Suddenly, it's summer: More alfresco drinking and dining | Bleader

Suddenly, it's summer: More alfresco drinking and dining

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The view from below at Cafe des Architectes
  • Ted Cox
  • The view from below at Cafe des Architectes
Back in May, when we pulled together alfresco picks for our Summer Guide, we weren't expecting another month of gray skies, flash floods, and temperatures chilly enough to make you curse the weather guesser. But look—quick! The sky is blue and the sun is shining (or at least it was). Here, in honor of the occasion, are some more places to sit back and enjoy the breeze.

Ada St. Seasonal small plates from chef Zoe Schor and an expanded—and excellent—seasonal cocktail menu; limited reservations are accepted from 5:30 to 6:30 PM Monday through Saturday.

Bang Bang Pie Shop The Smoke & Whiskey Chocolate Pie proprietress Megan Miller devised as a Father's Day tribute to her dad—featuring a "bourbon smoked spicy black pepper & smoke bomb salted meringue," whiskey caramel, and bacon brittle—will be available for the next couple of weeks, along with rotating selections currently including key lime and cherry lattice pies.

Cafe des Architectes If you should find yourself caught amid the hordes on Michigan Avenue, you might consider fleeing a bit to the west, where the Sofitel is tucked away from most foot traffic, with outdoor seating at le Bar in addition to the restaurant's patio.

From here the Disney Store seems very far away.
  • Ted Cox
  • From here the Disney Store seems very far away.

Cafe Orchid It gets crowded out on the patio at this small Lakeview restaurant specializing in "Ottoman" cuisine, and no wonder—it's BYO, affordably priced, and absolutely delicious.

La Cazuela Consider this secret garden number one: you might not expect it from the outside of this mariscos place on far north Clark Street, but there's a cozy little patio out back. BYO, with a limit of six beers per table.

La Creperie Secret garden number two, also out back, comfortable and secluded, and just a little the worse for wear (the restaurant opened in 1972).

La Palapa Mariscos Mike Sula has recently sung the praises of the "Mattress Breaker" at this McKinley Park Mexican joint. But I suspect many people come for the shark.

Beach living, on the southwest side

Lillie's Q Charlie McKenna's Bucktown barbecue joint is up and running again after a fire, patio included.

Simone's The sidewalk seating at this funky Pilsen bar and grill offers some decent people watching, though it's hard to match the eye-popping interior.

The Terrace at Trump It opens at 2 PM; much beyond that and you're guaranteed a wait. But the steep drinks include the view from the 16th floor.

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