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Jul 13, 2006 02:40 PM

Updated alfresco dining choices

I managed to score a wonderfully cheap stay at the Sofitel for my fiance and I. We're looking for some nice outdoor dining choices, basically anywhere in the city, any cuisine for a Saturday to Monday stay. We've done all of the tried and true (River cafe, Luna Park, etc.) and are looking for some new and fun spots under the stars. We did the Shake Shack last weekend and were very pleased. Any ideas?

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  1. Yes, the Shake Shack is terrific!

    Our definition of "fun" is the experience of eating *delicious* food in pleasing surroundings. Here are some other places where we've enjoyed dining al fresco:

    L'Impero - Modern Italian - Patio

    Gascogne - Bistro French - Garden

    Gavroche - Bistro French - Garden

    Pampano - Modern Mexican - Terrace

    Tabla's Bread Bar - Indian fusion - Patio

    I Coppi - Italian - Garden

    Cacio e Pepe - Italian - Garden
    Caveat: For some strange reason, CeP does not use any umbrellas and has exactly *one* shady table (from a tree); ergo, best to go only in the evening when sun beating down is not a problem.

    You can also check out 'witchcraft, in Bryant Park. Although I've not had their sandwiches, Hounds who have say they're quite good. I have had their lemonade. Excellent! Note: Avoid the Bryant Park Grill. Lovely outdoor setting but, sadly, less than mediocre food.

    Hope you have a great time and Bon Appetit!

    1. Nougatine, the more casual option to Jean-Georges, has an outdoor patio.
      New Leaf Cafe, up in Fort Tryon Park, would be a nice adjunct to a Cloisters visit.
      Boathouse Cafe, in Central Park. Food is mediocre and overpriced, so keep it simple and don't visit on the crowded weekend. A Monday lunch will give you spectacular view.
      A Voce, an outdoor area lets you eat with a view of Madison Sq Park (and the miserable sods in the Shake Shack line.)
      Grab a burger at Rare then head up to the bar area at Rare View (great city views, up close to the Empire State)
      Alma, Brooklyn Mexican with margaritas on the rooftop, great view of the downtown skyline
      Harrys @ Water Taxi Beach, reachable by NY Waterways ferry, a faux beachfront in LIC for basic chow
      Centrico, new Mexican in Tribeca with a patio out front
      Las Ramblas, ate tapas here two days ago, with two sidewalk tables to see the bustle on W.4th St (see review in this week's NYT)
      Too many to name, really. Everyone's out in the summer!

      1. Liberty View Restaurant

        21 South End Ave., New York, NY 10280
        at the Hudson River

        At the southern end of the Promenade at Battery Park City. Shaded terrace with water views looking south to the lower Hudson and the harbor. Great location. My wife and I recently had a wonderful fried tofu with black mushrooms and well prepared Singapore noodles. If our experience is representative, the food does not take second place to the view.