables and a 28-person capacity. Owned and operated by actress and model Cindy Guyer it also has a good selection of tasty small plates from Executive Chef Alex Diaz. Guyer's. Open 5 – 9 pm Monday through Thursday; 3 – 11 pm Friday through Sunday.
TEN HOPE OUTDOOR GARDEN
Williamsburg’s newest restaurant (10 Hope St.) officially open just in time to celebrate Phase Two. The 2,500 square-foot vine-laced open-air patio has ample socially distanced seating in a green environment with fresh air, fresh food and with an entry direct from the street. Summertime dishes from Executive Chef Travis McGinty include Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche, Burrata Salad, Chicken Under a Brick, and Shakshuka Flatbread with Baked Coddled Eggs. There are also offering frozen cocktails, a spiked spritz menu, in addition to hard seltzer, beer and wine by the glass and bottle. Open Monday through Friday from 5 – 11 pm, Weekends from 12 – 11 pm.
HOLE IN THE WALL
In Murray Hill (626 1st Avenue) and FiDi (15 Cliff Street) is open to outdoor diners Wednesday through Sunday from 9am to 5pm. The newest location at Hotel Henri (37 West 24th Street) is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 am to 10 pm. Reservations can be made through Yelp reservations. Signature dishes from Executive Chef Brent Hudson include a Chili Scramble, Avocado Toast or a Breaky Roll with Applewood Smoked Bacon, Chorizo Pate, Folded Eggs, Chimichurri on a milk bun with tots on the side. You can also enjoy the Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich, the Smoked Salmon Salad, or the Crispy Pork Belly. Sip on a Jalapeno Bloody Mary, a Blood Orange Negroni and Aperol Spritz or a Mimosa any time of day.
BROOKLYN CHOP HOUSE
Situated in FiDi, the restaurant has over 50 seats for sidewalk dining steps away from the Brooklyn Bridge. Patrons can make a reservation by visiting OpenTable and seating will be offered Monday through Sunday from 12 pm to midnight. Indulge in everything from seafood and noodles to dry-aged Prime Steaks and Double Thick Cut Chops. Splurge on 32 oz. Dry-Aged Bone in Tomahawk or a 48 oz. Dry-Aged Porterhouse for two and Salt & Pepper Lobster Tails. Other dishes include Spicy Kung Pao Chicken, Rock Shrimp Tempura, and Colorado Lamb Chops. Enjoy their delicious cocktails as well which include frozen Lychee Martinis.
High above the Sanctuary Hotel in Midtown is ready for diners to escape to. Haven offers delicious food and craft cocktails. Favorites include sliders, tuna tartare, and Buffalo wings, Branzino and Steak Au Poivre with peppercorn sauce. Pair that with a Cloudtini or summer sangria for a truly elevated experience. They also have a Bottomless Brunch in the Sky.
With its three locations in Manhattan, outdoor seating is available at their FiDi (90 Washington St.) Monday through Friday from 4 – 10 pm on the weekdays; weekends from 12 – 10 pm. Enjoy great Super Craft beer and delicious food from Executive Chef Darryl Harmon like his signature Double Smashed Burger, Buffalo Cauliflower and more.
Located in the heart of Times Square (1185 6th Ave), the restaurant features outdoor seating in front of the iconic Roundabout Theater. The Indian a la carte menu is available for lunch and dinner and includes options like Fish Tikka with a Crispy Okra Salad, Lamb Chop Masala with onions, tomato and spices, Tandoori Broccoli and more. The restaurant celebrated its 20th anniversary this year and is open from 12 pm to 3 pm for lunch; 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm for dinner Monday through Saturday.
LoLo’s SEAFOOD SHACK
Here’s Harlem's original Cape Cod and Caribbean mashup. Chef Raymond Mohan and Owner Leticia "Skai" Young created a menu filled with island flavors including LoLo's Seafood Boil with a choice of shrimp, crawfish or snow crab legs, Fish Fry Baskets, Belizean Conch Fritters and Jerk Ribs. New summer favorites include Coconut Shrimp Spring Rolls, Lobster Tacos and Loaded Fries & Queso. LoLo’s, which stands for Locally Owned Locally Operated, has been opened since 2014 at 303 West 116th Street. It currently offers takeout, delivery and (self-serve) seated outdoor dining Monday through Saturday from 11 am to - 9:30 pm; Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm.
CARNEGIE DINER & CAFÉ
This Midtown favorite (205 West 57th Street) is now featuring outdoor dining and offers guests their delicious food rain or shine under scaffolding. Menu offerings include an array of omelettes, breakfast bowls, pancakes, waffles, French toast, salads, burgers, and triple decker sandwiches in addition to an array of desserts and drinks including frozen margaritas. Open daily from 9 am to 9 pm.
SUSHI LAB ROOFTOP
Nestled atop Midtown’s Sanctuary Hotel (132 West 47th Street), this new restaurant offers guests a creative spin on traditional sushi from Executive Chef Frankie Chen. The restaurant features Japanese small plates, along with creative Nigiri, Sashimi and Maki sushi. Of course, the star of the show is their omakase experience, utilizing only the freshest ingredients.
Transport yourself to the newest Japanese omakase restaurant from the team behind Takeshi Sushi and New York Sushi Ko. Kintsugi offers an unforgettable experience in the heart of SoHo ((28 Grand Street) with socially distanced outdoor dining otherwise unobtainable on the city sidewalks. There are 14 seats available outdoors for diners to enjoy Sushi Chef John Daley outdoor omakase, which is $95 and includes miso soup, chef’s small plate, three selected sashimi pieces, seven selected classic and seasonal nigiri and Tekkamaki. The restaurant is open from Tuesday through Friday with lunch from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm; dinner from 5:30 pm to 11 pm. Saturday lunch is served from 2 to 4 pm; dinner 5 to 11 pm.
LA MARGARITA PIZZERIA
The popular Lower East Side pizzeria (168 Ludlow Street) offers half a dozen coveted seats for outdoor diners. Only the freshest ingredients are used from local suppliers for their authentic New York-Style pizzas. Indulge in their Buffalo Chicken Pizza, Lasagna Pizza with sausage, ricotta, and homemade marinara sauce topped with fresh basil, and the Quattro Formaggi Pizza with Pecorino Romano, parmesan, provolone, mozzarella, and homemade marinara sauce. Of course, pair it with one of their exclusive cocktails like the Consigliere with blood orange juice and orange bitters infused Prosecco, the Tuscan Sun featuring Soju with pomegranate and lime juice, or the Ferrari Rozé Soju featuring Strawberry Rosé with balsamic syrup Soju. Dine al fresco from Tuesday through Thursday from 12 to 11 pm; Friday and Saturday from 12 pm to 1 am; and Sunday from 12 pm to 12 am.