New York’s Top 5 Spring Al Fresco Restaurants
With the weather warming up after a brutally eternal winter, we can finally shed our winter coats and venture outside. What better way to celebrate springtime than with a delicious meal? I spend a lot of time in New York City, which for the past six months has meant whipping winds, icy sidewalks, and snow showers. Now, 80 degree days are beckoning me to drink on rooftops, jog through Central Park, and
explore eat new parts of the city. Finally, the prime months for outdoor meals, cold beer, and beautiful sunsets have arrived! Let’s take full advantage.
1. Tiny’s & the Bar Upstairs (Tribeca, Manhattan – 135 West Broadway) http://tinysnyc.com
For those who cherish intimate candlelit meals, or anyone rooting for the Rangers as they compete for the Stanley Cup, Tiny’s is the place to be. Owned by Henrik Lundqvist (goalkeeper of the NY Rangers), Tiny’s is exactly what you would expect — small. This converted townhouse dating back over 200 years is the perfect place to celebrate the next playoff win, or unwind after a stressful week. Who knows, you might even bump into Henrik himself. In addition to its cozy atmosphere, wood paneling and intimate back room, it boasts a delectable menu. My advice — order the house made meatball appetizer!
2. Le Jardin Bistro (East Village, Manhattan – 115 Avenue C) http://lejardinbistro.com
Situated in Alphabet City, Le Jardin Bistro features classic French dishes in an unpretentious atmosphere — complete with a lovely garden. The outdoor space is ideal for the beginning stages of spring, before the temperature is warm enough to comfortably dine in the elements. Perfect for any type of gathering, the ambiance is casual enough for groups yet intimate enough for a romantic date. Not only is the staff known for being warm and attentive, but the bistro offers affordable, delicious French food— have you ever seen those 4 words strung together before? The gnocchi is creamy and decadent, served in a mushroom herb sauce. And of course, you can’t dine at a French restaurant and pass up onion soup.
Just a block away from Le Jardin lies Flinders Lane. This Australian wine bar is a fantastic place to relax with small plates and outstanding drinks. For those on the hunt for a palate pleasing snack or meal, Flinders Lane will not disappoint. If you’ve had your fill of bland or predictable dishes, try something new at Flinders Lane. May I recommend the peppered kangaroo loin? I admit, I ordered it solely for the wow-factor of eating kangaroo, but my taste buds were happily surprised. I also suggest the seaweed salad, which includes avocado and optional shrimp.
4. New Leaf (Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan – 1 Margaret Corbin Dr) http://newleafrestaurant.com
At the tip of Manhattan, nestled in Fort Tryon Park, New Leaf Restaurant & Bar offers outdoor dining beneath the trees. After months of being cooped up in apartments with snowy windowpanes, there is no greater or rarer treat than lush greenery in Manhattan. I recommend the salmon served with butternut squash puree and seasonal vegetables. Pair that with a tasty meal of American food and a seasonal cocktail, and forget a cruise to the Caribbean: I’d say paradise is just a subway ride away.
5. Northern Territory (Williamsburg, Brooklyn – 12 Franklin Street) http://northernterritorybk.com
As the weather heats up and sunlight invites us outdoors, I find myself eager for the first barbecue of the season. Northern Territory offers more than your standard kick-off-summer barbecue. Here in trendy Williamsburg, you can indulge in an Australian meal (complete with all Australian wait-staff), a relaxed rooftop bar and a prized front row view of the stunning New York City skyline. I advise ordering the sautéed mushroom bruschetta and the halloumi cheese to start with. Settle into a booth on the roof and be waited on while sipping on a mosow mule, or mingle at the biergarten-style tables. Northern Territory is a dream come true for watching the sun set over Manhattan as the string-lights twinkle late into the night.