Dining alfresco is perhaps one of my favorite things in life. It is also one of the best things about summer. Lately, I have been thinking about what makes summer feel like summer and for me, summer is when my family and I eat most of our meals outside…
Living in a city that has a reputation for being grey much of the year, I notice that many of us who choose to stay here become a little weather obsessed. We wait patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) for blessed summer to arrive and then when it does there is a frenzy of activity. It can be difficult to even see our very good friends. Maybe this is everywhere, I’m not sure. I just know that summer here feels like perfection when it arrives and I cannot get enough. This makes me think of the mouse in one of my favorite books from childhood, Frederick, by Leo Lionni. “I gather sun rays for the cold dark winter days.” “I gather colors, answered Frederick simply. For the winter is gray.” Maybe we are all like Frederick, gathering in the beauty of the outdoors to sustain us during the indoor months.
My patio is my favorite spot to enjoy the season (especially with three kids), but on days when I don’t feel like cooking, here are some other choice outdoor dining spots around town. Some are fancy, some are not. Some are kid-friendly, some are not. But we have had fantastic alfresco meals at each of them.
Something that might set Seattle alfresco dining apart from other locales is that some restaurants take our weather into account, adding elements such as roofs, outdoor heaters, and blankets to patio situations, making them a little more accessible. My husband and I moved to Seattle nine years ago from San Francisco. That year, Gus gave me an outdoor heater for my birthday. I was thrilled. This may seem like a random, unromantic gift, but at the time it showed me that he knew me and what makes me tick. Receiving an outdoor heater at the end of August is like being given a jar of sunshine to help make the season last a little bit longer. Eight years later, that little heater bit the dust. So this year Gus and I gave each other outdoor heaters for our anniversary. Maybe this is proof of what makes both of us tick. Here’s to another decade of alfresco living… Cheers!