Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fall: Last Days of Outdoor Dining

As summer wanes (ok fine, it’s gone) we need to enjoy the last weeks of outdoor dining. Stamford has many options, but one must consider view, food, and atmosphere.
Top choice, no contest: Capriccio on Bedford. See previous review.
Sleeper fave: Dairy Queen!!! It might not seem like it offers a good view, but as BMWs, taxis, and old Tercels zoom down busy Summer St., you see a true cross-section of Stamford life. (And a remarkable number of women of all ages talking on cell phones. Pull yourselves together and get earpieces, ladies). DQ has atmosphere galore: you and fellow lickers can laugh at a woman, 35-ish, stopped at the light, singing along to Wicked at the top of her lungs with the window open. How did she not notice the huge crowd staring at her and bonding over her obliviousness?
Other top options:
--Tigin. See previous comments. I like how their outdoor patio has a hedge that separates it from the sidewalk.
--Paradise Grill, Southfield Ave. The harbor view is pretty and the food is acceptable. The people-watching isn’t really there, but it can (emphasis on can) attract a pleasing happy hour crowd if you want avoid the sweaty mob at Crabshell next door.
--Saltwater Grille, Harbor Drive in Shippan. The food is expensive, and the view is of an inlet and an office building- but it is actual water.
More choices:
Bedford Street: Sabatiello's, Chez Jean-Pierre (nice white tablecloths), and Bedford Diner.
Columbus Park area: Black Bear, Bobby V's and Tiernan's all have outdoor seating. I’ve only been at night, but I know all serve decent bar food.
Bank Street, right near the park: Grand (excuse me, g/r/a/n/d) and Plateau each have a few tables and less car traffic.
Others: A friend said SBC Brewery had some outdoor spots. I think I should go there more. It’s already on my Oct 11 Karaoke schedule. Planet Pizza, across from Dairy Queen, has outdoor seating.
On Atlantic: Zody, which used to be Wish, and Galangal each have a few tables. This area has perhaps the worst views. Traffic backs up at the light on Main, and the cars, buses and trucks are only 10 feet away from the tables.
Farther North: Kit’s Thai Kitchen on High Ridge has good food, a nice patio, and a startling new bright green paint job. Kam Pei, beside Bull’s Head Diner, has two tables. Brickhouse, near the Avon Theatre on Hope Street, has 4-5.

A friend said outdoor seating is great for parents because they can roll the stroller right up, but outdoor areas are often full of smokers. She said Capriccio has enough space so that a smoker doesn't contaminate the whole area. I’ve only been annoyed by smoke at Capriccio once: a guy was smoking a cigar. I thought that was rude.

Winter dining review coming up, including heated outdoor spaces, and cozy indoor places.

No comments: