As of writing this article, Cuomo has not announced whether he will be pushing back Phase 3 reopening, but regardless, it may be a while until restaurants and bars are safe for indoor dining even if they are open. A safer option is taking advantage of the summer weather and supporting our favorites with outdoor dining. Keep your masks up until you’re at your table, and make sure to tip well.
Repurposed parking spaces that create more open spaces for people, instead of cars, have been part of an effort by the city to carve out more greenspace. Now, more than ever, these parklets are popping up all over outside of restaurants to accommodate more outside dining. Some of them are literally just cordoned off eating spaces, while others get all fancy with decorative fencing. (Here’s a twitter thread about a few new ones to check out.) Walk down Berry Street for a few to choose from. We like the looks of La Superior where you can sit under a shaded tent for your tacos and cervezas. La Superior, 295 Berry St., Williamsburg.
Beer Garden at Jacob Riis Park
Chillin’ at the beach still comes with refreshments with the seasonal beer garden, The Drop Out, at Rockaway Beach. The food options are casual beach eats like chicken sandwiches or burgers, but now you can also order a frosty frozen drink to cool you off after a day in the sun. The Drop Out, 16702 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Riis Beach Bazaar, Rockaways.
Rooftop Brunch Action
One of our favorite Williamsburg brunch spots, Ainslie, already had sidewalk seating and a decent-sized garden in the back. Now, right when we need it, they’ve also opened a new rooftop that’s going to be perfect for kicking off the All You Can Drink Brunch every weekend from 12-4 pm. Bottoms Up! Ainslie, 76 Ainslie St., Williamsburg.
Taco Tuesday or Anyday
Palo Santo is one of the prettiest old school spots in Park Slope. Located in a brownstone, the restaurant has a limited amount of sidewalk seating in the front and beautiful tented garden seating in the back. The menu changes daily depending on seasonal ingredients, but a 3-course prix-fixe for $45 is what you’re getting for dinner. Palo Santo, 652 Union St., Park Slope.
Dinner and a Movie
Yes, all the movie theaters are shut down, and all the large-scale outdoor movies are canceled (except for drive-ins!), but starting in July, you’ll be able to reserve your outside seat at Parklife for their Outdoor Cinema series. On Wednesdays, you can either get there early for a first-come-first-served table or reserve a limited amount of reservation-only tables. You’ll order dinner from your smartphone and then relax while watching one of your favorite flicks. The July schedule: 7/1 Wet Hot American Summer; 7/8 Black Panther; 7/15 Clueless; 7/22 A League of Their Own; 7/29 My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Wednesdays, Trivia starts at 7:30 pm Movie around 8:30 pm. Parklife, 636 Degraw St., Brooklyn.
Speakeasy Front and Center
The Fort Greene speakeasy, Dick and Jane’s, always felt exclusive because of how hard it was to find. But now with their new streetside seating, there are practically more seats available then what they have inside. Look for a friendly vibe and some favorite summer drinks like Aperol spritzes and rum punches. Also, according to their Instagram, ice cream! Dick and Jane’s, 266 Adelphi St., Fort Greene.
Summer is for BBQ, and Morgan’s Brooklyn BBQ serves up brisket, pork ribs, and house-smoked sausage at outdoor picnic tables. They’ve also added some new summer items to the menu: Wasabi Wings and Smoked Wings with Mango Habanero Sauce covered in Crispy Bacon. We’re ready for the heat! Morgan’s Brooklyn BBQ, 267 Flatbush Ave., Prospect Heights.
Pizza and Sunset
One of the cheapest romantic settings can be found at Fornino Pizza at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The pizza is delicious and the view of the Manhattan skyline is spectacular. Usually, this means long lines for a first-come, first-served table. But no longer! Now, during these pandemic times, you can make a reservation on their website for a table at either BBP or Greenpoint location. Fornino, Pier 6, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Heights.
A Magical Tiki Garden
Roberta’s is best known for their thin-crust, too-good-to-be-true, pizza, but right now it’s all about their tiki garden. You can make reservations on their website and then order up drinks like the Banana Hammock or the Hot Girl Bummer to go along with your pies. An all-day menu also offers apps, pastas, and sides. Robertas, 257 Moore St., Bushwick.
A Summer Shack
Gertie is offering a warm-weather hangout at their summer shack on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am-7 pm. They’ll have food, tunes, and sidewalk chalk to keep you entertained while you socially distance and drink their “Fair Fight 2020” negroni – which will benefit Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight foundation, supporting voting rights and the Black Lives Matter movement. Gertie, 357 Grand St., Williamsburg.
Canal Side Drinks
Lavender Lake is one of our go-to summer destinations and now more than ever we crave their beautiful outdoor space near the Gowanus Canal. They are currently only seating groups of eight or less and are not taking reservations at this time. But, if you show up and can’t snag a table, they also have sidewalk seating and their to-go window available. Lavender Lake, 383 Carroll St., Gowanus.