’Tis the Season (FINALLY) for Outdoor Dining
The time has come to sip a cool drink while indulging in the warm summer breeze. Here are eight spots where the view is as good as the food.
One of the many awesome things about summer is that you don’t have to choose between fine cuisine and maintaining your homeostasis. You can have your view and eat too — and we suggest you do so soon; the warm fresh air will turn crisp faster than we care to think about.
Here are our picks for eight of the best spots for outdoor dining around Greater Boston.
1. Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House (Seaport)
If you haven’t been to my favorite steakhouse in the city, you should fix that. While the trendy vibe is a little flashy, the taste can back it up. The onion rings come thick as donuts in a towering pile, the lobster tails look like they belong to sea monsters and the bone-in wagyu is big enough to split, but rich enough that you won’t want to. And if all that isn’t enough to tempt you, then the waterfront patio with spectacular views of the Seaport harbor should do the trick.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House — 250 Northern Ave., Boston, 617.951.1368, delfriscos.com/steakhouse/boston
2. Eastern Standard Kitchen (Kenmore Square)
The Kenmore Square restaurant, called a "perfect restaurant" by the former Boston Globe food critic, boasts patio seating — a fluid outdoor extension of the dining room, really — near enough to Fenway that you can feel the excitement, but not so much that you feel trapped in the chaos. Pro-tip: Their non-alcoholic cocktails deserve just as much love as their boozy ones.
Eastern Standard Kitchen — 528 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617.532.9100, easternstandardboston.com
3. The Beehive (South End)
The Tremont Street patio of this brazenly bohemian staple is well-suited for people-watching, with music and art as popular as its food. (A restaurant that wins Boston Magazine’s “Best Pick-Up Bar” and “Best Kid-Friendly Brunch” awards in the same year is bound to be interesting.) Special attention is given to the weekend jazz brunches, which I wrote about last December.
The Beehive — 541 Tremont St., Boston, 617.423.0069, beehiveboston.com
4. Area Four (Kendall Square)
Comfort food doesn’t get much more classic than pizza and coffee, and Area Four has received enough praise on both accounts to fill every food blog in town. The vibe is very MIT, which is to say sleek and creative and at the top of its game. If the pizza fills you up and the coffee doesn’t wake you up, lay on the green adjacent to the patio and be appreciative of the wonderful culinary scene that has sprouted up around the nuclear generator of weirdness that is MIT.
Area Four — 500 Technology Sq., Cambridge, 617.758.4444, areafour.com
5. Branch Line (Watertown)
The only thing better than chicken from the Branch Line rotisserie experts is that same meal in a picnic-type experience, complete with a Bocce court and perennial garden. The Watertown Arsenal is only getting prettier… and yummier. So very yummy.
Branch Line — 321 Arsenal St., Watertown, 617.420.1900, branchlinearsenal.com
6. Pier 6
The recently renovated seafood restaurant in Charlestown has a breathtaking panoramic view of the waterfront and the Boston skyline. Cool down with some Island Creek oysters and summery drinks while an ocean breeze drifts by one of the two outdoor dining options: a rooftop deck and a downstairs deck/patio.
Pier 6 — 1 Eighth St., Charlestown, 617.337.0054, pier6boston.com
7. Russell House Tavern (Harvard Square)
The Harvard Square area is full of culinary talent but Russell House may top my list. Tucked just enough off the street to have your own sense of space, the red brick outdoor terrace is great for a date night. And so is the menu, which ranges from top-notch executions of burgers, steak frites and slow-cooked chicken to escargots and frog legs for the more adventurous.
Russell House Tavern — 14 JFK St., Cambridge, 617.500.3055, russellhousecambridge.com
8. Alma Nove (Hingham)
This South Shore gem is not a celebrity-owned restaurant. It is an excellent restaurant that happens to be owned by a celebrity — one of the Wahlberg brothers, in case you’re wondering, but it really doesn’t matter. There is nothing about this place that’s skating by on hype. The restaurant is framed by walls of glass and accompanied by a sprawling patio with romantic fire pits, all overlooking the picturesque Hingham Harbor.
Alma Nove — 22 Shipyard Drive, Hingham, 781.749.3353, almanovehingham.com