NYC 'Chopped All-Stars' dish on best spots for outdoor dining
Ah, springtime - that time of year when New York restaurantgoers suddenly take to the sidewalk en masse. While many eateries have outdoor seating, some are a cut above the rest.
So we asked the NYC-based stars and judges of this season of "Chopped All-Stars" - which premieres on the Food Network Sunday - to lead us in the direction of fab al fresco dining.
MARC MURPHY, contestant and executive chef and owner of Landmarc and Ditch Plains
Murphy's pick: "The back garden at Crispo (240 W. 14th St., 212-229-1818) because it's like being transported to a hill town in Italy. In the summer I love to sit back there and have a glass of Prosecco and a plate of prosciutto with melon, or a bowl of pasta."
MICHAEL SYMON, contestant, first winner of "The Next Iron Chef" and host of "The Chew"
Symon's pick: "Barbuto (775 Washington St., 212-924-9700). I always order the roasted chicken with salsa verde."
CHRIS SANTOS, contestant and chef and partner of The Stanton Social and Beauty and Essex
Santos' pick: "I love Back Forty (190 Ave. B, 212-388-1990) especially the patio during the summer. It's one of my favorite places to be on a sunny Sunday for late brunch or when the sun is going down at dinner. I try to make my way through the menu, but I always end up ordering the same thing - pig jowl nuggets with jalapeño jam and the grass-fed burger with heritage bacon and farm stand Cheddar. I wash it all down with a Penn Shandy - a refreshing mix of ginger gin, lemon and pilsner."
AARON SANCHEZ, judge and owner and executive chef of Centrico Restaurant
Sanchez's pick: "Birreria (200 Fifth Ave., 212-937-8910), on the roof of Eataly. They've got an amazing selection of beers and great food."
MARCUS SAMUELSSON, contestant and owner of Red Rooster Harlem
Samuelsson's pick: "Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken (2839-2841 Frederick Douglass Blvd.) There isn't outdoor seating, but you can order your chicken and go eat it on the basketball courts nearby. I love that."