It's the time of year for dining al fresco, and we've rounded up four of the hottest outdoor dining experiences in NYC.
At Pier 25, beloved summer mainstay Grand Banks reopens for the season. Aboard a gently rocking, historic schooner, feast upon East and West Coast oysters sustainably sourced from New York, Virginia, Massachusetts and British Columbia. Standout plates from chef Kerry Heffernan include Jonah crab claws with smoked paprika aioli, Montauk sea bream ceviche, juniper-cured Arctic char and, of course, plenty of caviar. Cocktails are beachy and breezy—the aptly named Permanent Vacation is a blend of Jamaican, Guyanese and Martinique rums, along with coconut, pineapple, orange and nutmeg. This season, Grand Banks announces a partnership with Charity: Water to donate the proceeds of filtered water sales for a community water project. Pier 25, Hudson River Park, grandbanks.nyc
Chef Greg Baxtrom drew crowds of Manhattanites to Brooklyn with his innovative Olmstead restaurant. His new venture, Maison Yaki, offers a seemingly bewildering pairing: classical French cuisine with yakitori, Japanese street food on skewers. Elegant French favorites such as mushrooms á la Grecque and pork belly dijonnaise receive a skewer treatment, and the eatery boasts appetizers of artichoke barigoule chawanmushi and tempura frog legs Provençal. Outside, a pergola stands year-round in a backyard patio, where guests can play pétanque or relax among the jasmine. 626 Vanderbilt Ave., maisonyaki.com
The new Avena Downtown has expanded already with Osteria next door. The latest concept from chef Roberto Deiaco specializes in comfort food and family-style dishes served in copper cocottes. Formerly of Armani/Ristorante 5th Avenue and the Rainbow Room, Deiaco crafts Galletto whole-roasted spring chicken in its jus with seasonal vegetables, sirloin Bolognese and perfectly baked pizzettes. The restaurant’s light interior breathes out into the street with an outdoor cafe, the best place to sip some sparkling rosé. 260 Sixth Ave., avenadowntown.com
Major Food Group’s Santina brings its Amalfi Coast aesthetic outside at a newly reopened patio under the High Line. Along with the space comes a weekday “Sunset Hour” promotion; four spritzes pair with two of chef Ashley Eddie’s gluten-free snacks. For example, try the Pompelmo Cooler (Aperol, grapefruit, Prosecco and Ramona) with spicy eggplant and mozzarella arancini. “The spritz is a quintessential Italian cocktail that especially resonates with our ‘It’s Always Summer at Santina’ ethos,” Beverage Director Ryan Davis says. “We try to emphasize the citrus, freshness and the playfulness of the drinks to keep the atmosphere of the restaurant consistent, from the chandeliers and art to the cocktails.” 820 Washington St., santinanyc.com
Photography by: Grand Banks photo by Alexander Pincus; Osteria at Avena Downtown photo courtesy of Avena Downtown'; Santina photo courtesy of Santina; Maisin Yaki photo by Noah Fecks