I've dined out on a rooftop in Marrakech, spent countless hours in Parisian cafés, and joined the bar associations at various Caribbean rum shops. Yet I just can't force myself to dine alfresco in the city of my birth. Each year as the summer doldrums approach, I find myself retreating to air-conditioned spots to peer out at the increasing number of Gothamites who take to the streets to eat. This year, a run of warm days finally forced me to resolve this dilemma. I've learned to select restaurants with large open windows and grab a table astraddle the artificially cooled indoors and the summer's warmth. That way I not only have the AC at my back and the people-watching in frontI'm protected by one or more rows of those who decry smoking yet don't mind inhaling car exhaust, not to mention meals punctuated by subway rumble and bus backfires. Currently, one of my favorite windows is at Allegria, a trattoria in the... More >>>
By photo: Sylvia Plachy
A diner at Allegria enjoys the air-conditioning, the window, and, oh yes, the food.