Spring has finally sprung here in Barrington and one of the most popular things to do around town in warmer weather is dining al fresco. Since dining outdoors is only an option for us for part of the year, we Midwesterners know how to make the most of that time, especially here in Barrington.
And we are fortunate in Barrington that the restaurants really respond to our desires, making eating al fresco better and better each year. Outdoor tables have recently been dusted off all over town, reappearing at places like Einstein Bagels, Kookers, Savory Salads, Noodles & Co., ZaZa’s, McGonigals, Heinen’s Fine Foods and many, many more.
Though we love all of the outdoor options, a few restaurants get my personal vote for the best scene and scenery.
Though it’s right in the heart of downtown, the coziness of the outdoor area at Francesca’s, nestled in the walkway leading up to the restaurant, makes for a beautiful patio where you still feel like you’re part of the downtown summer activity, yet separated from the foot and car traffic. For more information about Francesca’s, visit MiaFrancesca.com.
The Onion Pub & Brewery
The Onion Pub went above and beyond during their construction to create a beautiful outdoor setting. Complete with pond, waterfall and detailed landscaping, eating outdoors at the Onion definitely provides an above-average view, and a quiet, serene setting for your dinner date or casual gathering. For directions and more information, visit OnionBrewery.com.
Wool Street Grill and Sports Bar
If you’d like a quick bite or a leisurely lunch or dinner outdoors with friends, Wool Street Grill & Sports Bar is a great option for al fresco dining within walking distance for many who live in and around downtown Barrington. Right by the Metra Train Station, Wool Street has become a familiar meeting place for families after sporting or social events and is known for its great beer selection and popular menu items like burgers, pizza, sandwiches, wings and more. For more information about Wool Street’s menu and upcoming events, visit WoolStreetGrill.com.
Pinstripes Bowling, Bocce Bistro
The outdoor area at Pinstripes in South Barrington says come one, come all! This beautiful patio seats up to 600, and offers live music around the fire pit on Friday and Saturday nights, a brunch every Sunday, and rain or shine fun on covered outdoor bocce courts. Executive Chef Cesar Gutierrez’s also maintains sprawling vegetable and herb gardens onsite from which he makes several of the summer menu selections. For directions and more information, visit Pinstripes.com.
Pl8 Simply Asian
Simple things like the additions of sturdy umbrellas and festive lighting helped transform Pl8’s outdoor seating area to one reminiscent of a Lincoln Park patio. Fun events like Beer Fest and special tasting dinners add to the city-like atmosphere. Watch for upcoming events this summer on on their website at Pl8SimplyAsian.com.
About the Author
Kelly Donlea is a Barrington mom, chef, cookbook author the owner of Organizing Dinner, a company that brings sensible cooking solutions to busy people. She has published several cookbooks and one of her specialties is helping parents plan family meals with fewer trips to the grocery store. Kelly also offers cooking classes and demonstrations in your home or public facility. To learn more about Kelly, her recipes and her services, you’ll find her Facebook page by clicking HERE and her website at OrganizingDinner.com. Kelly is going to be sharing recipes, cooking tips and special features about chefs and popular menu items at area restaurants right here at 365Barrington.com.
Please join us as we discover local culinary treasures and new kitchen classics in our regular Friday food feature here at 365Barrington.com called “Barrington Eats” with Kelly Donlea!
If you’d like to us to feature you favorite chef, restaurant or food store or if you have a food related question that you’d like Kelly to answer, make a quick stop at the 365 Barrington Suggestion Box and leave us a note in the form which you’ll find by clicking HERE or simply leave your comment in the box below.