Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring Makes Dining Inside, Out

Sunshine and Sunsets Lure Patio Patrons Outdoors

Nutritionists say that after hunkering down inside all winter we could use a bit more Vitamin D – which can be accomplished by spending some time outdoors. We have the perfect solution! Without getting too scientific about RDAs, we suggest you satisfy your need for a little extra “D” for dining by sliding into a chair on the primo patios of these area restaurants.

Aqua Blue shows that yes, you can find, and relax on, a patio in the ‘burbs and enjoy out-of-the-ordinary drinks and food, too. 1564 Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell; 770-643-8886. Aqua Blue

Slide on those chic sunglasses for discreet people watching and pull up an artsy chair on Aria’s side-by-sidewalk patio. Same sexy feel, attentive service and rave-about dishes and desserts! 490 E. Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead; 404-233-7673.

See-worthy sunsets and fresh, wood-grilled seafood pair up on the patio at Bonefish Grill in Johns Creek. Alpharetta: 11705 C Jones Bridge Road; 770-475-6668.

To get a better Chattahoochee River view, you’d have to capsize your canoe. Better stay dry and dine on fresh American cuisine while relaxing on Canoe’s patio and garden dining areas. Thinking group thoughts? Go for a private, riverside chef’s table or the lawn area for outdoor events. 4199 Paces Ferry Road, NW; 770-432-2663.

Hip patios are a wrap at Chipotle, home of those fresh, made-to-order, gourmet burritos and tacos you always hear people raving about. With 11 Atlanta locations, they’re as close as your backyard. If an outdoor picnic or concert is in the plan, they’ll bag it to go!

Europeans love to enjoy their drinks and meals in sidewalk cafes. You can experience the same charm on the casual patio at European-inspired Ecco, the latest Fifth Group Restaurants® hotspot in Midtown. 40 7th Street at the corner of 7th and Cypress; 404-347-9555.

One of the closest dining patios to downtown can be found at The Food Studio®, situated in the historic King Plow Arts Center. The courtyard patio charms; the menu entices and delivers with seasonal specialties. 887 W. Marietta Street on the Westside; 404-815-6677.

Last week, we mentioned the primo-viewing of the ING Marathon from the GLOBE’s patio, and there’s plenty to watch Mondays through Saturdays throughout the year from this Technology Square perch. 75 Fifth Street, NW; 404-541-1487.

Friends, antipasti and a bottle of wine are meant to be cherished outside on a beautiful spring evening . . . keep a good thing going on La Tavola Trattoria’s covered balcony by staying on for conversation and contemporary Italian dishes. In neighborly Virginia-Highlands at 992 Virginia Avenue, NE; 404-873-5430.

Marlow’s Tavern provides proof that the days of Dickens’ dark taverns are long gone. Revel in the camaraderie of friendly faces, hearty food and refreshing libations out on the spacious patios at all Marlow’s Tavern locations. Alpharetta: 3719 Old Alabama Road; 770- 475-1800. Vinings: 2355 Cumberland Parkway; 770-432-2526. Kennesaw: 745 Chastain Road, NW; 770-425-8777.

South City Kitchen® has planned ahead to provide the same, much loved urban-South fare on two different patio environments. In Midtown, it’s a hustle and bustle sidewalk view, while Vinings invites neighbors to stroll on over and take a seat on the spacious, outdoor patio. Midtown: 1144 Crescent Avenue; 404-873-7358. Vinings: 1675 Cumberland Parkway; 770-435-0700.

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