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Jun 26, 2007 06:28 PM

Brooklyn Al Fresco, 2007

Coming back to Brooklyn from LA for one night before a wedding in CT in August. We'll be staying in Brooklyn Heights and want outdoor dining within a mile-long walk or so -- really missing those humid NYC summer nights (unbelievable but true -- even after 8 years of "dry heat" in LA).

Patois is out b/c I've already taken my husband there on a previous trip; we love Saul, but alas, no garden; and I can't seem to get a straight answer one way or another about Noodle Pudding. Would prefer to steer clear of Thai and Middle Eastern just because we can get it so easily at home.

So, common question, but always ready for an update: What's great and garden-y *this* summer?



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  1. Noodle Pudding does not have an outdoor garden area although the front completely opens up and they put tables out on the sidewalk. Best bet in the Heights proper.

    5 Front's food is still good but has slipped a bit in the last year or so. But it has a nice back outdoor area and is one block from the water down by the River Cafe. Best view in NYC but not with dinner.

    Chestnut (Smith St) has a back outdoor area that's paved but nice to sit in while eating. And the food's very good. Much better than Patois. Much better than any other place with an outdoor area.

    Jolie on Atlantic off Smith has a very nicely done backyard area but I'm not fond of the food. Others are, so you decide.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Steve R

      I think Lunetta has a backyard dining area. Lunetta is very good Italian, on Smith Street between Pacific and Dean (so within your distance parameters). Some very good reviews on this board.

    2. It might be slightly outside your 1 mile radius, but Frankies Spuntino has a really pleasant outdoor area, and the food is excellent. Its at 457 Court St. in Carroll Gardens. A longer walk home is sometimes just the trick after gorging on their pasta.

      1. Grocery has a lovely garden out back.

        4 Replies
        1. re: elecsheep9

          Is Grocery still good? I don't get back home as often as I'd like, but I seem to remember stories of them slipping a bit, quality and service-wise (though it seems to me their service was always a little weird).

          I'll check out Chestnut; Frankies sounds lovely, but my problem with Italian is always that with good ingredients and cooking skills, it's never *too* hard to make a reasonable version of many (though of course not every) dishes at home -- given the time, patience, etc. And with only one night in New York ...people will swear up and down that LA is a foodie town, and it *is* great for ethnic stuff in far-flung suburbs, but other than that, eh, not so much.

          1. re: heathmitch

            just went to grocery, serivse was lovely however the food not at all interesting. Id never been tehre before, so that might be the way it always was, but mine was boring. I think my friend said he liked his and this was his birthday dinner.
            so it was pretty far in a ditch as far as i was concerned. But i don't know if it was slippage, or always like taht. .

            1. re: heathmitch

              Lunetta is pretty similar to Frankies, so if Frankies doesnt work for you Lunetta prob wont either.

              I really like Chesnut though there's nothing stand-out amazing about their food...more well prepared with local ingredients sort of thing.

              you wont find a saul experience at any of the patio places I can think of in the immediate area. i guess maybe convivium is your best bet. but it's a little further a walk.

              1. re: Nehna

                I love Convivium (oh those raviolis with apple and cinnamon!!), but last time I was there, the backyard was closed for construction. I would suggest calling to make sure the backyard is open before making the trek over there. And, if you want to avoid the walk, the B63 bus runs across Atlantic and then up 5th Avenue--so it's virtually door-to-door from the Heights to Convivium.

          2. Alma, at Columbia and Degraw, has a really nice rooftop dining terrace with great views of lower manhattan. go to to see a view from the roof.

            1. Oh, and the food at Alma is also really good.