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April/May 2006

Atlanta Al Fresco
The Great Outdoors

The exquisite rooftop patio at Shout.
One advantage of living in a city blessed with mild weather year round is an overabundance of outdoor dining options. From patios to decks to cabanas on rooftops, Atlantans love to feel a refreshing breeze while satiating their appetites, morning, noon and night. Here are just a few city favorites for having a meal under sunny skies or starry nights.

On a sunny spring or summer day, you'd be hard pressed to find a scene more jumping than Einstein's. With its prime location near Piedmont Park and the high-rises and condos of Midtown, the restaurant's expansive patio fronting Juniper Street allows diners to sip a cool drink while shaded under a tree, or take in the sun while munching on selections from the crowd-pleasing menu. 1077 Juniper St., 404-876-7925.

A few blocks away, Toast offers Atlantans the opportunity to dine on Chef Nancy Smith's pasta, bread, comfort entrees and sandwiches amidst the concrete jungle from its patio tucked along the back of the Biltmore Hotel. While apartments and office buildings surround the restaurant, the serene patio gives it a neighborhood-bistro vibe perfect for a low-key meal. 817 W. Peachtree St., Ste. E-125, 404-815-9243.

The breezy patio at Portofino's.
Tucked away from the clubs of Buckhead in a rehabbed bungalow, Portofino's shady stone and brick patio is just one draw to the American-Italian bistro. Whether you're looking for a place to unwind after work with a glass of wine or to enjoy one of the many fresh seafood specials, the breezy patio at Portofino-quite possibly the largest in Buckhead-is the place to keep cool on warm evenings. 3199 Pace s Ferry Pl., 404-231-1136.

The after-five crowd gather to let loose at Shout, a popular see-and-be-seen Colony Square scene where A-listers and celebrities are also often spotted. The restaurant offers tapas, pizza cooked in wood-burning ovens, a sushi bar, a rooftop patio with a bird's eye view of Peachtree Street and-like its sister Twist at Phipps Plaza-a lively atmosphere and specialty martinis. 1197 Peachtree St., 404-846-2000.

Wahoo! A Decatur Grill
This charming restaurant in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur offers a little something for everyone, with an emphasis on seafood such as grilled Wahoo medallions and Charleston shrimp and grits. While Wahoo! appears small and quaint from the exterior, there are plenty of seats inside and out. On a warm night, the romantically lit enclosed back patio proves a popular place to enjoy a glass of wine or finish off a meal with the not-to-be-missed bread pudding. 1042 W. College Ave., Decatur, 404-373-3331.

Toast offers a neighborhood-bistro vibe.
Sia Moshk, owner of the award-winning Sia's in Duluth takes outdoorsy types into account at the Midtown Latin bistro named for his wife, Mitra. A gurgling fountain greets guests on the extensive patio along the entire side of the restaurant, which beckons diners yearning to linger and enjoy the breeze as they sip on the sweet, fruity sangria, which is mixed in-house. Dishes such as the jalapeno-lime caramelized sea scallops with Manchego cheese grits prove to be tempting fare. 818 Juniper St., 404-875-5515.

ONE. midtown kitchen
The back terrace of ONE. midtown kitchen provides a calm, relaxing setting for sampling the extensive wine list and much-raved-about cuisine, all while enjoying views of the lush greenery of Piedmont Park. The wine list is divided among price tiers, and if you order a "bottomless glass" choice, you can drink as much as you want from all wines in the same category. Servers are adept at steering diners toward the best choices amongst the various tiers. 559 Dutch Valley Rd., 404-892-4111.

Einstein's casual patio scene.
The Flying Biscuit Cafe
At popular brunch spots around town, nowhere is the line longer on weekends than at The Flying Biscuit Café. People will wait hours for the signature "Flying Biscuit Breakfast"-two farm-fresh eggs, free-range chicken and sage breakfast sausage, creamy grits and, of course, a fluffy biscuit. Its Candler Park location features a lovely screened-in rear sun porch, perfect for feeling just the slightest breeze while you eat. Its Midtown location's outdoor patio affords great views of the hustle and bustle of 10th Street. 1655 McLendon Ave., 404-687-8888 (Candler Park); 1001 Piedmont Ave., 404-874-8887 (Midtown)

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