8 stunning outdoor dining areas in North Jersey



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It’s a bit cold outside.

But don’t let the weather stop you from enjoying a night out with family and friends. Many restaurants in North Jersey have heaters and even blankets in their outdoor dining spaces, making it easy for those of us who don’t want to dine inside, at least not yet, not only to eat well. and to drink well, but also to spend a night preparing, cooking and cleaning.

And while some restaurants simply set up a few outdoor tables and chairs (which for many do just fine), others have alfresco dining areas that are stunning.

Here are some of our favorites in North Jersey.

Andre’s Lakeside Dining, Sparta

Imagine sitting under a large orange tent, gazing at a fascinating lake that sits calmly beyond an epic tree sporting fairy lights and chandeliers. If you’re heading to Andre’s Lakeside Dining, you don’t have to imagine. And to keep you warm, radiators are provided. However, if heaters aren’t enough for you, don’t worry, just ask for a blanket from one of Sparta Strong’s friendly masked waiters. They will bring it to you with a smile; they are so welcoming that they can thank you to let them provide the extra heat. Bring a bottle of wine and a good appetite. Andre’s offers a pre-set menu. Reservations essential.

FYI: If you prefer to dine indoors, in addition to his usual dining room, Andre’s has two private rooms, each with exactly one (!) Table.

Go: 112 Tomahawk Trail, Sparta; 973-726-6000, dresrealfood.com.

Barrow House, Clifton

The Barrow House has put its large parking lot to good use by setting up sprawling and spacious tents. Warm lights hang throughout and rustic wood partitions block out the area and give it a farmhouse-chic aesthetic similar to the reclaimed barn decor inside. For fall, The Barrow House has also set up pumpkins, corn stalks, and cute brown and yellow mums.

To eat, maybe try the Ultra Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Cucumber Salad and Creamy Chipotle Mayo ($ 17) or the Sticky Lobster Macaroni with Smoked Gouda and Cheddar ($ 24). But don’t think about leaving without tasting one of The Barrow House’s divine and balanced cocktails.

Go: 1296 avenue Van Houten, Clifton; 551-223-6609, thebarrowhouse.com.

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Corto, Jersey City

Take special note of the head of Bacchus (Roman god of wine and party), which hangs in Corto’s backyard.

“He’s there to make sure everyone is having a good time,” said owner Matt Moschella.

The outdoor dining area is small, seating around 35 people, but charming. A large tent covers the area, and a propane heater and fireplace add warmth (and the latter, ambiance). Flower shade boxes hang from a rustic wooden fence, which blocks off the area. Potted vegetables, herbs, and flowers also run throughout the space, and string lights hang above it. And when the weather is nice, the Moschella team also sometimes barbecue outside.

Corto’s menu is hyper-seasonal and changes daily, although some dishes like angry chicken cooked in tomato, garlic, chili and guanciale ($ 16) and pancetta rigatoni ($ 14 / $ 21 for family style) are too good to take off, Moschella says. Corto’s plates are meant to be shared, so go ahead with your quarantine team and dig in.

Go: 507 Palisade Avenue, Jersey City; 201-420-6290, cortojc.com.

Il Vecchio in the Italian village of Calandra, Caldwell

There are four outdoor spaces at Il Vecchio in the Italian village of Calandra. There are a few tables along the enchanting garden that winds up to the huge 70 foot lighted tent (with heaters). At the back bar, under the wooden beamed ceiling, you will find a few additional tables. Additionally, part of the parking lot has been converted into seating, shaded by cantilever umbrellas that light up. The area is also dotted with pyramid and mushroom shaped propane heaters.

The magic is in the greenery at Calandra – verdant trees and fronds, bushes and flowers running through the gardens near the restaurant. And for fall, lush mums, pumpkins, hay bales and corn stalks adorn the area. They offer a picturesque view while you dine on homemade pasta, pizza and salads.

Go: 234 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell; 973-226-8889, calandrasitalianvillage.com.

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Son Cubano, Western New York

The breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline at Son Cubano is reason enough to take a look. The outdoor patio has enough sturdy woven chairs (none of those skimpy folding chairs here) to accommodate 100 people. Blue umbrellas provide shade in the sun, outdoor heaters give off warmth in cold weather, and flowers and trees stain the space for a bit of greenery. Stop by Friday or Saturday for live music courtesy of a Latin trio.

David Burke is Culinary Director at Son Cubano, while Brian Morales runs the Kitchen as Executive Chef. Options include modern Cuban dishes such as snapper with coconut rice and red pepper broth ($ 37), “Ropa Nueva” – short ribs with mashed butternut squash ($ 38) and a range of ’empanadas ($ 17).

Go: 40-4 Riverwalk Place, West New York; 201-399-2020, soncubanonj.com.

Ventanas, Fort Lee

Ventanas has a beautifully designed outdoor patio which is being used more and more these days. Modern and stylish radiators and two fireplaces warm guests, who can enjoy the view of the sloping park below. There are enough tables and comfortable woven chairs for 100 people. And at night, Edison bulbs hanging above the patio illuminate the area.

Ventanas is under the direction of celebrity chef David Burke, who has designed a menu of American, Asian and Latin dishes for the restaurant. You can’t go wrong with the lobster balls ($ 16) or the clothesline bacon ($ 22). And for dessert: a chocolate replica of the neighboring George Washington Bridge ($ 22).

Go: 200 Park Avenue, Fort Lee; 201-583-4777, ventanasatthemodern.com.

The Walpack Inn, Sandyston

Love the idea of ​​sitting on a vast green field overlooking Mother Nature’s spectacular fall show while live music plays and deer graze nearby? It couldn’t be more rustic or charming at the Walpack Inn, a family-run establishment over 70 years old in the Walpack Valley. To warm up: there is a huge bonfire. Dinner is served from Friday to Sunday and reservations are essential. Music plays either Friday and Saturday or Saturday and Sunday.

Go: 7 National Park Service Road, Sandyston; 973-948-3890, walpackinn.com.

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Oceanos Restaurant, Fair Lawn

A magnificent outdoor space would have been sufficient. But leave it to the gracious Panteleakis family to offer two beautiful places to their guests. To keep everyone warm, there is radiant heat in both. To make everyone feel pampered, there are white tablecloths and cloth napkins, heavy silverware, and polished wine glasses. To keep the environment uplifting, there is a waterfall cascading over giant boulders and lush green shrubs, plants and trees in an outdoor space; in the other, there are tall green plants and puffy white curtains. To satisfy everyone, there is spectacularly fresh seafood, fresh homemade bread and well-prepared cocktails.

Go: 2-27 Saddle River Road, Fair Lawn; 201-796-0546, oceanosrestaurant.com.

Rebecca King is a food writer for NorthJersey.com. To learn more about where to dine and drink, please sign up today and sign up for our North Jersey Eats newsletter. Esther Davidowitz is a food writer. Email: [email protected]

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @rebeccakingnj

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