Before It’s Too Late!

Outdoor dining venues in Manhattan are few and far between.  Not only that, but those facilities that do provide dining by moonlight are so highly sought after, that finding a reservation between 7:30 and 9:30 is like finding a pair of size 7 Jimmy Choo Shoes at the end of a sale at Saks. 

Let me make your last few nights of dining under the stars easier by making three suggestions that will take you away from the lines, frustrations and waits (even with reservations) at Bar Pitti, Barolo, Pastis, Vento and the Boat Basin.  Don’t get me wrong, all great places to eat, be seen and socialize, but wouldn’t you prefer an easier, more relaxed setting?  One that will honor your requests!

Remember, the real goal of eating outside is to wish on a shooting star while you’re comfortable at your table sharing a bottle of wine, not to wish for your reservation to be honored.

First, try Tree on the Lower East Side. As if you planned a picnic for your date, you will dine on picnic tables and choose from a small bistro type selection of foods that are fresh and steadfast. The staff may be a bit slow, but they are knowledgeable about their menu and amiable.  Really, what’s the rush when you’re debating between constellations anyway?  I recommend it as a low key, first date venue where you’re psyched about delicious, unpretentious food and the peace and quiet of New York at its tranquil best.

Second, Trestle on Tenth in Chelsea is a nice escape from heart of the area. It may be a bit more ostentatious than Tree, but not nearly as intimidating as the other venues in and around the area.  Trestle is ideal for any swanky, art gallery type or stylish neighborhood couple.  It has an open and friendly bar in the front, wooden tables and then an open, airy, garden that even neighborhood locals don’t know about. It can be your hidden, little, Chelsea secret. Open for just over a year, this brick walled, yet warm and cozy venue allows for home cooked comfort food in a light and airy way.

Third and finally, Tartine in the West Village. I finally just dealed with the no reservation policy, and waited, and waited and waited, but BOY was worth it. This BYO only sits about 20 inside and 10 outside, while all the others just stand on the sidewalk drooling over the French Bistro like fare that is whizzing by.  The staff is fun and appreciative of those who wait, and although you can’t drink on the street anymore, it’s worth bringing a few bottles along for meal time.  Once you are seated, there’s no rush, so open as many bottles as you bring and don’t get up until they’re gone! Sitting outside on the street is good for tables of two, but anymore than that, you’re better off sitting inside Tartine.  The windows and doors are always open giving even the inside, that outdoor feeling without being able to see the stars.  The food is way above par, but let’s be honest, with Magnolia Bakery just down the road, why  not skip dessert at Tartine, remain outside for a quick walk under the moonlight and satisfy your sweet tooth with a cupcake under the stars.

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