13 Wine Destinations for Outdoor Dining in New York City

These Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners offer superior wine lists in charming outdoor settings

13 Wine Destinations for Outdoor Dining in New York City
Danny Meyer's Union Square Cafe has been around for decades, but in-street dining is a first for the historic Restaurant Award winner. (Courtesy of Union Square Cafe)
Sep 24, 2020

Restaurants are a cornerstone of life in New York, so when dining rooms were forced to close in March, it was a palpable loss for the city. Many local Restaurant Award winners have since found ways to serve guests comfortably and safely outdoors, making use of everything from sidewalk space to backyard gardens. Indoor dining will be permitted in the city beginning Sept. 30, but while the weather is still apt for outdoor eating, head to these 13 spots to enjoy superior wine and food while supporting New York’s restaurant scene.

More New York Restaurant Award winners are featured in our guide to the city's top wine lists, as well as our roundup of casual spots serving serious wines. To check out more wine-and-food destinations around the world, see Wine Spectator’s nearly 3,800 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including the 100 Grand Award recipients worldwide that hold our highest honor.

Do you have a favorite you’d like to see on this list? Send your recommendations to restaurantawards@mshanken.com. We want to hear from you!

Note: Opening hours and menus are subject to change as the industry continues to adjust to evolving regulations.


Aretsky’s Patroon

160 E. 46th St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 883-7373
Website www.aretskyspatroon.com
Best of Award of Excellence

Guests in the rooftop dining space at Aretsky’s Patroon
Aretsky’s Patroon is making full use of its rooftop space during the indoor-dining shutdown. (Courtesy of Aretsky’s Patroon)

The memories of New York City's past mingle with contemporary touches in Aretsky’s Patroon, a destination dining room which has held a Best of Award of Excellence since 2014. The restaurant occupies an early-20th-century townhouse fitted with contemporary design elements, as well as a partially covered rooftop where guests can enjoy chef Aaron Fitterman’s menu, rain or shine. This includes lighter dishes like pan-roasted halibut and tuna tartare, plus heartier fare like crab cake sliders and multiple steak options. Fitterman’s American menu joins a 400-label wine list overseen by wine director Jody Davis, focused on labels from France, California and Italy. The cellar encompasses 4,000 bottles, including a wide selection of Champagnes and white Burgundies from top wineries and diverse whites from Northern California. The reds include a steak-suited collection of Napa Cabernets and Rhône wines. Additional selections include older vintages from Spain, Portugal, Australia and farther abroad.


I Trulli Ristorante e Enoteca

124 E. 27th St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 481-7372
Website www.itrulli.com
Best of Award of Excellence

Tables in the outdoor dining space at I Trulli Ristorante e Enoteca
Barriers between tables at I Trulli Ristorante e Enoteca add another layer of safety. (MM Nussbaum)

In Manhattan, a garden is a cherished thing. And Italian restaurant I Trulli Ristorante e Enoteca has one for guests to enjoy, along with a Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine program. In addition to its outdoor seating with plastic barriers between the tables, I Trulli is offering pickup and delivery, with take-home meals and pasta kits. For those dining in, there are selections like Maryland blue crab, burrata, polpette and numerous pastas to choose from, as well as traditional desserts like tiramisu and affogato. The 340-label wine list features options from throughout Italy, with an expected focus on wines from the restaurant’s owners, the Marzovilla family. I Trulli’s main strengths are in Piedmont and Tuscany, including several Brunello verticals and older vintages from top Barolo producers like Bruno Giacosa and Fratelli Oddero. The restaurant also offers a hefty collection of large-format bottlings.


Jungsik

2 Harrison St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 219-0900
Website www.jungsik.com
Best of Award of Excellence

"In the Korean language, 'jung sik' is a formal dinner, and it is also the name of our chef," reports the website for chef Jungsik Yim’s eponymous restaurant in Tribeca. At Jungsik (and its Seoul sibling), the chef has developed his own take on modern Korean cuisine, offering dishes like octopus with gochujang aioli, Wagyu short rib galbi and sides like carabineros prawns. A four-course menu is available for $145, or for $240 with wine pairings. These dishes are currently being served to guests at canopy-covered tables just outside the restaurant. But it isn’t just about top food at Jungsik; the restaurant also offers a Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list of nearly 1,200 labels, with concentrations on bottles from France, Italy, Germany and California. There’s a substantial by-the-glass list and many small-format bottles, as well as massive collections of Burgundy and Champagne with vertical and horizontal options from noteworthy estates. Jungsik’s red list is especially strong, with older vintages from Spain’s Vega Sicilia, and even more verticals from wineries like Tuscany’s Tenuta dell’ Ornellaia and Napa’s Dunn Vineyards.


L’Amico

Kimpton Hotel Eventi, 849 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 201-4065
Website www.lamico.nyc
Best of Award of Excellence

Tables outside L’Amico
L’Amico is one of many New York restaurants taking over street space for outdoor dining. (Dillon Burke)

The wine-loving New York diner will find no shortage of suitable Italian restaurants in Midtown, but chef Laurent Tourondel’s L'Amico stands out. A mix of Tourondel’s American and Italian cooking influences, L’Amico also boasts an expansive outdoor dining space. In addition to tables right beneath the awning in front of the Kimpton Hotel Eventi, shaded tables have been added in a closed-off portion of the street, offering a total of 120 socially distanced seats. The menu features dishes like heirloom tomato and watermelon, mushroom arancini, branzino and a selection of pizzas. Pair the cuisine with wine director Percy Rodriguez’s wine list, a Best of Award of Excellence winner since 2019. Centered on wines from Italy, California and France, the 650-label wine program is packed with Champagnes, Italian sparklers and American pét-nats. The list’s white wines are largely sourced from Italy, with a strong showing of Trebbianos. California Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc provide additional options, as do the list’s many reds, which include plenty of Amarones and Chianti Classicos.


Le District

225 Liberty St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 981-8588
Website www.ledistrict.com
Best of Award of Excellence

Outdoor tables at Le District’s Liberty Bistro
Suspended plants add a welcoming feel to the outdoor tables at Le District’s Liberty Bistro. (Courtesy of Le District)

True to its name, Le District isn’t just one restaurant. It’s a complex that includes a bistro, two bars, a café and two markets. For dining, only Le District’s Liberty Bistro is currently open to guests, offering outdoor seating and takeout. There’s an emphasis on shellfish on chefs Joe Mallol and Nico Abello’s menu, with numerous lobster, shrimp and oyster options, plus a few caviar picks. The rest of the menu is devoted to bistro fare like tuna crudo, escargots de Bourgogne and steak tartare, as well as several salads and classic French entrées. Guests can also pick up a picnic-basket package of burgers, French fries, macarons and Veuve Clicquot Champagne. Le District’s French-focused wine list follows suit with 750-labels that have earned the restaurant a Best of Award of Excellence. Burgundy, the Rhône and Bordeaux are the stars, along with a range of rosés and options from Corsica, the Loire, and southwest France.


Masseria dei Vini

887 Ninth Ave., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 315-2888
Website www.masseriadeivini.com
Best of Award of Excellence

Tables set up on the sidewalk outside of Masseria dei Vini
Experience a menu of Italian staples in the sidewalk seating outside Masseria dei Vini. (Courtesy of Masseria dei Vini)

The diverse tastes of southern Italy mingle at Masseria dei Vini, where chef and co-owner Giuseppe Coladonato’s menu shows influences from seaside Puglia, but the wood-fired grill demands Neapolitan-style pizza. The menu is full of Italian classics like mesclun salad with balsamic dressing, sausage with peppers and onions, a pork chop with black truffle sauce and plenty of pizza and pasta choices. While eating in Masseria dei Vini’s outdoor café, diners can pair these dishes with bottles from wine director and co-owner Vincenzo Ruggiero’s 370-label wine list, a Best of Award of Excellence winner since 2017 that spotlights reds from Piedmont and Tuscany.


Momofuku Ko

8 Extra Place, New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 203-8095
Website ko.momofuku.com
Best of Award of Excellence

Tented tables in the alley outside Momofuku Ko
Momofuku Ko has taken its thought-provoking menus outdoors. (Andrew Bezek / Momofuku)

Chef David Chang’s bold, Korean-leaning cuisine is on display with an extra dash of creativity and whimsy at Momofuku Ko. Before the shutdowns, guests could enjoy a multicourse menu in a sleek dining space featuring a wraparound counter with at-work chefs in the center, or order à-la-carte dishes in the bar area. While those indoor experiences are on hold, the team has debuted a temporary dining space in the spacious alley outside. They’re calling the pop-up “Ko Extra Place,” taking its name from the aforementioned alley, serving a five-course tasting menu of signature items for $110 per person, as well as an à-la-carte menu. The latter ranges from small bites like blue prawn salad and sourdough crepes to innovative pizzas and large plates like duck pie with salted eggplant and black bean sauce. The wine list is an abbreviated version of the Best of Award of Excellence–winning program of more than 1,000 selections, which excels in numerous regions including Burgundy, California, the Rhône, Bordeaux and Italy, but more additional offerings are available by request.


The NoMad

The NoMad Hotel, 1170 Broadway, New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 796-1500
Website www.thenomadhotel.com
Best of Award of Excellence

The NoMad hotel is finally back to serving its renowned European-influenced American menu and Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine program. The just-opened rooftop dining area has the same Uptown-meets-Downtown elegance of the indoor spaces, with seasonal dishes from chef Michael Reilly such as scallop crudo with charred corn and basil gnocchi with truffles, zucchini and sheep’s milk feta. In addition to wine director Thomas Pastuszak’s full list of 1,500 wines excelling in Burgundy, Champagne, Piedmont, Bordeaux, the Rhône, Germany and New York, there are about two dozen globe-spanning options on a by-the-glass menu. Expect classics alongside exciting discoveries, with an eager and educated team to guide you.


Oceans

233 Park Ave. S., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 209-1055
Website www.oceansnewyork.com
Best of Award of Excellence

Outdoor tables at Oceans
Guests can take in views of the impressive dining room while eating outside at Oceans. (Courtesy of Oceans)

Oceans opened in New York’s Flatiron District just four months before dining rooms started closing in March, splashing onto the scene with an impressive wine collection of 550 labels. Since the seafood restaurant currently can’t welcome guests into the sprawling space, complete with a sushi bar and whole-fish display, tables outside are serving as the primary dining area for now. Still available are chef Andy Kitko’s menu and the Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine program, which is now at 600 selections with strengths in Oregon, France, California and Italy.


Temple Court

Beekman Hotel, 5 Beekman St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (646) 677-3804
Website www.templecourtnyc.com
Best of Award of Excellence

Tables separated by flower arrangements in the rooftop dining space at Temple Court’s Temple on Ten
Flower-covered barriers separate the tables at Temple Court’s rooftop concept, Temple on Ten. (Courtesy of Temple on Ten)

Extravagant floral arrangements and a sunny rooftop space create an enchanting scene at Temple Court on Ten at the Beekman Hotel. The concept is a reinvention of chef Tom Colicchio’s Best of Award of Excellence–winning Temple Court, as a way to continue service during the indoor-dining ban. Chef Matthew Dahlkemper celebrates local and seasonal ingredients with his American cuisine, offered through an à-la-carte menu for weekend brunch or a three-course, prix-fixe menu for dinner. For $95 per person, guests can choose from plates such as Spanish octopus carpaccio and Wagyu short rib with sweet corn, with the option to add wine pairings for an additional $55. A more extensive selection is featured on wine director Darren Dunn’s 375-wine list focusing on France (especially Burgundy) and California.


Union Square Cafe

101 E. 19th St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (646) 243-4020
Website www.unionsquarecafe.com
Best of Award of Excellence

There are few names more storied in the world of contemporary New York dining than Union Square Cafe. And now, like its sister restaurant and fellow Restaurant Award winner Gramercy Tavern, the café has reopened with its noteworthy menu of American dishes. This includes picks from chef Lena Ciardullo’s menu like cappelletti with summer squash, pappardelle with duck ragù and cod with ratatouille, which are now being served outdoors at tables lining East 19th Street. A mention of Union Square Cafe would be incomplete without noting its Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list. Wine director Andrea Morris’ list includes a vast selection of 1,500 labels from a 13,000-bottle inventory, with diverse strengths in California, Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhône and Tuscany. Italian white wines are well-represented, as well as top white Burgundies and California Chardonnays. These join a collection of red wines packed with Piedmont picks and older vintages from Tuscany and Bordeaux.


Le Crocodile

Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Telephone (718) 460-8004
Website www.lecrocodile.com
Award of Excellence

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Dine in an enchanting courtyard at Brooklyn’s Le Crocodile. (Courtesy of Le Crocodile)

At first-time Restaurant Award winner Le Crocodile, the charming garden space creates a safe setting for playful French cuisine by chefs Aidan O'Neal and Jake Leiber. The menu adds a new spin to classics, with dishes such as pickled mussels, skate frites and venison tartare with porcini potato chips and juniper. Wine director Rafa García Febles matches that with an Award of Excellence–winning selection of 300 wines, supported by an inventory of 4,200 bottles. Naturally, France is the star of the moderately priced list, with particular focus on Burgundy wines and a healthy selection of orange wines and rosés. In addition to the garden area, Le Crocodile has more seating in the “sidewalk café” in front of the restaurant.


St. Anselm

355 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Telephone (718) 384-5054
Website www.stanselm.net
Award of Excellence

A table in the backyard garden space at St. Anselm
Picnic-style tables are part of the backyard garden space at St. Anselm. (Courtesy of St. Anselm)

A comforting and casual take on a steak house, St. Anselm is conveniently located between popular Brooklyn neighborhoods Williamsburg and Greenpoint. Chef Hannah Lyons’ menu takes full advantage of the grill, with small plates like grilled clams and herb-marinated feta with grilled flatbread and hefty protein-centric dishes like grilled lamb with mint yogurt and grilled whole trout with lemon and garlic. The cuisine is complemented by wine director Joe Carroll’s Award of Excellence–winning wine list, comprising nearly 250 selections with strengths in France, California and Italy. There are seating options both on the sidewalk and in the restaurant’s backyard garden, which is tented and decorated with string lights.


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Restaurants Dining Out Restaurant Awards New York City

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