Eat Now: Al Fresco Edition


We’ve said it once (OK, a few times) and we’ll say it again: summer means outdoor dining preferably of the fresh seafood, juicy tomatoes and Provence rosé persuasion— on any rooftop, backyard or sidewalk that will host us. So after snooping around town a bit, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite al fresco dining rooms for summer 2015. These streets were made for eating… and it just so happens, our waistband-less caftans were too. Check it.

1. Café Standard
Things you can have at Café Standard all-day, every day: crispy calamari, avocado sandwiches topped with pistachio pesto and André Balazs’ Sunset Beach rosé… We’re not sure why you (or we)’d ever leave. (Oh, there are pitchers of rosé sangria and grapefruit margaritas too, you know, in case you’re into that kind of thing.)
*Recommended by Hannah Bronfman and Veronica Miele Beard


2. Alta Linea
Charred shishito peppers, frito misto with lemon aioli and dishes that scream summer— think grilled wax beans with feta and an eggplant panini with pickled peppers— make the newest project from the Epicurean Group (of L’Artusi, dell’anima, Anfora and L’Apicio fame) one of the more exciting openings of the season. Located in the courtyard of The High Line Hotel, the outdoor spot’s drink menu is just as on point: great white wine by the glass, frozen Negronis and the Pomello Punch (Belvedere Vodka, St. Germain, Aperol and Grapefruit) which Owner Joe Campanale loves because, “it’s refreshing, but still boozy. If you make it at home, you can put it in a punch bowl with a large ice cube (freeze a quart container) and really get the party started.”
*Recommended by CITIPHILE


3. Claudette
Though this Greenwich Village spot is a date night standby, we love it just as much for a charming lunch with friends. Chef Wade Moises recommends the restaurant’s Ahi Tuna Niçoise salad when dining on its chic Fifth Avenue sidewalk. With whipped eggs, haricot vert, crispy potato, mint, chives and tarragon, it’s a CITIPHILE midday favorite.
*Recommended by Rebecca Minkoff, Simon Doonan, Indre Rockefeller, Elaine Welteroth, Timo Weiland and Tanya Taylor


4. La Piscine at Hotel Americano
Mediterranean fare with a view, Hotel Americano’s La Piscine is among the finer rooftops in town. Chef Andrés Grundy says, “our grilled branzino marinated with preserved lemon and parsley accompanied by the “La Flaca” cocktail (a light margarita with Dobel Tequila and frozen jalapeño) is perfect for al fresco dining.” He had us at grilled branzino…
*Recommended by Kevin Kollenda, Katia Kuethe, Alexa Adams and Flora Gill


5. Bar Primi
If we can’t make a summer pilgrimage to Europe to mingle with all of the beautiful people, at least Bar Primi lets us pretend to. Chef and Partner Sal Lamboglia says, “A glass of Aglianico and a bowl of Spaghetti Pomodoro on our terrace reminds me of summer days in Naples.” Staycation game strong.
*Recommended by CITIPHILE

6. Untitled
The new Whitney’s restaurant Untitled has gotten a lot of attention thanks to an all-star chef (Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern) and stunning architecture (the massive building is designed by Renzo Piano), but what makes it extra-special is the outdoor seating that runs along the outside. Sip on a cocktail or two and watch the sun set over the Hudson River before heading inside for dinner; there are worse ways to wait for a table.
*Recommended by Meredith Melling and Valerie Boster


7. Roberta’s
We love a good backyard party with friends, especially in the summer. The problem is: we live in New York and we haven’t seen a backyard since the holidays in the suburbs with our parents. Roberta’s takes care of that problem- it’s the backyard you’re likely never to have. Chef de Cuisine Nick Barker recommends, “Wellfleet oysters and the black bass ceviche. We have formed great relationships with oyster farmers and fishermen on Cape Cod, MA so that we can get the best seafood possible. You really can’t go wrong.” God bless Roberta’s.
*Recommended by Athena Calderone, Scott Morrison, Britt Maren and Megan O’Neill


8. Gallow Green
Up above Sleep No More lies Gallow Green, a rooftop cocktail lounge with a casual, but elegant crowd and similarly matched décor. Chef R.L. King says: “our big red tomatoes are a refreshing outdoor dish: we use large tomatoes, cucumbers, arugula and herbs from our on-site aeroponic towers and combine that with Chardonnay vinegar, dried black olives, yogurt, salt, good olive oil and allepo. It’s the perfect meal for a breezy, relaxing summer night.”
*Recommended by Alexa Adams and Flora Gill


9. Gemma at The Bowery Hotel
Antipasti, truffle pizza, wine and cheese, it’s a staple of so many CITIPHILE contributors for a reason. At this time of year, Executive Chef Chris D’Amico suggests the restaurant’s Burrata Caprese as “burrata cheese is best served in a warmer environment. The warmer, drier air releases the nutty aromas and tastes of the creamy cheese,” the Four Seasons pizza (covered with basil, artichoke, prosciutto, and mushrooms) and the Fusilli Primavera con Pesto with summer peas, asparagus, zucchini, and fava beans. “It’s lighter, more flavorful pasta,” says D’Amico, “great for outdoor dining.” Go, eat, linger and people watch: pretty people will be here. 
*Recommended by Valentina Zelyaeva, Erica Domesek, Sara Sampaio, Claire Distenfeld and Alicia Rountree


10. Café Clover
Earlier this year, this West Village newcomer made us fall in love with vegetables all over again, serving up farm-fresh plates like celery root and rutabaga with crushed pistachios and cauliflower steak with romesco. Now with airy outdoor seating (each table is topped with a mini, potted succulent), we can’t wait to go back and try its newest menu additions: a rhubarb gazpacho with avocado and peekytoe crab, octopus a la plancha and quinoa tagliatelle. Plus, they’re doing serious things to brunch— read avocado toast, chia granola and quinoa pancakes, oh my.
*Recommended by CITIPHILE



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