Patio Dining: Enjoy Your Meal Al Fresco in Metro D

By: Toni Cunningham | June 6, 2013

Let’s face it, people. We live in Michigan, where the weather wavers more often than not, and the summer months are fleeting. Having said this, why not dine outdoors as much as humanly possible while you can? Now’s the time to chow down in the sunshine!

Ever since the final frost, one has to practically walk single file down the sidewalk in most Metro Detroit downtown areas, due to the number of restaurants with dining patios. And that’s a good thing! You’ve got tons of options, but here a few to consider next time hunger strikes and the sun is out:

Compari’s, 350 S. Main St., Plymouth, is one of my favorite local Italian restaurants, and they happen to have patio seating, thus making it even better. There are tons of tasty pasta entrees to choose from, including Lobster Ravioli, Spaghetti Puttanesca and Lasagna. If you choose to dine outside on Thursday or Friday, you’ll be able to enjoy live music from Kellogg Park across the street. Also, if Compari’s is booked, Fiamma Grille next door and Ironwood around the corner have outdoor seating as well.

Fountain Bistro, 800 Woodward Ave., Detroit, is located at Campus Martius Park, and is dog friendly! As long as you have Fido under control, you can take a seat at the patio and enjoy a lovely lunch of Bistro Burger, Yellowfin Tuna Salad or Chicken Fontina. The week’s lunch and dinner specials can be found online, so be sure to take a peek before you head out!

Como’s, 22812 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, is an Italian-American restaurant best known for its pizza. In deep dish or round, topped with pepperoni or pineapple, enjoying it outdoors will make it taste 10 times better, I assure you. If you’re not feeling pizza, they have other house specialties including meat, seafood and pasta dishes.

Oak City Grille, 212 W. 6th St., Royal Oak, has a patio as well as a front wall made of French doors, which (weather permitting) are opened. So really, even if you dine inside, you’re dining somewhat outside at the same time. Make sense? Good. The menu features entrees including Chipotle Salmon, Lemon Chicken and Peppercorn Sirloin.

Big Rock Chophouse, 245 S. Eton St., Birmingham, has the largest patio in the city. The lunch menu includes a Mini Slider Sampler, Lobster Grilled Cheese and Chicken Crepes. If you choose to go for dinner, you’ll have your choice of everything from filet mignon to ostrich.

Woodward Avenue Brewers, 22626 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, is a great place to go if you’re looking for 1) a patio 2) freshly brewed beer and 3) great weekly specials. On Sundays, WAB pints are $2 all day, and Mondays feature half-off all food items after 4 p.m. The food menu consists Mexican dishes, flat bread pizzas, grinders and sandwiches. Paired with a WAB beer on tap, what could be better? Oh, right, enjoying it outside.

Paesano, 3411 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, is a charming Italian restaurant with delectable dinner choices. Pastas include Springtime Asparagus & Fresh Ricotta Ravioli and Calabrese Carbonara. Chicken, lamb, duck and veal dishes are also abundant. The best part of this patio? Free movies are screened on Saturday nights while you dine.

If you’re dining al fresco while the sun is out, please use your noggin and apply some SPF beforehand. The only thing that could ruin a lovely outdoor dining experience is a sunburn!