Our critic's picks for dining out-of-doors
Say hello to my friend Al Fresco. I love him crazy. And I know you do, too. He's everywhere these days — sitting seductively on the...
Seattle Times restaurant critic
Say hello to my friend Al Fresco. I love him crazy. And I know you do, too. He's everywhere these days — sitting seductively on the sidewalk, gallivanting in the garden, preening on the patio and dancing on the deck. When I have time to join him, the opportunities are endless. Here are a couple of dozen delightful spots where we like to meet up.
Kid-friendly, but you'll like it, too
Chinook's at Salmon Bay
1900 W. Nickerson St., Seattle (206-283-4665 or www.anthonys.com). Lunch Mondays-Fridays, dinner nightly (beginning at 1:30 p.m. Sundays), brunch Saturdays-Sundays.
All hands on (the) deck! The vessel-filled view of Fisherman's Terminal will keep the small fries busy with their fish 'n' chips while you knock back a beer and some oysters.
1131 34th Ave., Seattle (206-726-1522, www.stclouds.com). Dinner nightly, brunch Saturdays-Sundays.
"Orphans" young and old will find family to welcome them in Madrona, where comfort-food favorites are gussied up for deliciousness' sake and one and all join hands in thanks for those backyard tables.
Wine and dine
Beàto Food & Wine
3247 California Ave. S.W., Seattle (206-923-1333 or www.beatoseattle.com). Dinner Tuesdays-Sundays.
Find this intimate, Italianate wine bar blessedly off-the-"bay-ah"-ten track from West Seattle's main drags. Sip and sup on a tree-lined street, quietly drinking in the neighborhood ambiance.
Impromptu Wine Bar Cafe
4235 E. Madison St., Seattle (206-860-1569 or www.impromptuwinebar.com). Lunch Wednesdays-Sundays (till Labor Day), dinner Tuesdays-Sundays.
This luxurious little ledge at the end of Madison Park is perfect for an impromptu snack or the full-meal deal, dreamier still when shared over a glass of grape-y goodness.
Pecos Pit BBQ
2260 First Ave. S., Seattle (206-623-0629). Lunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.
Line up at Sodo's windows of wonder for honking helpings of barbecue bodaciousness: mighty, meaty, porky, beefy sandwiches spiked — if you dare — with a hot link.
XXX Root Beer Drive-In
98 N.E. Gilman Blvd, Issaquah (425-392-1266 or www.triplexrootbeer.com). 11 a.m-8 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, till 9 Fridays-Saturdays.
Roll out the barrel, show up in your vintage cruiser and satisfy your inner sha-na-na at this iconic Issaquah joint whose picnic-table pastimes include major burger-burping (three patties are better than one!).
Elliott's Oyster House
1201 Alaskan Way, Seattle (Pier 56) (206-623-4340 or www.elliottsoysterhouse.com). Lunch and dinner daily.
There's more to this classic Seattle seafarer than its namesake bay and bivalve, but just try to find a better selection of the latter while gazing out at the former.
Ponti Seafood Grill
3014 Third Ave. N., Seattle (206-284-3000 or www.pontiseafoodgrill.com). Dinner nightly.
The Fremont Bridge is construction-"free at last!" and where better to celebrate than at this Ship Canal villa-with-a-view? Ponti still reels them in with a pro's fusion of cuisines, making the best of Northwest seafood and more.
901 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle (206-749-5639 or www.joeysrestaurants.com). Lunch and dinner daily.
Boom-chicka boom. And the boy-toys don't do too badly, either, out on the (21-and-over) deck, partying with pitchers of fruity bellinis, sharing sushi-tacos and taking in aquatic action on South Lake Union.
Luau Polynesian Lounge
2253 N. 56th St., Seattle (206-633-LUAU or www.luaupolynesianlounge.com). Happy hour daily noon-6 p.m., dinner nightly.
Pupus and mai tais on the porch, plus an all-day happy hour here where the whole kitsch-'n'-caboodle can get some vitamin D along with their R&R. Chilly, is it? Then roast your mitts over a hibachi while toying with the tropical concoctions on the plate and in the glass.
Viva la France
1600 Post Alley, Seattle (206-728-CAFE or www.campagnerestaurant.com). Lunch Mondays-Fridays, dinner nightly, brunch Saturdays-Sundays.
Postcard-perfect Post Alley embraces these terrific tables, part of the sidewalk scenery that sets the stage at this traditional French bistro.
Madison Park Cafe
1807 42nd Ave. N., Seattle (206-324-2626 or www.madisonparkcafe.citysearch.vista.com).Dinner Tuesdays-Saturdays, brunch Saturdays-Sundays.
Baked eggs and oven-fresh sweets taste even better when basking in the sunlight at brunch. A bottle of vin not-so-ordinaire enjoyed with evening's repast goes a long way toward explaining our long-standing relationship with this cozy courtyard.
Garden of earthly delights
7314 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle (206-706-7703 or www.carmelita.net). Dinner Tuesdays-Sundays.
It's a garden party on this darling little deck. The profusion of greenery is echoed on a vibrant vegetarian/vegan menu that sings an artistic aria to the sunny season.
425 N.W. Market St., Seattle (206-781-4883). Dinner Tuesdays-Saturdays.
This not-so-secret garden — part of the bar adjoining Le Gourmand — could inspire Monet. Its fragrant footpath sprouts colorful culinary twists and turns, as do the boozy elixirs and pretty little nibbles, enjoyed at a handful of tables.
2234 First Ave., Seattle (206-728-8595 or www.flyingfishseattle.com). Lunch Mondays-Fridays, dinner nightly.
The sidewalk setting offers urban scenesters front-row seats to everything wild and organic. And we're not just talking about the menu, whose lure is a creative take on sensational seafood.
2331 Second Ave., Seattle (206-441-9842 or www.trenchtownrocks.com ). Dinner nightly.
Linger longer at this slender Euro-styled hangout. Sip cocktails, snack on Miss Marjorie's Steel Drum Plantain Chips and delve into a dining experience that reads global and eats local.
Get on the Boat
Boat Street Café & Kitchen
3131 Western Ave., Suite 301, Seattle (206-632-4602 or www.boatstreetcafe.com). Lunch Mondays-Fridays, dinner Tuesdays-Saturdays, brunch Saturdays-Sundays.
There's no boat, nor street: just this calming urban oasis by day, torch-lit for romance at night. The seductive garden setting and simple French fare capture the essence of Southwest France.
241 Winslow Way W., Bainbridge Island (206-842-2448 or www.madokaonbainbridge.com). Dinner Wednesday-Sundays.
It's a hearty walk from the ferry terminal to this pleasant patio tucked away in downtown Winslow. Your reward? Carefully crafted cocktails, fine wines and a peerless Pan-Pacific menu.
The Pink Door
1919 Post Alley, Seattle (206-443-3241 or www.thepinkdoor.net). Lunch Monday-Saturdays, dinner nightly.
Cheeky not chic-y! Yes, the pink portal opens onto this daring doyenne of Italian-American pop-culcha, but it's the doors leading to rooftop revelry that keep us coming back for food, drink and fun.
28835 Pacific Highway S., Federal Way (253-946-4122). Lunch and dinner daily.
Pasta and pizza, scampi and Sinatra and a view of Poverty Bay from a terrace poised on high make this South Ender a warm-weather contender.
2043 Eastlake Ave. E., Seattle (206-323-0807 or www.serafinaseattle.com). Lunch Mondays-Fridays, dinner nightly, brunch Sundays.
Can't get to Italy? Get to Eastlake, where this long-loved trattoria's rustic rewards extend from the regionally influenced kitchen to the "boot"-y-licious wine list to the gorgeous country courtyard in back.
5411 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle (206-789-5100 or www.volterrarestaurant.com). Dinner nightly, brunch Saturdays-Sundays.
Old Ballard meets New Ballard on this street-side patio where nightlife is part of the scenery, the Sunday farmers market adds brunch-time color and Italian classics get contemporary treatment.
Hills' Food & Wine
1843 Richmond Beach Road, Shoreline (206-542-6353). Lunch and dinner Tuesdays-Saturdays, brunch and dinner Sundays.
Richmond Beach regulars come for Northwest-inspired bistro fare and this trellised terrace, where umbrellas provide shade when it's sunny, heat lamps take off the chill when it's not, and privacy trumps proximity to the adjoining parking lot.
117 Fifth Ave. S., Edmonds (425-771-1200 or www.redtwig.com). 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays.
Ladies who lunch, cyclists who brunch and coffee-klatchers and other savvy setters rely on this bustling Edmonds bakery-cafe-and-coffeeteria (they roast their own) for everything from soups and salads to omelets and crepes enjoyed on the sunny patio.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 08:57 AM
'Glee' could cover more Michael, Janet ... and ABBA
UPDATE - 09:14 AM
Carey 'embarrassed' over Gadhafi-linked concert
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.