Now that the weather is starting to cool off and sweater season is just around the corner, it's time to steer clear of the best restaurants for dining alfresco, and look instead towards those eateries that offer a warmer experience.
As far as décor goes, there is nothing quite like a fireplace to make a restaurant appear cozy and inviting to prospective diners. A great soundtrack can set the vibe quite nicely, but with a full house it can become more disruptive than enjoyable. Candles or floral centerpieces can add character to a table, but they can make it tough to share meals and converse with dining companions.
At some of the restaurants on this list, the fireplace adds an unexpected touch of hominess to an otherwise formal or modern setting, like the one at Per Se in New York City. Other places have a fireplace that brings a sense of historical significance to the restaurant, such as the one at 1789 Restaurant in Washington, D.C., which was part of the building's original design when it opened in 1789.
Whether the fireplace has a cool stone facade, like the one at The Fireplace in Brookline, Mass., or is made of polished, carved wood, like the one at Old Town Social in Chicago, it is sure to add atmospheric depth to any meal.
Think we missed your favorite fireplace eatery? Leave a comment below.