Places to Dine Alfresco in the Summer

Places to Dine Alfresco in the Summer

Photo of Chicago Tribune

Here we recommend where to dine alfresco this summer.

13 Places
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    The only catch is that the rooftop is already popular with the special-event crowd, so you might pull up to the restaurant to find the rooftop booked (Sunday, they say, is guaranteed to be open to all, weather permitting).
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    The menu, by Paul Virant (Perennial Virant restaurant is at ground level), offers such light bites as curried deviled eggs with chili oil and french fries served with pickled-ramp aioli, along with slightly more substantial fare.
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    Fettuccine with rabbit-pork meatballs and nettle pesto is considered a small dish on the menu, but it's plenty satisfying. And if the weather acts up, there's an indoor, air-conditioned space just steps away.
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    Comfortable seating, dancing fire pits, glorious Streeterville view and the eye-opening cocktail program.
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    It can be tough getting an outdoor table at some venues, but the riverside patio adjacent to this top-level steakhouse is so big, your odds aren't that bad. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
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    Beautifully done with wood decking, shielded from the street by a row of arborvitae, the outdoor space offers umbrella-topped and candlelit tables, as well as a serene zen garden with a dancing flame.
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    Plants abound on the living-garden wall along the planters, walls and trellises of The Local's gorgeous sidewalk cafe, a great place to enjoy the all-American comfort-food menu, including the terrific prime meatloaf.
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    The sidewalk cafe out front features plenty of comfortable chairs and umbrella-topped tables, on a quiet stretch of Delaware Place.
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    The 40-seat covered patio behind this Lincoln Square newcomer is pretty and serene, abetted by privacy fencing and young trees, equipped with heaters for chilly nights and fans for sultry ones.
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    The menu is a mix of pub-fare standards (including a very good signature burger) and more ambitious fare by Scott Walton (who did very good work at Markethouse Restaurant).
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    There are sriracha-kissed deviled eggs, a very nice meat and cheese board, salads, sandwiches and the ever-curious "bowl of pickled things."
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    New for the summer are handcrafted cocktail snow cones and house-made sodas (spiking optional). A small-bites menu bridges the gap between lunch and dinner service, so you can always find something to nibble on here.
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