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It's not on a rooftop, but I recommend 15 Ria's patio for simply having a drink or two. The experience is elevated by the signal from Holiday Inn's wireless Internet. A good place to get some work done (not that drinking and working have any correlation)

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Spring is in the air (at least for the next 10 hours or so, per the weather forecast). What are your favorite places for outdoor dining?

Key criteria for me: Elbow room; pleasing view; comfortable seating; food befitting the pleasant environs.

Truthfully, DC doesn't seem to have too many spots that satisfy all of those criteria.

(The Les Halles discussion deserves a link here.)

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Clarendon is a haven for al fresca dining. Not saying I love or even like all of these restaurants but sometimes being outside is all that matters:

MexiCali Blues

Whitlows

Hard Times Cafe

Clare and Dons Beach Shack (I like this one)

Blvd. Woodgrill

Facia Luna

(gulp) Cheesecake Factory

ETA: Eleventh has a nice small patio which we tried tonight... and the mini filet with sweet potato fries. Loved the steak, the fries shouldn't have been seasoned.

Oh and the patio was open at Sette Sette... only they have pulled out inside tables, so it is not up to speed yet but it is going to be HUGE. Might actually visit the restauarant now...

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Personally, I like Zorba's cafe for al fresco dining. OK, the food is generic and the wine is, uh, sub-premium. But the place is dirt cheap and the passing show just off Dupont Circle always lively.

I'm also big on the 17th Street scene -- Trios, the Fox and Hounds and now Hanks.

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The Tabard Inn has I think the nicest patio in the city, set far off as it is from traffic noises and smells. Lots of nice art, too.

Toledo Lounge in Adams Morgan has a few tables outside and surprisingly good pub fare. With your sandwich (I like the chicken club), you can choose a salad, fries, onion rings, or (my fave) half fries/half rings!

Soussi has a nice, roomy patio. Its half wall and slight elevation remove you a bit from the unwashed masses on 18th Stree, and I remember the food being not so bad (though that was two years ago) and the service being very, very bad. Good patio, though!

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Clarendon is a haven for al fresca dining.  Not saying I love or even like all of these restaurants but sometimes being outside is all that matters:

MexiCali Blues

Whitlows

Hard Times Cafe

Clare and Dons Beach Shack (I like this one)

Blvd. Woodgrill

Facia Luna

(gulp) Cheesecake Factory

You can add Sette Bello to this list. I'm not sure they've opened up their patio just yet, but I've heard/read that is will be quite spacious.

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In Rockville, Taste of Saigon has a surprisingly pleasant patio area.

Pity that none of the places on the lake at Rio/Washingtonian have food worth the calories. <_<

Cafe Milano's outdoor area is also quite nice. (Please note lack of comment about food quality.)

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In Rockville, Taste of Saigon has a surprisingly pleasant patio area.
It is pleasant, but there's a lot of construction noise right now from the Rockville town center project.
Pity that none of the places on the lake at Rio/Washingtonian have food worth the calories.  <_<

We get a strong margarita, chips & guac at Rio Grande and let the kids watch the ducks.

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In Rockville, Taste of Saigon has a surprisingly pleasant patio area.

Pity that none of the places on the lake at Rio/Washingtonian have food worth the calories.  <_<

Cafe Milano's outdoor area is also quite nice.  (Please note lack of comment about food quality.)

On Rockville Pike Mamma Lucia has outdoor dining too.
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somewhere between patio and roof, is the second floor patio at the morton's downtown. the gtown branch also has a patio dinning area.

that being said, the service is usually very good to excellent, the people watching in gtown is nice, the food... don't have high expectations, and go on someone else's expense account.

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Pity that none of the places on the lake at Rio/Washingtonian have food worth the calories. 

We get a strong margarita, chips & guac at Rio Grande and let the kids watch the ducks.

We get Caipirinhas & spicy apps at Cafe Spice and then softly unfocus on everyone's kids AND the ducks. Big plus, there's a nice lakeside path to stroll a couple of laps before heading home.
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Could that possibly be because it's in VIRGINIA??? <_<

Hee hee -- greater washington, my friend. INSIDE the beltway.

ETA: you're escaping the Washington state of mind, not traffic on K street. It feels like you're in another place entirely, like you've stepped into a vacation resort for the evening. You even need to escape Virginia from time to time.

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It doesn't count if you can spit and be outside the beltway  <_<

Your spitting abilities far exceed mine. To keep this on-topic, other patios I like: Vermilion, Circle Bistro (next to the pool... mmm...), and a certain market on 18th street that sells beer and decent sandwiches. Far better people watchin than Lauriol Plaza.

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Palena has the food, but not the view (unless you have a thing for fire stations).  Personally I find it way too noisy, but others like it.

Palena's patio is at the mouth of Cleveland Park Metro, which means dozens of people you know could be seeing you eating well. I always feel like I have to explain, "I'm just having two courses" or "That bunny was never alive" or "Don't tell your kid I'm drinking... and see you at church!" or "Did you get my e-mail?"

I like more privacy sometimes.

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Palena's patio is at the mouth of Cleveland Park Metro, which means dozens of people you know could be seeing you eating well.  I always feel like I have to explain, "I'm just having two courses" or "That bunny was never alive" or "Don't tell your kid I'm drinking... and see you at church!" or "Did you get my e-mail?"

I like more privacy sometimes.

I couldn't agree more.

Like there was that time when the dude said, "Are you gonna finish that? Cuz if not, let me know. Red line'll be here in a moment."

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Apparently Extra Virgin is not only still alive and kicking (early reviews made me think "no way"), it also has patio seating.

Citing-again-The List (scroll down):

Get Out -- Extra Virgin has opened its outdoor patio seating for the season. As the days begin to warm, you can enjoy lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch or cocktails in the great outdoors in Shirlington. (4053 South 28th Street, Arlington, VA; 703.998.8474)
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Galaxy Hut in Clarendon should be opening up their patio soon; I love their karaoke and their bar food is actually quite good, but their patio seating (an enclosed alley, roughly 15'x7') will transport you away on a Gallic reverie, if your experiences of France were tight spaces and being up to your ankles in cigarette butts. However, if you want to eat outside for brunch while being in the shade and aren't interested in seeing or being seen it works quite nicely. Again, despite my mocking the patio, brunch is also quite good.

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It has been years since I worked for the company that owns Sea Catch Restaurant in Georgetown, but that deck overhanging the C&O Canal is a fabulous place to have lunch on a summer afternoon.

The courtyard outside Leopold's Cafe in Cady's Alley is a nice spot for brunch too.

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My two favorite Washington, DC area patios for dining: go out of your way to ---> CLICK HERE <--- on Sou'Wester and The Ashby Inn. Note also that even though it has been years since I've dined on the patio at @2941Restaurant, that was a spectacular place (manmade lake and all). Likewise @BourbonSteakDC with their beautifully landscaped lawn. Four of the most wonderous dining locales in the area which can turn a special occasion into a once-in-a-lifetime memory absolutely suitable for engagements, major birthdays, or any other celebratory (or consolatory) event (don't discount the importance of a beautiful location for these). Awesome, absolutely awesome. Life does not get any better than this. I'm not going to put L'Auberge Chez Francois (@ChefJacquesH) in the league of the other four, but it's a very nice patio in its own right (the big one on the top, not the tiny one on the bottom).

Please, please, take some time and have a cocktail, glass of champagne, or even just a glass white wine before even bothering to look at the menu. Spend several hours falling in love with your true love all over again. You will walk away from these meals thinking you are are the luckiest person on earth. Please post your feedback here - I really am that confident in these recommendations. Life at it's finest, truly.

I am putting my name on the line with these recommendations, and doing so with confidence.

Cheers,

Rocks

PS - Please do leave you feedback, either here, or in the individual restaurant threads. The time is now for approaching maximum beauty. I think you'll thank me, I really, truly, do. I really want you all to have a wonderful, memorable occasion that you'll remember for the rest of your lives. Trust me on this? Please? And if you think I'm wrong, then please say so with conviction. I promise as long as you don't get personal, I'll respect you for it and respect your right to a dissenting opinion until my dying day.

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We often end up on La Strada's patio in Del Ray. Although the food is sometimes over-salted, it is consistently consistent and you can usually get a table outside without a wait.

It's probably not a genuine patio, but the outside tables at Zaytinya are very pleasant.

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On days like today, you think of dining with Al.

You know, Al Fresco.

Any current favorites? Near my office, I like Barrel & Crow's set up.

We're likely dining on our patio at home tonight, but I always need some good options.

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6 hours ago, Pool Boy said:

On days like today, you think of dining with Al.

You know, Al Fresco.

Any current favorites? Near my office, I like Barrel & Crow's set up.

We're likely dining on our patio at home tonight, but I always need some good options.

If you click on any tag that says "Patio," you'll get a list of ones that seemed noteworthy enough to make a tag for.(I realize that's self-defining, but you know what I mean) - clicking here should get you started.

Awhile back, I put in an upgrade request to Invision to include Boolean "AND's" with tags - that is, once you get that initial list of threads tagged with "Patio," you can click on some other tag in the list (for example, "Seafood"), and you'll get all threads that are tagged "Patio" AND "Seafood," and you'll be able to keep narrowing it down.

Invision finally took note of the request, and submitted it as a potential future upgrade (not just for us, but for all Invision forums in the world) - I think it's a complete no-brainer for them to implement, and it won't be that difficult for them to program. It is the only reason that I'm as vigilant as I am with tagging restaurants - hoping that one day we'll have this capability in a future version.

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16 hours ago, DonRocks said:

If you click on any tag that says "Patio," you'll get a list of ones that seemed noteworthy enough to make a tag for.(I realize that's self-defining, but you know what I mean) - clicking here should get you started.

This is GREAT! I am bookmarking that linkydink.

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Lunch on the tiny patio at Screwtop is a favorite for me and my daughters. Only four tables, but a nice locale. Good lunch and then you can swing by Artisan Confection for chocolate and BakeShop for iced vietnamese coffee. At least that is my routine.

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