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Warming up to dining al fresco in the nabes
Sun-worshipers with a hearty appetite, rejoice.
Across the Bronx, several restaurants have flung open their patio doors for diners who like to soak up the rays over cocktails or their favorite dishes.
From raw oyster bars to brick-oven pizzas to summery garden salads and pastas, local eateries are dishing up the good stuff - with a view.
Along bustling Arthur Ave., you can grab a cappuccino at Palombo Pastry Shop, 601 E. 187th St., or sit down to dinner at Umberto's Clam House, 2356 Arthur Ave.
For a truly al fresco experience, belly up to the raw oyster and clam bars at Randazzo's Seafood, 2327 Arthur Ave., and Cosenza's Fish Market, 2354 Arthur Ave.
Both markets have been fixtures in the neighborhood for more than 80 years. At the stand up bars outside, servers shuck fresh oysters and clams right before your eyes.
Last week Orazio Locicero, 56, stopped by Cosenza's for some little neck clams.
"I love it," he said. "It's the best clams I can eat."
Fourth-generation owner John Cosenza said he brings in product every day. "This is as fresh as you're gonna get," he said.
Morris Park/Van Nest
For Yankees fans, the spot to find kindred spirits is F&J; Pine Tavern at 1913 Bronxdale Ave.
The exposed brick walls decorated with Bronx Bombers memorabilia and red checkered tablecloths set the tone at this Italian eatery known for family-style dining and brick-oven pizzas.
The new veranda has become especially popular for dinners and private parties.
"It's the big new thing," said manager Jennifer Monahan.
When the weather's just right, the outdoor cafe at Tosca Cafe, 4038 Tremont Ave., is buzzing with young urbanites and business types.
Regulars flock to this hot spot ringed with flowers and greenery for its signature coal-oven pizzas, Italian fare and cocktails, including the extensive martini list.
"It's a unique atmosphere here," said Tosca's general manager Melissa Liebman. "A lot of people say it's got a Manhattan feel to it."
Sun-revelers have their pick from casual seafood eats to more upscale fare along this seaside strip in the Bronx.
At Johnny's Famous Reef Restaurant, 2 City Island Ave., expect cafeteria-style dining with sweeping views of Eastchester Bay and the Throgs Neck Bridge.
While sea gulls hover above, diners can chow down on fried and steamed seafood, hamburgers and hot dogs.
At Portofino's at 555 City Island Ave., up to 100 diners can enjoy favorites like linguini a la casa or chicken Albanese on a large wooden deck overlooking a marina.
For a cozier, garden setting, The Black Whale at 279 City Island Ave. fits the bill.Here the Maryland crab cakes are popular, as are the dinner salads, like the New York sirloin cobb salad.
The garden is perfect for romantic dates and relaxing dinners, said owner Bill Kenny.