Spring Tableside

On Saturday, as YA and I drove around, it seemed as if every restaurant in SW Minneapolis had chosen that day to assemble their outside tables and chairs and begin their outdoor service. Lots of folks were taking them up on the offer too.

Then on Sunday morning, when I let the dogs out, a fresh rainy burst of air hit me – aah, the smell of Spring. Finally.  Made me wish I has sat outside at a restaurant table the day before to sip wine and appreciate the first truly warm day of the season.

Do you have a favorite outdoor restaurant/dining spot?

20 thoughts on “Spring Tableside”

  1. My back yard. The picnic table is rickety and shabby but it sure is convenient. Just bring my food out the back door. I don’t eat out so that is all I’ve got.

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    1. i have memories of many great outdoor joints
      maybe that’s the reason i have an ambition to be the rooftop guy. i want to design build and be the guy people think of when found a rooftop option to their building.
      i could go on and on about buildings that build a roof top garden and find its the hit of the space.
      new york city seems to get it. many new rooftop seating areas are being incorporated into architectural design but so much more is possible
      i could start tomorrow and do it until i was dead

      i think of places in various favorite spots in italy china san fransisco new orleans and am transported by outdoor cafes

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      1. There are several hotels in Monte Carlo that have really capitalized on their rooftop space. In addition to Monte Carlo being so small they need all the space they can get, they charge a fortune, and get it, for people who want to watch the Grand Prix from the rooftop.

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  2. I like the outdoor seating at Wise Acre which is where Liberty Custard used to be. A lot of outdoor restaurant seating is on the sidewalk and very close to the street. At Wise Acre it’s off in the corner and not right on the street.

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  3. There is the Boat House Restaurant down on the Mississippi here in Winona – its main room is glass-enclosed, but you feel like you’re outside, and if memory serves there are a few outside tables in the summer. Great place for watching the river traffic.

    Across the river in Fountain City, WI, there was Fortunata’s, the coolest, funkiest coffee shop with an outdoor porch/patio, again, right on the river. Unfortunately it’s not open this season due to the owner’s health problems, but I’m crossing my fingers for later on.

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      1. There are two business districts in Cornie, if I can apply that word to a place so small. There are only two stores on the main street. The coffee house is one of those. That street is so quiet dogs will sleep in the street if it isn’t tourist season. But, yes . . . quiet.

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  4. One of the great outdoor meals I’ve had was at Viansa Winery in Sonoma. They have a lovely outside area and it looks out over the adjacent fields where part of the year they grow mustard, which has beautiful yellow flowers. Great wine of course never hurts a meal like this.

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  5. W.A. Frost in St. Paul has a wonderful patio with comfortable seating, large parasols, excellent food and drink, and a myriad of lights strung in surrounding trees. It’s a great place to hang out on warm summer evenings.

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  6. Thanks for so many of you talking about your own yard/deck – I’m headed out to our back patio to see what, if anything, can be done to make this a livable spot this summer. First I’ll need a fence between us and Neighbor’s driveway, just a few feet away. I think I need tim…

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  7. Day By Day Cafe has a lovely patio in the back. There is a pond with fish, and birds hang around begging for crumbs. Occasionally a neighborhood cat wanders through, but doesn’t seem intent on molesting the birds or the fish.

    The food at Day By Day is fine, though not all that special, but it always tastes best on the patio.

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  8. My screened porch overlooking our backyard. Very nice especially when we have a warm, still rain like sometimes happens after a T-storm rolls through and is winding down.

    Not a big fan of outdoor dining restaurants because many seating areas seem to be on busy streets where I, the diner, feel like I’m on display for the passers-by. Also, traffic noise often makes it hard to converse.

    I do remember a funky bayside lobster roll joint north of Boston that was the real deal in terms of fresh seafood and a quiet ambiance for eating and talking.

    Chris in Owatonna

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