Take Your Meal Outside For Local Flavor This Summer

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The Fortina restaurant patio.
The Fortina restaurant patio. Photo Credit: Brian Rattner
Pizza at Fortina.
Pizza at Fortina. Photo Credit: Brian Rattner
Photo Credit: Brian Rattner

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - Summer in Northern Westchester brings with it the desire to be outdoors – the beach, a park or simply a backyard will do.  Anywhere with a fresh, cool breeze and good food will suffice.  It may just be me – but food always seems to taste better when eaten outside.

Armonk and Chappaqua count a number of fine restaurants between them.  Any variety of foods are available at every price point.  But – what about people’s desire to enjoy the weather and eat meals outside in the summer?  Several local restaurants have outdoor dining available as a welcome option, where meals and drinks are served al fresco any night of the week. Eating outdoors definitely beats cooking at home in a hot kitchen!  

King Street Restaurant (76 King St., Chappaqua) and Le Jardin du Roi (95 King St., Chappaqua) are two downtown Chappaqua restaurants on lower King Street that offer a full menu from burgers through full meals to customers looking to eat outdoors. 

In Armonk, Amore Pizzeria & Pasta (1 Kent Place, Armonk) has a new location with a peaceful patio around the back where I enjoyed a quiet family meal. Some of Amore's items of note include chicken wings and sweet sausage Toscana with cannellini beans. 

The relative newcomer to the Armonk restaurant scene, Fortina,  (17 Maple Ave., Armonk) has arguably the best “scene” of the four restaurants mentioned here with an expansive front patio that wraps around the exterior of the restaurant. I sampled several of Fortina’s specialty pizzas and pastas amidst diners including families and, since it was Thursday, several groups of ladies enjoying girl’s night out.  

I spoke to Fortina co-owner Rob Krauss, who took time from his busy evening service to survey the vibrant outdoor scene with me. He expressed gratitude for the many patrons dining at his restaurant and attributed his success to first to the quality of his food and secondarily to his proximity to DeCicco’s Market and the accompanying volume of customers that the market attracts to his restaurant. If you go, be sure to try the Pizza Luigi Bianco with truffles and wood fired Paccheri pasta in vodka sauce with baby veal meatballs.

Whether it is simple fare you desire such as pizza, burgers and pasta - or more sophisticated and complicated entrees, eating al fresco is a summertime tradition.  It is a great way to get out of the house into the fresh air, to check out the local social scene and to savor the many different foods offered by our local restaurants – food that definitely tastes better outdoors.       

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Boring story, I mean, c'mon, Amore for outdoor dining?

Lucia Tattoria in Bedford is one of my favorites for outdoor dining. Food is excellent and service is good. Such a pleasant place for a nice lunch or dinner. I live in Ossining, but it's worth the drive.