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Dining Out 2 minutes 18 July 2020

7 Restaurant Patios to Bask in the Summer Sun

The sun is up, Covid-19 is down (in New York City, thankfully). Seize the moment to dine al fresco at one of these MICHELIN-recommended spots.

New York City restaurants have reopened for outdoor dining, filling the streets and sidewalks with tables, umbrellas, and very eager diners. A handful of MICHELIN-recommended restaurants in New York are lucky enough to have back gardens or patios, tranquil hideaways where guests are cocooned from the city. Crunch homemade corn tostadas in Gowanus, moreish whipped ricotta in Fort Greene, and comforting bowls of pasta in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Note that some restaurants have reduced menus, some have time limits on tables so they can better serve you and, at all, masks are required except when seated at your table.


Claro

One MICHELIN Star, MICHELIN Guide New York City & Westchester County 2020

Tables and chairs beneath a vine-covered pergola in the big back patio here convey you from Gowanus to Oaxaca. The restaurant has 100-odd mezcals on its menu, best savored as you pour over the menu and order zingy, refreshing aguachile (day boat scallop, summer melon, charred habañero) and an oyster tostada—Claro’s sublime house-made corn tortilla with a masa-fried oyster, ranch crema, and curtido, a cabbage relish. As of this writing, Claro is open for dinner nightly and brunch Saturday and Sunday serving set menus (reservation only); drinks and snacks are served afternoons daily.

Photo Courtesy of Claro Restaurant
Photo Courtesy of Claro Restaurant

Baker & Co.

MICHELIN Bib Gourmand, MICHELIN Guide New York City & Westchester County 2020

From the team behind Aurora comes Greenwich Village restaurant Baker & Co., serving a compact, seasonal menu of pan-Italian favorites. Its simple back patio doesn’t have heaps of greenery, but it is sunny (and partially covered so you won’t get burnt) and quiet. It’s a pleasant place to eat with gusto a bright salad of pea shoots, fava beans, shaved fennel, mint, and pecorino or paccheri with wild mushrooms and sublime burrata. Italian wines, summery cocktails, and New York State craft beers are for sipping languidly.

Photo Courtesy of Baker & Co.
Photo Courtesy of Baker & Co.

Miss Ada

MICHELIN Bib Gourmand, MICHELIN Guide New York City & Westchester County 2020

Surrounded by a mural of tipplers, eager eaters on the big back patio at this restaurant relish Chef-Owner Tomer Blechman’s skewers (don’t sleep on the halloumi), small plates (like sweet potato hummus with crème fraîche), and Mediterranean-Middle Eastern favorites like stracciatella with heirloom tomatoes and a sweet version of Yemeni green hot sauce zhug.

Photo Courtesy of Miss Ada
Photo Courtesy of Miss Ada

Aurora

MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide New York City & Westchester County 2020

Tucking into a warm bowl of lightly creamy, peppery tonnarelli cacio e pepe in the ivy wreathed back garden of Aurora is a transportive experience. Surrounded by walls of ivy undulating in the breeze, your table covered in plates of charred octopus, spicy lamb meatballs, and bitey Tuscan kale, a glass of biodynamic white in hand, you’ll feel several thousand miles removed from Williamsburg. Aurora mixes Italian imports (mozzarella di bufala, burrata, and fior di latte cheeses and a lengthy list of mostly biodynamic and organic wines from small farmers) with house-made pastas and local, seasonal ingredients.

Photo Courtesy of Aurora Restaurant
Photo Courtesy of Aurora Restaurant

Barbetta

MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide New York City & Westchester County 2020

That a garden shaded by hundred-year-old trees, perfumed by gardenia and jasmine, and centered around a fountain with four stone cherubs would exist in Manhattan’s theater district is a small miracle. Barbetta has been serving its Piedmontese specialties since 1906, which is downright impressive. The thick cardstock menu notes the year in which each dish was added—like linguine with Genovese pesto, which made the cut in 1914, or beet risotto, added a century later. The wine cellar holds a cool 1,700 labels, some dating back to 1961.

Photo Courtesy of Barbetta Restaurant
Photo Courtesy of Barbetta Restaurant

Faun

MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide New York City & Westchester County 2020

Hidden behind the sunny dining room of this MICHELIN Plate restaurant is a wonderfully lush patio, shaded by trees and warmed by string lights. The menu is a baker’s dozen of well-priced contemporary American fare—think crab and chive ravioli in a seafood bisque or red snapper crudo with cilantro pesto and a zesty five-spice oil. Go full Brooklyn with the Locals Only negroni, with gin and aperitivo from Bed-Stuy distillery Forthave and vermouth from Standard Wormwood in Sunset Park. As of this writing, Faun is serving a limited menu, with drinks from 3pm and appetizers and pasta from 5:30pm, Thursday to Sunday.

Photo Courtesy of Faun Restaurant
Photo Courtesy of Faun Restaurant

I Trulli

MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide New York City & Westchester County 2020

A Flatiron stalwart for more than 25 years, this restaurant has a pretty patio where the white wooden pergola, stone floor, and myriad plants (yucca, birds of paradise, arboricola) will whisk you to Puglia. Much of the pasta here is usually rolled with precision and love by owner Nicola Marzovilla’s 84-year-old mother, Addolorata Marzovilla, aka Nonna Dora. Although she’s not in the kitchen right now, you can still order her favorite, orecchiette with rabbit ragu. A bowl of that, Nonna’s polpette, or a plate of burrata with roasted eggplant, and your Italian staycation can commence.

Photo Courtesy of I Trulli Restaurant
Photo Courtesy of I Trulli Restaurant

Hero image: Claro Restaurant in Gowanus. Photo Courtesy of Claro.

Dining Out

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