Where to Dine Al Fresco in Boston in 2016, Despite the Chilly Temps
The weather is dicey and temperamental. Who cares – Bostonians certainly don’t. Neither do our beloved restaurants as they throw caution to the winds and open up their patios with fearless rigor. There is more than 80 estimated restaurants that offer diners al fresco dining options in Boston. Here are my favorites:
What better way to cheers to spring than with a glass of crisp rose at a table conveniently located just off of bustling Boylston? Bar Boulud knows how to encourage its guests to enjoy life, the small things, and the big things! For them, patio season is just the beginning. Celebrating his first spring with the restaurant, newly appointed Chef Jonathan Kilroy already has some killer dishes ramped up and ready to enjoy. Try out some ricotta cavatelli with prosciutto, grilled spring onion, pistachio, and mint or perhaps roasted merlu with English peas, green garlic, gem lettuce, and pea tendrils with that glass of wine…and, of course, hang out for dessert by pastry chef Robert Differ.
Mexican cuisine was meant to be enjoyed outdoors and Besito cuts no corners with its beautiful terrace. It also has built in back up heating in case it gets a bit chilly. Think fireplace and complimentary sarapes. Oh – and did I mention it will also offer sunglass cleaner on those deliciously bright sunny afternoons? Reserve a spot at Besito as a post-shopping treat. Indulge in table side guacamole, its Suizas –Swiss-style enchiladas with shredded chicken, tomatillo cream sauce, queso Chihuahua, onions, and cilantro, or for something a bit heartier, the salmon manchamanteles, with roasted salmon, crispy bananas, pineapple pico de gallo, or mole manchamanteles. If this doesn’t scream delicious opportunity, I don’t know what does.
From the genius restaurateur, Garrett Harker, comes yet another smash hit – this time in Watertown. Branch Line is most known for its rotisserie chicken. With patio season now underway, this spacious dining terrace, which has been retrofitted with a bocce court and fresh perennial garden, this spot is like an oasis just outside of the city. Head into Branch Line early, grab a beer and some bocce gear, and get a game going. Maybe you order a rotisserie chicken to enjoy at a table, or perhaps you order it to enjoy as a picnic – the choice is yours. Either way you are a winner!
Chef William Kovel of Catalyst in Technology Square has been anticipating spring just like the rest of us. For him and his culinary team, their beautiful patio and new spring dishes have made the wait even more antagonizing. Make a reservation for lunch or dinner. Try out its lighter spring fare like the beet salad with whipped feta, oranges, spiced granola, or the panzanella salad with Tuscan kale, pancetta, and watermelon radish. For something more filling, opt in with any of its homemade pastas or other main dishes. The Catalyst burger is always a good choice. Why not add in a trending, tri-color cauliflower steak or seared Acadian redfish? Either way, you will be outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather – preferably with a glass of something delicious too!
Located in the Fort Point neighborhood, Committee brings something new to the area. Flavors of the Mediterranean and Greece in particular keep this place pumping all day and all night. With its patio soon to be open, you can stop by for lunch, dinner, or brunch. Its beverage director, Peter Szigeti, manages an incredible crew of drink masters and whether they are pouring wine or mashing up a tiki drink – you are in for a good time. The food is also always on point. From dips and spreads like hummus, to babaganoush, and daily special twists. The moussaka just melts in your mouth. Enjoy traditional Greek pies tweaked to inspire creative minds.
Micheal Schlow reinvented his former Via Matta restaurant into a swanky new Greek/Mediterranean concept. Located opposite Tico, Doretta Taverna is a beautiful space, inside and out. In late May/early June, this new eatery will have an 80 seat patio. Head here for unique Greek wines, the freshest seafood, and delicious baklava.
Every south ender has been waiting for the moment when SRV opens up its secret terrace ever since this Venetian-style restaurant opened shop in winter. With homemade pasta dishes galore, small ‘cichetti’ bar snacks, and an all-Italian wine list that’ll make your head spin, this is going to be the place of the summer. Definitely reserve your spot ahead of time, or better yet, arrive early, grab some cichetti, and a glass of wine or aperol spritz, and make an evening out of it – Italian-style.