Get Off the Sidewalk for Summer Outdoor Dining

Hold the exhaust fumes

Another form of outdoor dining remote from the sidewalk involves sitting on a rooftop and enjoying views of the city from a unique perspective. The French bistro Juliette (135 North 5th Street, Brooklyn, 718-388-9222) rises in the midst of Williamsburg's tenderloin district, which seems less cacophonous as you peer down at it while munching on duck confit, escargots, artichoke salad, and Moroccan vegetable tagine. Yotel, the city's first robotic hotel, boasts a delightful open-air seating area on its fourth floor adjacent to the restaurant Dohyo (a/k/a FOUR, 570 Tenth Avenue, 646-449-7700), where the Asian-fusion fare is much better than it needs to be. Small plates include foie gras gyoza, Wagyu beef tiradito, and the supremely snacky wok-fried okra.

Another spectacular rooftop space is found atop Eataly, the Italian supermarket catty-corner from the Flatiron Building. Birreria (200 Fifth Avenue, 212-229-2560) offers fare that mixes the Italian and the Germanic, with well-hung sausages and a peculiar emphasis on mushroom salads—though not psychedelic ones, damn! Beer is brewed right on the premises, but stick with the more standard Dogfish Head selections or try one of the recently invented Italian beers in bottles if you're in an adventuresome mood. But you must be already if you've braved the strange combination of elevators and stairways that ascend to Birreria.

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