The new patios of summer ’09: Fresh grazing grounds for outdoorsy appetites
With spring heating up into summer, we scoped out some new (and renewed) terraces that will get a beer-drenched baptism this summer. From east to west, here are six of the hottest new patios.
Opened in September, this Queen West newcomer has yet to see a balmy season. The space faces Shaw Street and offers views of the sprawling CAMH grounds, seats about 12 and stays open for cocktails until 2 a.m. (though the kitchen closes at 11). A new spring menu arrives just in time for picnic chic, with such fresh dishes as venison tartare to usher in the season. Rest assured, regulars: the house favourite, bison rib-eye, is still on offer. 936 Queen St. W., 416-534-5244.
The latest addition to the crepe craze, this rustically furnished French pancake house opened just three weeks ago. The shaded terrace is half covered by a canvas canopy and is nestled in a back alley, lending it a touch of secret-garden appeal. The intimate square has six candlelit tables surrounded by a vine-covered wall and covered by a flower-encircled tree. 942 Queen St. W., 416-917-4740.
This posh spot located in the old Mildred Pierce space opened in November and unveiled its expansive veranda earlier this spring. The 35-seat area is cozily enclosed and ideal for a twilight tipple. A view of the city skyline—including the newly recharged CN Tower—and a selection from master sommelier John Szabo’s eclectic wine list make for a dreamy pairing. 99 Sudbury St., 416-849-6567.
The Corner Place
East-end carousers who missed last summer’s small window of opportunity to sit on the resto-lounge’s patio (it opened in late August) can have a proper go at it now. The sun-bathed Old Town perch features jazz on Saturdays and local bands on Fridays. With seating for up to 60, the terrace also catches spillover from Jason George’s deck next door. 11 Jarvis St., 416-850-1738.
Taking over the space of Copia Wine Bar at 320 Front Street West, the newest link in the Irish chain will open its doors—and patio—on May 25. Indie hearts may be mourning the loss of diversity, but the 40-person porch (it’s covered by the adjoining building’s overhang) offers baseball fans a choice seat for post-game celebration. Sixteen beers are on tap, and MacCool mainstays—like blarney chips and two-for-one Guinness Fridays—are on offer. 320 Front St. W., 1-800-361-3111.
School Café and Bakery
Summer school is taking place outside at this west-end tenderfoot where two patios can seat over 100. With its southern exposure and umbrellas, the cobblestone back courtyard is spot-on for afternoon sunning; bottle service and tableside bartending make for some very happy hours. The open-air scene launches this week, weather permitting, and the restaurant will be introducing a dinner menu on May 29. 70 Fraser Ave., 416-588-0005.