Sitting Outdoors in Financial District
In the WFC, you have Southwest and PJ's by the water, and they would be great on a day like today. I'd have to say both serve fairly mediocre food at best, though PJ's is probably a bit better than Southwest.
Further down south, you have Liberty View, which serves Shanghai-styled Chinese food (but that might not fit your idea of brunch!), and there's a sushi restaurant called Kaijou right next door, which I have never been to.
There are quite a few places that you can dine outdoor in FiDi for brunch:
As mentioned, at World Financial Center you have:
- PJ Clarke's (great burgers, good and big omelette, fine raw bar), and
- Southwest (great flatbread pizza, otherwise very mediocre and poor service)
Both are located right next to the water
At South Street Seaport, you have Heartland Brewery with handcraft beer and burgers. A bit touristy over the weekend but sometimes you can free concerts
Gigino Wagner Park has great water view and very good Italian food. Probably the best service among all I mentioned
On Stone Street, Ulysses have all you can get Sunday brunch and you can eat outside (not by the water though). Food is fine but it's a bargain for all the oysters and carved meat and egg station and such. Service is close to none... Other restaurants on Stone St. (e.g. Adrienne's for pizza, Financier for pastries) will have outdoor seatings over the weekend.
On Stone Street,
It's so sad there are not more quality restaurants on the water downtown. I'd probably go to Steamer's for brunch on West side. Near the Seaport I'd go to Table Tales (no water views, they may have 1 or 2 tables outside) and walk over to the East River Esplanade/views of The Waterfalls afterwards. Not sure if they have "brunch" and they may not have their beer/wine license yet. Acqua on Peck Slip is a decent Italian with outdoor seating. If you do a search of this Board you'll see my other recs for Seaport North area. Ditto Kobe's Heartland Brewery is an option, if you don't mind being in the touristy area. Ulysses is a good option if you like to eat alot. Enjoy!