Eat Al Fresco All Summer Long
Soak in the scenery at these delightful outdoor dining spots throughout the region, offering everything from lively people-watching to serene waterfront and parklike settings.
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Furci’s Restaurant, Yorktown Heights
Stonework, container gardens, and a large striped awning evoke a European courtyard when you dine outdoors at Furci’s in Yorktown Heights. “Our outdoor patio space is so unique!” says owner Deneen Furci. “We have numerous space heaters for chilly nights and a 120-station gelato bar.” Before you dive in, try something from their traditional Italian menu or one of the innovative weekly specials. “We try to offer dishes from all over the culinary world to provide variety and various flavors to our customers,” adds Furci. Their most popular dish is an egg roll stuffed with broccoli rabe, sausage, and mozzarella with marinara for dipping. The chicken scarpariello and the roasted pear salad are also quite popular.
Picnic Benches and Brewskies
Peekskill Brewery, Peekskill
Sunshine, picnic benches, and local housemade brews are on the menu at the Peekskill Brewery. The outdoor Biergarten is a great spot to meet up with friends who want to get out of the city for a bit since it’s walking distance from the Peekskill train station and riverfront, and they have outdoor games for the whole family. It’s casual dining with a select menu specifically chosen to pair with the brewery’s menu of house and specialty beers. Try the Brew Burger with applewood smoked bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and onion on a brioche bun with garlic aioli, and pair it with Valley Life IPA.
Harvest On Hudson, Hastings
You would think living in Westchester County, it would be easy to find true waterfront dining. We have the Hudson River and the sound, plus enumerable lakes. But the fact of the matter is, dining outdoors with waterfront views isn’t as easy to do as you might think. Harvest on Hudson has one of those money spots where the setting is exactly what you are looking for on a summer evening: grassy lawns and gardens surrounding a delightful patio of bright umbrellas overlooking the Hudson. Try the prix fixe brunch menu on weekends, which has everything from pancakes to pizza.
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Lake House Restaurant, Mahopac
If you thought you knew all the waterfront dining in Westchester, here’s one that might be new to you. This lakeside restaurant boasts the most spectacular views and sunsets in the Hudson Valley, and they have a good argument. The 587-acre lake draws lots of activity in the summer and has two marinas for boaters. Dining here is like a mini-vacation, so come without the kids for a dockside seat at one of their outdoor two-tops. Try the Lake House chicken—organic chicken breasts pan-seared with hot and sweet cherry peppers, chorizo sausage, and cognac sauce—or Nona’s classic meatballs and spaghetti with Sunday tomato sauce. If you bring the kids and sit indoors, they’ll love watching the boats over a plate of mac and cheese through the floor-to-ceiling wall of windows.
The Barn at The Bedford Post Inn, Bedford
The Bedford Post Inn has a bit of celebrity status in the community, but the elegant garden terrace where patrons of The Barn dine doesn’t need it. It’s a midsummer night’s dream with string lights and a pergola dripping with wisteria. “Dining al fresco at The Barn at The Bedford Post Inn is a lovely way to spend a pleasant summer evening,” says Roxanne Spruance, chef, and partner of Bedford Post Dining. “The idyllic atmosphere exudes a peaceful sense of calm in which to share a meal with friends and family.” Try the plateau de fruits de mers, which includes half a Maine lobster, oysters, shrimp, and littleneck clams, and the roasted lamb paired with a glass of California zinfandel.
For a bucolic and romantic setting, try the patio at Arch. The open, airy woodland setting is complete with flower gardens, market umbrellas, and soft jazz. “Our summer menu is light, fresh, locally sourced ingredients for our tried-and-true classic dishes,” says Deirdre Seitz, owner, and manager. Try the muddled watermelon martini paired with our Maryland crab and lobster cake appetizer or a rich and full-bodied Argentinian Kaiken cabernet with beef Wellington. “They are both signature and favorite dishes here,” she adds. Dress to impress—there is a business/country club casual dress code here. Reservations are strongly recommended.
Kristan Sveda is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism with 20 years of experience in journalism writing for local publications in and around Westchester. When she isn’t writing, she’s toting her three boys to baseball or basketball games, tackling the humongous weeds in her backyard, or binging on Canadian television.
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