Eating outdoors…Al Fresco, as those romantic Italians say. What is better than that? Once the sun goes down, the twinkle lights come on and dinner is served.
With the warm summer weather we should be eating ALL our dinners under the moon; the wine is smoother, the food tastes better…and let’s face it…at our age we all look better in dimmer light!! What’s that song? “She only goes out at night….” SHE must be over 50!
Plus, if you sit at a desk all day in a fluorescent air-conditioned office, it is time to get some fresh air.
Open Table to the rescue! In addition to being our “go-to” app for dinner reservations, Open Table has collected the reviews of their diners and published a list of the 100 Best Al Fresco Dining Restaurants in America for 2016.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. We have been to some incredible restaurants in Seattle, WA, with beautiful patios, and none of them are listed. Here is Gayot’s list of Seattle patio dining spots.
If your state isn’t on Open Table’s list, just Google “Best Outdoor Dining in (your city/state)” and you will be enjoying a romantic al fresco evening in no time!
Meanwhile, if you are enjoying dinner at home in your own backyard, here are a couple of dishes that are perfect for summertime entertaining.
We’ve probably all had gazpacho, that tomato-y cold soup that is so refreshing in the spring and summer. How about another soup that can be served cold…or hot! Zucchini Bisque, an easy delicious recipe from Anna and Vince’s cousin in New York.
Grilled Vegetables are truly one of the best gifts of summer. At our house, we love eggplant, zucchini and sweet onions, but almost any vegetable can be grilled. Grilling is the summertime equivalent of roasting the veggies in the fall and winter!
Some of the Gr8-est fun we’ve had is impromptu get togethers. The neighbors are out front and you start talking, offer a glass of wine and suddenly realize you should put out some food to soak up the alcohol! Yikes! Kyle keeps a couple of cheeses and salami in the refrigerator and shows us how to make it into a beautiful Cheese & Charcuterie tray.
You say you want to start with cocktails then serve wine with dinner? It’s lemonade season, so how about a Pink Lemonade Margarita? And Debbie introduces us to a beautiful floral rim instead of the traditional salt.
Try one or try them all…and be sure to comment or post a photo of your creation on social media and tag Great Eight Friends! We’d love to see it!
Be a Gr8 Friend!
Anna, Kyle, Debbie, and Jurga