‘Tis the season for sitting outside. But where? Below are our five favorite restaurants in Brooklyn with lovely, lush gardens as well as delectable food and delicious drinks. By Jessica Allen.
Greenpoint’s Anella offers local, seasonal eats like roasted chicken, fettuccine with fava beans, ramps and brown butter; grilled sea bass with fennel puree, and skirt steak with salsa verde at lunch, brunch and dinner. Grab a seat in the shady outdoor space (covered by a pergola), where the plant-covered bright yellow wall will dazzle and delight you. As you munch, you can check out the progress of the tomatoes, strawberries, and other produce growing in the on-site garden. True to theme, freshly-made bread comes in its own clay pot.
At Aurora, “organic,” “biodynamic,” and “local” aren’t just buzzwords; they’re part of the Williamsburg restaurant’s very essence. Here you’ll find homemade pastas served alongside cheese imported daily from Italy, and you’ll nosh on antibiotic- and hormone-free veal while sipping wine from, say, Tuscany. If you’re sensing an Italian theme, you’d be 100 percent correct (the Rome-born owner named his restaurant for a beloved spot in the old country). The back garden is huge, with hanging greenery, industrial lighting and exposed brick.
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You can’t call yourself “Backyard” and skimp on the outdoor space. Since 2011, Backyard has sought to give locals and others the backyard that New York City real estate typically doesn’t include. You’ll find umbrellas and tall, tall trees and borders blooming with buds and even an area set aside for ring tossing. Among the delights available at this Park Slope establishment are more than 50 types of whiskies, comfort food such as lobster salad sliders and a pulled pork sandwich (both food and drink change seasonally), along with an extremely welcoming waitstaff.
Bad news first: the Farm on Adderley isn’t actually a farm. That said, it’s a casual, rustic space with white-washed brick walls, filled with work by local artists, that opens onto a terrific sun-drenched patio. The American restaurant is located in Ditmas Park, itself full of rambling Victorian houses and well-tended lawns. After you’ve strolled around, settle in for some beet-heavy hash, French toast, oatmeal (at brunch) or pan-roasted fluke, poached egg, or eggplant tempura (at dinner). The “farm burger,” served on an English muffin with fries cut in-house, has legions and legions of fans.
At Gran Eléctrica, the tortillas are hand-pressed, the cocktails boast small-batch, artisanal mescal and tequila, and the wallpaper features Day of the Dead scenes. The menu at this DUMBO restaurant comes straight outta Mexico, with grass-fed beef tongue tacos, housemade chorizo quesadillas, and ceviche featuring fluke, chayote, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, and orange. For dessert, try the churros with spicy chocolate. The outdoor seating has one of the best views around: the always stunning Brooklyn Bridge, particularly magical against the restaurant’s sparkling lights. ¡Olé!