Spring is in full swing and the warmer weather means it is time to head outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. To make the most out of the season, don’t run back indoors as soon as hunger hits. Instead, cool off – or try to get a pre-summer tan – at one of these restaurants that have beautiful décor, refreshing cocktails and an outdoor oasis that makes you want to give up your brownstone for a lush green yard.
At Arlo Blooms, flowers are bursting. The SoHo restaurant’s courtyard is now an eco-friendly botanical garden complete with greenhouses, string lighting and lanterns. The menu is just as refreshing as the setting, with green goddess soup, grilled spring vegetable flatbread and the Potted Plant – coffee served in a terracotta pot with “dirt” and “flowers.” Reservations are not required, but can be made for parties up to eight people to sit in a greenhouse.
Even a big city can have a big backyard. Narcissa’s outdoor terrace is open for the season and is complete with rustic settings, hanging plants, brick walls, a giant tree and beautiful lanterns that make just about any outdoor space feel like home. The restaurant is filled with summer-inspired dishes, such as burrata and cool mint, tiger prawns, pan-seared red snapper, and even vegan dishes like seaweed salad and toasted rye cavatelli. There are warm weather cocktails as well, such as Jungle Rose with campari, hibiscus, pineapple, lime and sparkling rosé; Malibue Mistress with pisco, rum, pandan, coconut and lime; and Optical Illusion with tequila, mezcal, sherry, Salers and grapefruit.
This rooftop is the perfect spring hideaway from New York City’s busy traffic. Entering Gallow Green entails walking through a passage with walls of lush green flowers and vines. It also offers seasonal cocktails such as the Sleep No More, which is made with pea flower-infused vodka, elderflower and rosé cider. Plants surround just about every corner of the bar and restaurant, making the experience one of the freshest Manhattan has to offer.
If you are looking to take a day trip to Italy but can’t quite afford the flight and hotel, Aurora may just be the next best thing. The restaurant imports cheese, meat and wine straight from Italy and makes their pasta from scratch with Italian semolina flour, which you can enjoy in their ivy and brick-filled patio. It serves dozens of lunch, brunch, dinner and dessert choices, including squid ink spaghetti, tonnarelli, Montauk diver scallops, 24-month-old prosciutto, tiramisu, and affogatos.
Eataly is known for high-quality Italian dining, but its new seasonal rooftop experience goes above and beyond. The rustic and floral-filled rooftop is bursting with pink, yellow and orange flowers and has a menu to match. Items include basil pesto gnocchi, fried artichokes with mint, beer-braised pork shoulder with apricot glaze, wagyu steak and more, all of which are seasoned with herbs from the restaurant’s own hydroponic herb farm. There are also dozens of spritzers, cocktails and wine to choose from, such as hibiscus vodka mixed with raspberries, violet syrup and lime juice.
The best way to top off a golden margarita happy hour and weekend brunch is with a round of mini golf, right? Social Drink & Food thinks so. This fourth-floor terrace is a paradise for the warmer months, with bright green turf, brightly-colored decorations and yes, mini golf. During the summer, guests can also take part in their sunset parties and see a great view of the Manhattan skyline.
Spring is the season of growth, and The Farm on Adderley wants its customers to develop new habits. The Ditmas Park restaurant specializes in making a menu filled with farm-to-table ingredients from dozens of farms. Everything from their flours and grains, to herbs, milk and meat are from throughout the United States. Perfecting their fresh menu is a farm-style backyard with a flourishing garden and fairy lights.
There aren’t many outdoor restaurants in NYC where you can wine, dine and enjoy your favorite novel, but Bookmarks Lounge is definitely the exception. The Library Hotel transforms the 14th floor into an outdoor terrace fit for any future Pulitzer winner. Guests can hang out with friends, work and enjoy the plant-decorated terrace while sipping on literary-inspired cocktails, including the Tequila Mockingbird (tequila with agave nectar, lime juice and minced ginger), Sleepy Hollow (chai tea with brandy, cranberry liqueur, pumpkin spiced agave nectar and sparkling wine), and Autumn Mule (vodka with clove, ginger, peach puree and ginger beer). The 14th floor also includes a writer’s den with a fireplace and a poetry garden.