Maybe it’s the fresh air and your new-found sunny disposition, but food always seems to taste better when you’re dining outdoors, no? Add on those a la carte options like people watching and a gentle breeze tousling your hair, and you’ve got the perfect menu for an unforgettable outing. Here are our favorite al fresco hotspots.
Café Matisse (167 Park Avenue, Rutherford, 201-935-2995) Snag a spot in the much-beloved, french style, romantic garden curated by Café Matisse and you’ll be rewarded with the perfect intimate dining experience guaranteed to rekindle romance or make a pal feel like the girl of the hour.- pair that with Chef Peter Loria’s exquisite cuisine and everyone leaves happy.
Orama (595 River Rd, Edgewater, 201-945-2020) If you can imagine being perched atop the Hudson River with sweeping 180 degree views of the city skyline then you’ll get the gist of what outdoor dining at Edgewater’s new Orama restaurant will be like when they start serving on their terrace at the end of May. The only thing we would add is to snag your table very early if you want that prime real estate for a special evening.
Sear House (411 Piermont Rd, Closter, 201-292-4612) added on a rooftop lounge/dining area last season that is nothing short of fabulous. If weather conditions are right, you can dine on their steak and other fine fare with treetop views and a breeze in your hair.
Varka Restaurant (30 N Spruce St, Ramsey, 201-995-9333) We love Varka in any season, and in lieu of an actual trip to the Greek Isles, we’ll settle for a meal on their breezy patio any day. Trust us, with a glass of Greek White in one hand and a Whole Fish for Two on the table, all you’ll be missing is the beach.
Haven Restaurant (45 River Rd, Edgewater, 201-943-1900) If city views are your game, Haven’s the name. Based on the spectacular winter-time views at Haven Edgewater, we had a feeling spring would bring outdoor patio vistas that were even better. Tables nestled up to the Hudson River and clear skyline views almost made us forget about the perfectly prepared appetizers we were nibbling on. Almost.
Pier 701(701 Piermont Ave, Piermont, NY, 201-848-2550) What do you get when you take a Hudson River town with abundant piers and a foodie crowd? The one year old Pier 701, opened by veteran chef Dennis Whitton. With ample deck space stretching out onto the Hudson, views of the Tappan Zee, a very large “tiki bar” and a seasonal menu, the resto is the perfect place to meet your pals for eats and drinks at sunset.
Locale (208 Piermont Rd, Closter, (201) 750-3233) For stunning patio dining and a good wine list to boot, visit Locale in Closter. The large round tables surrounded by huge umbrellas ensuring no chair is in danger of overexposure lend themselves to special occasion dining- in other words, you can host a ladies lunch here without a worry about someone complaining there’s too much sun in their eyes.
Sidewalk Bistro (482 Piermont Ave, Piermont, 201-680-6460) Sure, a passerby will notice Sidewalk Bistro’s patio tables set out on the charming Piermont Ave, but what they won’t see is the cozy, french style garden behind the main dining room. For intimate, quiet, green space, and authentic bistro cuisine insiders know to head to the back of the restaurant where one (or two) can linger for hours over a bottle of Sancerre and Mussels.