These Are the Ten Best Restaurant Patios, Rooftops, and Outdoor Dining Experiences in NYC

Categories: Our 10 Best


Sometimes our hunger can't be contained within mere brick and mortar, and so we set out in search of the city's many courtyards, patios, gardens, terraces, and rooftops, looking for a place to put food into our mouths while enjoying the weather. A fine time can be had outdoors, whether gazing out at a beautiful vista or eating within the confines of ivy-covered walls. Outdoor dining in New York adds its own intangible spice, even if one of those spices is occasionally exhaust fumes. Here are our favorite places to bask in the airy glow of a gorgeous day.

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Go Beyond Farm-to-Table With The Nourished Kitchen

All photos by Jennifer McGruther, courtesy 10 Speed Press.
Almond rosewater currant Portugal cake.

Publishers love to send us cookbooks here at Fork in the Road, and often those books come straight from the chefs at some of New York's best restaurants. So we decided to share the love, and each week, we'll feature a new book, a recipe, and a few thoughts on cooking from the authors. Check back every Tuesday for a new book.

The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle
By Jennifer McGruther, 320 pages, Ten Speed Press, $27.99

Jenny McGruther started her blog, "The Nourished Kitchen," in 2007 as a chronicle of her personal exploration and interest in traditional food. Last week, she released a collection of the resulting recipes in a beautiful new book, filled with lush photos she shot herself. It's an impressive and far-reaching collection, with recipes ranging from smoked salmon roe to bohemian rye bread.

A food educator and farmer's market regular, McGruther was taken by the work of Dr. Weston A. Price, a pioneering M.D. living at the turn of the last century, who trotted the globe studying how primitive cultures sourced, prepared, and ate food.

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How the Queens Kickshaw Owners Built an Astoria Gathering Space

Categories: Chef Interviews

Stella Dacuma Schour
When married couple Jennifer Lim and Ben Sandler began plotting The Queens Kickshaw (40-17 Broadway, Astoria, 718-777-0913) in Astoria, they wanted simply to arm the neighborhood with good coffee. "Kickshaw derives from rickshaw -- I had my eyes on a Vespa and doing a mobile coffee cart," says Sandler. "I went to coffee conventions and all the good specialty coffeeshops in the city. I knew there was no specialty coffee in this part of Queens."

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Three More Food Trucks Confirmed for Choice Streets

Categories: Choice Streets

Thumbnail image for choicestreetslaurajunekirsch.jpg
Laura June Kirsch
With just over two weeks to go until our Choice Streets tasting event takes over the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex on Pier 86 (West 46th Street and Twelfth Avenue), we're proud to announce three more food trucks have joined the ranks of our featured mobile fleet.

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Stephen Starr's El Vez Set to Open in Battery Park City

Courtesy Stephen Starr
Stephen Starr is set to open El Vez
El Vez, explains Stephen Starr -- the man whose restaurant group is behind Buddakan, Morimoto, and Caffè Storico -- is not Spanish for "the time." When the owner was opening his first El Vez in Philly, he says, "I was bored of typical Mexican-American restaurant names. I heard about this Mexican Elvis impersonator. He's awesome. He puts his political views in his songs. So we bought his name. You know, El Vez -- like Elvis. He's of Mexican descent, and he still tours." And given that Starr's background is in concert promoting, he really liked the connection.

Nine years after that Philadelphia location first debuted, Starr is getting ready to give the impersonator's name to another outlet, this one in Battery Park City here in New York. El Vez (259 Vesey Street, 212-233-2500) is set to debut.

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The Four Best New Restaurants in Astoria

Categories: BQEats

The Astoria restaurant scene is booming: New spots open every week, which makes it difficult to keep up in this once-sleepy neighborhood. We checked out a few of the most intriguing newcomers, which range from a gastropub to a Venezuelan-Chinese mash-up.

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Jody Williams' Buvette Cookbook Hits Shelves Today

Categories: Chef Interviews

After I spoke with Buvette's Jody Williams for last week's chef interview, her first cookbook landed on my desk. It's a whimsical anthology of the recipes she uses at Buvette (which were somewhat difficult to distill, since she often doesn't use recipes at all) broken into times of day and written so that they encourage a cook to make modifications and do whatever seems natural rather than adhere to a recipe. I asked Williams to tell me a bit more about the project; she divulged her motivation for writing the book, her process for turning her dishes into recipes, and her favorite dishes.

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An Early Taste of Daruma-Ya, Now Open in Tribeca

All photos by Hannah Palmer Egan
Lobster uni yaki at Daruma-Ya
A few weeks ago, Laura Shunk paid a visit to soba master Shuichi Kotani to learn the secrets of the then-forthcoming soba at Daruma-Ya (428 Greenwich Street, 212-274-0428), which opened earlier this month in the former Greenwich Grill space above Sushi Azabu.

The space is largely a holdover from Greenwich Grill. Plan-Do-See group, who runs both restaurants at 428 Greenwich, barely touched bar nor dining room but for a quick once-over with a paintbrush. But the restaurant has been transformed into a traditional Japanese izakaya -- where guests enjoy small snacks and drinks -- and soba house, which serves what's arguably the best buckwheat noodle in a town overrun with ramen.

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A Taste of Michelin-starred Jungsik's French-inflected Korean Fare

Categories: Field Notes

All photos by Zachary Feldman

For this week's review, I took the Long Island Railroad out to Auburndale, Flushing, to sample Gap Soon Cho's Korean home cooking at Myung San (162-21 Depot Road, Queens; 718-888-1245). The matriarchal chef delights guests with the funky, fermented soybean soup known as cheonggukjang, colloquially referred to as dead body soup thanks to its singular odor. Myung San's charm lies in its simple and straightforward cooking, despite the unintended trendiness of Cho growing her own vegetables and herbs to use in her menu of soups, stir fries, and the massive stews called jeongol, which arrive at the table decorated with vegetation. In stark contrast to the Flushing stalwart stands Tribeca's Jungsik (2 Harrison Street, 212-219-0900), a modern, French-inflected Korean restaurant that took over the Chanterelle space on Harrison Street. This place received a second Michelin star last fall.

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Brick Lane Moving to Larger Digs on Second Avenue

Categories: The Dish

We popped by Brick Lane Curry House (306-308 East 6th Street, 212-979-2900) over the weekend, where we learned via a sign in the bathroom, of all things, that the restaurant is planning to relocate to 99 Second Avenue in the coming weeks.

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