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Outdoor fine dining in fall/winter

United States
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2,313 posts
Outdoor fine dining in fall/winter
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Hi. I have given up and decided the covid situation isn't going to get much better here than it is now, so am going to try to persuade spouse we should go to dinner every once in a while.

It has to have outdoors seating with heat lamps or something for cold weather, preferably masked servers.

We are vaxxed and boosted, but very cautious. Happy to mask, show vax card.

Parking nearby a plus, or we need to wait till Metro is back to normal. Not comfortable with Uber/Lyft.

No budget limit whatsoever. Suggestions please?

13 replies to this topic
Reston, Virginia
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1,095 posts
1. Re: Outdoor fine dining in fall/winter
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Aracosia in Mclean has the whole setup you described, and amazing food and free garage parking too

Edited: 24 October 2021, 14:23
United States
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2. Re: Outdoor fine dining in fall/winter
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That looks excellent, Random Person!

Keep,them coming, it's been a long time eating my cooking.

Washington DC
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7,806 posts
67 reviews
65 helpful votes
3. Re: Outdoor fine dining in fall/winter
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I hope you know what environmental impacts those propane heat lamps make. IN that restaurant, the idea that the area with heat lamps is "outdoors" is kind of a joke , as well as in many others where you are in just as much an enclosed space and close to people "outdoors" as inside, France is beginning to outlaw those heat lamps due to their bad effect on the environment. Like heating the outdoors makes sense, anyway.

United States
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4. Re: Outdoor fine dining in fall/winter
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Ok, no heat lamps. Bundle up.

But I think sitting on a patio with decent space between tables is preferable to me to being in a room with poor ventilation full of people talking, laughing, for an hour.

We have enjoyed L'Auberge Chez Francois a couple of times this summer and in September. We always chose the patio there before covid and it's been enlarged.

Edited: 25 October 2021, 11:09
United States
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2,313 posts
5. Re: Outdoor fine dining in fall/winter
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Well in the process of making a reservation for this week, I looked at the Aracosia photos. Outside does not look outside. Perhaps that's what got lost in the "heat lamp" issue. It's not on an open patio. Has the same issue Inn at Little Washington had previously which is why we did not go. Sigh.

https://images.otstatic.com/prod1/33642514/1/large.jpg

United States
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6. Re: Outdoor fine dining in fall/winter
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I needed a place for this week so we are going back to L'Auberge. But I did find Cut at the Rosewood has terrace dining overlooking the canal and an open rooftop bar at Cut Above.

Does anyone know if Fiola Mare has open outdoor seating or one with closures? It looks like a greenhouse, not what we want if so. Too bad, great food.

Reston, Virginia
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1,095 posts
7. Re: Outdoor fine dining in fall/winter
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Yeah, that picture is accurate, but if you go to the deeper part of that picture there are tables that are more exposed and more outside, like you want them. Plus that area is open on both sides so ventilation is pretty good, at least compared to an indoor environment. If you want a true outside area with constant, perfect ventilation it's going to mean getting really cold during winter. Heat lamps only go so far.

Perhaps you can consider restaurants that have been doing "bubble" dining where you wat in like an enclosed heated pod just for your party, I think Stable DC was doing that at one point but not sure if they still are.

Edited: 25 October 2021, 16:29
Reston, Virginia
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1,095 posts
8. Re: Outdoor fine dining in fall/winter
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Also Silver Diner (Many locations) has a nice, big outdoor patio, no heat lamps that I remember though. Look at some pictures and you can consider doing that.

Fairfax County...
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28 reviews
13 helpful votes
9. Re: Outdoor fine dining in fall/winter
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It may not be fine dining, but Old Town Alexandria is embracing the idea of outdoor dining by blocking off a block from traffic and allow restaurants to set up tables outside.

https://blog.visitalexandriava.com/alexandria-restaurants-reopening-guide/

United States
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2,313 posts
10. Re: Outdoor fine dining in fall/winter
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Thank you all. I will look at Alexandria and maybe look at the McLean place. I drive by often.

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