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outdoor dining

Now that the weather is getting nicer, wondering what are some good restaurants that have outdoor seating and good food. Mermaid Inn comes to mind and the food is decent in my opinion, but I'm looking for others. Also, which places actually allow you to reserve an outside table?
Thanks!

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  1. Casimir on Avenue B and 7th has an outdoor garden that isn't huge, but worth visiting. It's a very authentic quaint French Bistro with great food and laid back style. We love to brunch in the garden when the weather is nice.

    1. I like the patios at both Da Nico's and Home restaurants...Don't know if they allow you to make the actual reservation on the patio, but you could call and see....

      1. Gascogne, the French bistro, on 8th Av., b/t 17th & 18th Sts., is one of our favorite places to dine al fresco. Their charming back garden is truly lovely. Fortunately, the food's wonderful as well.

        When the weather is warm, they automatically seat people in the garden unless someone asks to dine indoors. Note that I've never been there on a busy Saturday night when it's possible that a garden table might not be available. So, when you call to reserve, you should certainly specify that you want to dine in the garden.

        http://www.gascognenyc.com

        L'Impero, on Tudor City Pl., b/t 42nd & 43rd St., has a very small, charming patio with a view of the park across the street. I don't think they take reservations for patio dining, so you have to hope there's a table available or be willing to wait for one.

        Note: It has just been announced that Chef Scott Conant will be leaving. His replacement is Michael White, formerly chef at Fiamma. Here's hoping that the Italian cuisine served at L'Impero will continue to be excellent.

        http://www.limpero.com

        Pampano, on 49th St., b/t 2nd & 3rd Avs., has a very nice terrace though tables are bit close together. It faces the street, but it's on the second floor, so there is no foot traffic. The modern Mexican cuisine served there, which emphasizes fish and seafood, is creative and delicious.

        http://www.modernmexican.com/pampano

        The outdoor patio at Tabla's Bread Bar with its view of Madison Square Park is quite pleasant, and the food's tasty.

        http://www.tablany.com

        And, of course, don't forget the Shake Shack. Lots of tables where you can relax and enjoy eating terrific burgers, fries, and soft ice cream in a lovely park setting.

        http://www.shakeshacknyc.com

        1. Not fancy at all, but I just had dinner at El Rey Sol on 14th between 7th and 8th for the first time last night. I thought they had closed because when I called the number I pulled from both Menupages and Citysearch to make a reservation, the woman told me I had reached the wrong number; so the advance reservations may be a bit dicey since they're apparently hard to reach. My group had settled on making the trek over to Tortilla Flats instead (it was a margarita crowd on a mission), but we were passing El Rey on the way. We stopped, they were open, the garden was LOVELY and there were tables available at 7 pm. The service was a bit bumbling and inept, but well intentioned and we weren't rushed (that's a glass half full assessment, they were rather slow). The food was better than I expected, spicier than most pedestrian Mexican places. The sangria and the margaritas were great. The indoor restaurant was empty, but the garden was close to full. I'm really looking forward to going back again soon. It was also incredibly cheap, $120 for 4 diners with tax, tip and drinks (only one app to share, and no dessert, though).

          1. Is there outdoor seating at the Central Park Boathouse restaurant?

            1 Reply
            1. Barolo in Soho has a great outdoor garden

              Also rio grande in murray hill has an outdoor patio which is fun for drinks / mexican

              Not sure how the food is there but The Park has a ton of outdoor space

              1 Reply
              1. I second Gascogne. A.O.C. also has a nice garden space.

                1. Gavroche on 14th between 7th & 8th has a lovely, spacious backyard space.

                  1. Rare on 37th and Lex in the Sherburn Hotel. Rooftop bar & dining. Gourmet burgers. Yummm...

                    1. A few garden spaces that come to mind...
                      Vespa on UES
                      Aleo in Chelsea
                      Palma in Greenwich Village