Alfresco eating and drinking | Urban escapes
You’ll forget you’re in the city at these spots.
The garage door making up Ada St.’s back wall opens to reveal a 1,500-square-foot backyard where tables are the backup plan: The coveted seats are right on the lawn, where you can sit on Swiss Army blankets and nosh on picnic dinners that chef Zoe Schor designs just for grass dwellers. A wood-burning fire wards off chilly air; a Ping-Pong table wards off boredom. 1664 N Ada St (773-697-7069). Opens June 1.—David Tamarkin
On days when it’s too damn hot to eat on most patios, BIN’s will still be a viable option. The roughly 40-seat outdoor section—new this year— will be shaded by the awning of the Hotel Sax (not to mention the shadows coming off the House of Blues and Marina City), which will keep you and BIN’s newly revamped cheese plates cool. 339 N Dearborn St (312-755-9463). Opens late May/early June.—DT
This space switched from Duchamp to Red Door practically overnight: Who could let a patio this excellent lie dormant for a summer? The shaded 100-seat patio and its inviting communal tables are staying the same, but eats—“global comfort food” from former Eve chef Troy Graves—and drinks are all new. Try the yuzu julep, made with Hibiki 12-year whiskey, yuzu juice, muddled shiso, gum syrup and crushed ice. 2118 N Damen Ave (773-697-7721). Open now.—Julia Kramer
RM Champagne Lounge
You’ll have to walk down a candlelit alley to get there, but that’s the only halfway-intimidating thing about this wine bar’s hidden, 150-seat courtyard. Flowers, topiaries, tea lights and Fellini films projected on the walls provide the atmosphere, sommelier Jason Wagner provides the Champagne, and former Fritz Pastry chef Nate Meads provides the petit four cart. True, this will be one crowded hideaway, with Graham Elliot’s GEB and a forthcoming Brendan Sodikoff spot stealing the patios next door. But stick with the bubbly and macarons, and you’ll have an intimate experience that’s all RM’s. 116 N Green St. Opens June.—DT