ATTACHÉ AL FRESCO: THE SEASON'S BEST IN OUTDOOR DINING, DOWNTOWN EDITION / by Brackett Bilodeau

Image courtesy of venuebook.com

Image courtesy of venuebook.com

There’s outdoor dining, and then there’s outdoor dining in NYC. We’re paying homage to the city that never sleeps -- or eats inside during the summertime.

1. SANTINA
Coastal Italian meets coastal Manhattan in Major Food Group’s latest venture, Santina. Rich Torrisi, Mario Carbone, and Jeff Zalaznick along with renowned architect Renzo Piano bring this glass-ensconced beauty to the High Line, drawing inspiration from the neighborhood’s rich history and featuring signature dishes Italian in spirit and modern in execution. Sipping meloncello beneath the High Line never sounded so good.

820 Washington Street at Gansevoort Street


2. BARBUTO
Jonathan Waxman's refreshingly airy garage-doored space and market-driven menu is the reason for the outdoor dining season. This industrial, bare-bones West Village gem features an open kitchen, a wood-burning brick oven, white brick walls, and no-frills Italian cuisine exude coolness...figuratively and literally. Snag a sidewalk two-top or breezy dining room table, which may as well be outside with those garage door walls perpetually propped for ultimate bacalao al fresco consumption.

775 Washington Street between West 12th and Jane Streets


3. GALLOW GREEN
A rooftop haven filled with foliage, craft cocktails, and a bit of magic -- now we're talking. Enter the McKittrick Hotel, home to Sleep No More, and take in the twinkling lights and panoramic skyline. Is that a railroad track leading to a tunnel of ivy? Why, yes. Yes it is.

542 West 27th Street between Tenth and 11th Avenues


4. CHARLIE BIRD
A menu reflective of the restaurant's commitment to organic approach and delivery makes Charlie Bird a true pioneer in the farm-to-table movement. With an edge, of course. Take in the eclectic scene, rife with elements inspired by the likes of Warhol, Basquiat, and Haring, standing up to the strong flavors coming from the kitchen.

5 King Street at Sixth Avenue


5. NARCISSA
Ah, Narcissa. Queen of Cuteness of the Outdoor Dining Sovereignty. We made that up, but it might as well be real. Think lush greenery, chambray banquettes, lounge chairs, and ample outdoor space (not taken for granted 'round these parts). Michelin-star studded Chef John Fraser helms the open kitchen, serving up farm-fresh and artisanal dishes with ingredients sourced directly from André Balazs's Hudson Valley farm. A little slow roasted bone-in prime ribeye with gem salad and sea salt potatoes under the Manhattan sky never hurt anyone.

21 Cooper Square between East 5th and 6th Streets (inside Standard East)


6. CLAUDETTE
Downtown meets Provence with a touch of North African flavor at Fifth Avenue’s quaintest coastal brasserie. Executive Chef Wade Moises and Chef de Cuisine Koren Grieveson bring exquisite market-driven dishes to the table in a warm, inviting atmosphere reminiscent of travels through the Côte d'Azur. Take in the rosé selection and grab a seat overlooking the sidewalk. And come hungry...the small “du jardin” plates are to die for, starring as the perfect opening act to a standout collection of entrées, including a chicken tagine that’s as gorgeous as it is mouthwatering. Trouble choosing? Let the impeccable brigade of hand-selected wait staff take the reins. The bottom line is this: one simply can’t go wrong at Claudette. Then again, we’d expect nothing less from a relative of Rosemary’s and BOBO.

24 Fifth Avenue at 9th Street


7. MONTMARTRE
NYC's latest French import has arrived in the form of a contemporary Parisian bistro in the heart of Chelsea, complete with a bi-level garden at the head of the running for the neighborhood's best outdoor space. The courtyard features its very own bar and ample seating, as well as an herb garden tended by Brooklyn Grange. Head here for a leisurely lunch, dinner al fresco, or a round of summer-inspired cocktails. Go for "Le Chabichou," a bright concoction of Sapin, green chartreuse, lemon, honey, and pilsner.

158 Eighth Avenue at 18th Street

Contact your Attaché for reservations.