The Dish: Al Fresco Roundup

by Editorial

Enjoy your meal, and the season, with these outdoor dining spots.
By Carolina Cornejo

The Patio at 901. (Photo Courtesy of 901 Restaurant)

Along with the season change comes a change in routine, a change in wardrobe, and a change in scenery. But this shift doesn’t only apply to trading in your jeans for Daisy Dukes– the city’s restaurants are also shaking off their winter woes and opening up seasonal patios that allow guests to enjoy their meal while they enjoy the season’s warm weather. From  Blue Duck Tavern, to Bourbon Steak DC, to Fiola, restaurants across the city are opening up their patios and letting their customers pair an ice cold beverage with the warmth of the sun’s rays. If you’re planning to eat pasta primavera and improve your tan simultaneously, here are a few restaurants to keep in mind:

The Blue Duck Tavern

The Blue Duck Tavern the restaurant located in the Park Hyatt Hotel , has been garnering city-wide attention since it opened in 2006 for its hearty American fare. The Tavern’s patio is now open for the summer, allowing gourmands to sample the succulent Muscovy Duck Breast in the open air. The  Blue Duck Tavern is located on 1201 24th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20037 for reservations call (202) 419-6755.

Bourbon Steak DC

Bourbon Steak DC is an award-winning steak house located at the Four Seasons in Georgetown with what should be an award-winning patio. But traditional outdoor dining is only one of the perks that summer guests at the restaurant can enjoy. Bourbon Steak also holds outdoor events such as last summer’s  Pork Out, which celebrated the wonders of freshly grilled pork. Bourbon Steak is located on 2800 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington DC, 20007. For reservations call (202) 944-2026.


Fiola restaurant, located in the heart of the District, showcases both regional and contemporary Italian cuisine. This season, however, guests have more to gain from visiting the restaurant than a mere mouthful of Chef Fabio Trabocci‘s delicious Branzino. Fiola has expanded it’s patio, treating spring and summer diners to comfortable outdoor seating, heat lamps for occasional chilly nights, and double the space that guests could enjoy last year. Fiola is located on 601 Pennsylvania Ave NW # 125N, Washington, DC 20004. For reservations call (202) 628-2888.


The Mediterranean restaurant Agora has also rolled out the carpet to it’s patio. With the unveiling of outdoor dining, Chef Ghassan Jarrouj has also unveiled a special four-course meal of Turkish and Greek inspired dishes available on Sundays throughout the spring and summer. Agora is located on 1527 17th Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20036. For reservations call (202) 332-6767.

901 Restaurant

901 Restaurant has long delighted Washingtonians’ tastebuds with its selection of contemporary American food with a hint of Asian influence. The restaurant is also especially eager to celebrate the season– 901 recently had an official patio opening party to kick off spring in style. But don’t worry if you missed the soiree; the patio will be open all season and the restaurant is still offering specials to its outdoor diners. Now and during the summer this 800 sq. feet patio will open daily with two happy hours from 4pm-7:30pm and again from 10pm to midnight. 901 Restaurant is located at 901 Ninth Street NW, Washington, DC 20001. For Reservations call (202) 524-4433.

The Oval Room

The Oval Room is the watering hole for the city’s movers and shakers  (by that we mean Former President Bill Clinton, Former President George H. W. Bush, and Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice…just so you have an idea). This summer the Oval Room has opened it’s patio so that the city’s politicos and influencers can once again enjoy their meals in the open air– which means it will be that much easier for other diners to spot big names in the crowd.  The Oval Room is located on 800 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC. For reservations call (202) 463-8700.


Sequoia restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy the fruits of the season– sitting by the Potomac on Georgetown’s waterfront, you could almost imagine you are somewhere in Europe rather than minutes from K Street.  Sequoia’s al fresco also brings two words essential in the summer dining vocabulary: brunch and happy hour. While the bottomless mimosas brunch buffet extends from 10:30 to 3:30 on Sunday, happy hour is available all week from 4:00-7:00. Sequoia is located on 3000 K St. NW. Washington, DC. For reservations call (202) 944-4200.


Mandu is an anything but a typical Korean restaurant. Even though this restaurant retains the prime essence of Korean cuisine, the ambiance of this restaurant includes a touch of modernism and rock and roll. Chef Yesoon Lee‘s specialty is Seoul kitchen, and now this kitchen has opened up to the outdoors so that guests can enjoy the exotic flavors of bulgogi or bibim bap in the open air. Mandu  is located on 1805 18th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20009. For reservations call (202) 588-1540.


Equinox is located in the perfect spot for weary sightseers– the restaurant is located mere steps away from the White House and the Chamber of Commerce. Plus, enjoying restaurant’s creamy Truffle Risotto Fritters on the restaurant’s luxurious patio is the perfect antidote to a day of crowds and tourism. Equinox has a local philosophy, with a menu that changes with the season, so guests are ensured that each bite of their meal will be like a taste of the season.  Equinox is located on 818 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC. For reservations call (202) 331-8118

Bistro Bis

Bistro Bis, a longtime favorite for members of Congress, has also opened its French cuisine to the outdoors. Located inside Hotel George, Bistro Bis can now entice its customers with succulent sweetbreads or fresh sea scallops and the promise of a fresh breeze during dinner. Though you may not be able to close your eyes and imagine you are in Paris, the patio experience certainly makes it easier to try. Bistro Bis is located on 15 E Street Northwest, Washington, DC. For reservations call (202) 661-2700.

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