Dinner Under the Sun (or Stars): Restaurants Unveil New Patios

WestEnd Bistro’s tall topiaries and flowering plants separate its patio from busy M Street.

Come summer, Washington is all about cafe society, and every restaurant with a sliver of sidewalk unfurls the umbrellas and hauls out the patio tables and chairs.

Newcomers to the dining scene have joined in this Parisian-style exodus outdoors. French architect Pierre-Charles L’Enfant, who envisioned Washington as a Paris on the Potomac long ago, would be pleased. Some new addresses for dining al fresco this summer:

Tall topiaries, market umbrellas, and chrome and wood furnishings create a chic outdoor oasis on the wide sidewalk outside the Ritz-Carlton’s French-inflected WestEnd Bistro (1190 22nd St., NW; 202-974-4900). A few blocks away at Hudson (2030 M St., NW; 202-872-8700), oversize beach umbrellas make for an island feel, which is the idea, especially on Friday nights when steel-drum performers provide the tunes and Caribbean cocktails, such as Cruzan-rum mai tais, rule.

Farther downtown, the Belgian Brasserie Beck (1101 K St., NW; 202-408-1717) has debuted a spacious new patio with a bar area, while the Source by Wolfgang Puck (575 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-637-6100) has a small, airy terrace with 20 tables on the second floor overlooking Sixth Street.

At Old Town Alexandria’s Jackson 20 (Hotel Monaco, 480 King St., NW; 703-842-2790), pets are welcome on the plant-filled patio during doggy happy hour, which takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 8. The patio is also open daily for lunch and dinner.

Where are your favorite outdoor dining spots? Let us know in the comments.

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