The Fourth of July has come and gone, which means that summer in New England is officially heating up. Take full advantage of balmy brunch weather and lazy summer evenings under the stars with these thirteen al fresco dining options in Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts.
Salisbury’s Country Bistro typifies the all-American restaurant dream, right down to front and back patios surrounded by white picket fences. The homey atmosphere created by mother-daughter duo Jacqui Heriteau and Holly Stonehill is enhanced by French-American comfort food and live acoustic outdoor concerts on weekends.
10 Academy St. (Rte. 41), Salisbury, CT 06068
If you like your rock and roll with a side of good eats, stop by Norfolk's historic nightlife hub. Before heading inside Infinity Hall's 1883-era concert venue for live blues, funk, and soul, fortify yourself on the enormous terrace with lobster hush puppies and edamame veggie burgers. For an affordable after-dinner treat, try a $2 scoop of ice cream from Peaches ‘n Cream
20 Greenwoods Rd, Norfolk, CT 06058
The garden terrace in this New Preston dining spot is the perfect place to watch the sun go down. Relax on chairs with heart-shaped backs and graze on summery options like stuffed zucchini and fresh-grilled corn. Or sample the kitchen’s creative pizzas — the roasted potato, rosemary, and gorgonzola variety is a carb-packed wonder.
18 E Shore Rd, New Preston, CT 06777
On a sunny Sunday morning, pain perdu or filet mignon with poached eggs on the deck of Lakeville’s Pastorale will ease you into the last day of a lazy weekend. The service here is warm and welcoming, the French bistro cuisine creative and relaxed. Don’t forego dessert — the baked Alaska, a swirling beehive of lighter-than-air meringue, is a real showstopper.
223 Main St, Lakeville, CT 06039
At Red Hook's Gigi Market, farm-fresh food is the name of the game. For a special treat, sign up for an agriturismo dinner, which runs every Saturday from June through October. For $35, guests can enjoy three courses that highlight vegetables, meats, and cheeses straight from local farms. Vegetarians can breathe easy: meatless options are available. Meals are served family-style, so you’ll have the chance to get cozy with your neighbors. If that’s not your bag, stop by anytime for the breakfast sandwiches served all day long, featuring perfectly poached eggs on housemade English muffins.
227 Pitcher Lane, Red Hook, NY 12571
Red Hook’s Mercato has conjured plenty of buzz since opening in 2006, and with good reason. The small, authentic Northern Italian menu, featuring seasonal rotations of housemade pasta, risotto, and tender meats, is truly the real deal. Take a seat on the front porch and sample expertly prepared Bolognese sauce and risotto, all at reasonable prices.
61 East Market St, Red Hook, NY 12571
The most romantic dining spot in Dutchess County may just be Serevan’s garden patio. Tucked in the back of a 19th-century farmhouse and packed with wrought-iron tables and chairs, it’s the perfect place to unwind for an evening of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean-influenced cuisine. Brook trout with cumin-scented hummus is a refreshing summer meal, as are roasted tomatoes filled with legumes, pickled raisins, and wild mushrooms.
6 Autumn Ln, Amenia, NY 12501
The sidewalk seating at Fiori, perched on the corner of Great Barrington’s bustling Railroad Street, offers a picture of small-town life straight out of a storybook. Locals digging into plates of house-made tagliatelle with foraged mushrooms happily pause mid-chew to greet a constant stream of familiar faces. Some passersby pull up a chair to share small plates like Tuscan white bean ragout, while others are tempted by bartender Jesse Watkin’s innovative liquor fusions. This season, chamomile with honey vodka and watermelon with strawberry rum are new to the menu.
47 Railroad St, Great Barrington, MA 01230
The farm-sourced, flavorful cuisine at Williamstown’s dining hotspot is as bucolic as the view: three lush acres looking out on Sheep Hill. Ease into evening on the back porch with a cultural cocktail like the Stage Door Swizzle — an aperol, egg white, lemon, and simple syrup beverage in honor of the Williamstown Theatre Festival. The New American menu changes day to day; this summer, look out for hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and chicken from East Mountain Farm.
777 Cold Spring Rd, Williamstown, MA 01267
Mission Bar + Tapas
The Berkshires’ young and hip flock to Pittsfield’s Mission Bar year-round, but things really heat up in the summer. Take a seat at the sidewalk tables on North Street and order up some Basque-country plates like patates bravas, paella, and calamari, all at affordable prices. The bar menu is commendably committed to regional wines like Tempranillo and Vino Verdhe.
438 North St, Pittsfield, MA 01201
Red Lion Inn
The brick courtyard of Red Lion Inn is as classically charming as the rest of Stockbridge’s famous tavern. Swing by on Friday and Saturday nights for summer cookouts featuring your choice of grass-fed rib eye, free-range chicken, or East Coast seafood. along with farm-fresh veggies like corn on the cob and zucchini from just down the road. Creative new American dishes featuring locally raised meats and produce plus specials such as house-made gnudi with High Lawn Farm milk ricotta are available throughout the week.
30 Main St, Stockbridge, MA 01262
After catching the latest indie flick at Great Barrington’s Triplex Cinema
, head across the parking lot to Rubi’s sidewalk patio for oysters on the shell and some critical conversation. On Friday and Saturday nights, the coffee-and-sandwich shop transforms into a fish bar complete with mussels and ceviche. Pair your fruits of the sea with a glass of champagne, or swing by during the daytime for an iced latte and delicate almond torte.
264 Main St, Great Barrington, MA 01230
Pittsfield’s Trattoria Rustica gets the details right, from hand-painted dishes to a back patio festooned with bright flowers and murals. The classic Italian menu shows equal care. Beef carpaccio and linguini with clams are both popular picks, while the brick oven reliably turns out fish charred to perfection.
27 McKay Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201