Spring weather makes us want to eat outdoors (if we can stand the pine pollen, that is.)
The "Timetable" blog over at The Terminal earlier this week had an entry about dining al fresco. Their favorites were Rojo, Cantina, Bottega and the Garage Cafe. Definitely have to agree about Bottega. We were there last weekend (review to come soon, really!), and while it was just a tad too chilly to eat outdoors that evening, we loved the patio with its fountain surrounded by vines and the enclosing hedge. Veranda just down the street has a nice outdoor spot, as well, both in front of the restaurant (surrounded by a wooden fence, though) and the balcony on the second floor, which is even better.
Five Points South has several outdoor dining spots, including Mesa, the Grill, Cosmo's Pizza, and the soon-to-reopen Mellow Mushroom, and Cobb Lane and the J. Clyde just down the street. Also on Southside, in the Lakeview/Forest Park area, V. Richard's and O.T.'s.
In Homewood, SoHo has some good outdoor dining spaces, although we've heard mixed reviews on some of the food. There's Zoe's, which is always good for what it is; Jackson's Bar & Bistro, which we don't know much about; Salsarita's, which we have not heard much good about; Grey House Grill, where we had a very disappointing brunch. Also for al fresco in the downtown Homewood area is Dave's Pizza and DeVinci's, and Chicago Mike's Hot Dogs. Also in Homewood, over at Brookwood Village, Cocina Superior has a great outdoor space.
Several restaurants at Patton Creek in Hoover offer nice outdoor spots, including Cafe Lazio and Cajun Steamer.
In the downtown area, there's Bottletree and Metro Bistro. Over at Pepper Place, Bettola and Cantina.
Any great outdoor dining spot I'm missing? Leave a comment!