Your guide to summer patio dining.
Admit it, we’re all ready for a little sunshine. Add to that a glass of crisp white wine, a scrumptious summer salad and an enchanting atmosphere and you’ll feel those wet mornings and mid-week blizzards slowly fade to distant memories. We’ve compiled a list of local hotspots with killer patios, as well as some signature dishes that you simply must try in the welcoming warmth of the sun.
Patrick’s Restaurant & Bakery
Arbor Lakes has a new eatery, one serving up signature dishes and fresh-baked pastries. Patrick’s Restaurant & Bakery offers unique items like their popular flatbread which can be eaten as a main course with crème fraiche, bacon and onion or as a dessert with sautéed apples or bananas. Along with delicious food, the atmosphere is delightful, made even more so by the 60-seat patio. Patrick’s Restaurant & Bakery, 12489 Elm Creek Blvd.; 763.420.7770.
One of the area’s newest restaurants, Rusty Taco is serving up authentic street-style tacos including the popular fried chicken taco and fish and shrimp tacos, all with homemade toppings like Baja cabbage and jalapeno ranch dressing. “We make everything fresh daily,” says general manager Pam Ringgenberg. “We also make all our own sauces and roast our own meat.” With a full patio in the summer, Ringgenberg says local drinks like the Rusty Margarita with fresh lime juice are a popular choice. Rusty Taco, 6346 Vinewood Lane N.; 763.355.5064.
Expect light summer salads and juicy burgers on the summer menu at Maple Tavern. “We change our menu every three months to offer the freshest ingredients of the season,” says event coordinator Laura Miron. Along with a restaurant and expansive patio, Maple Tavern hosts events throughout the year, including the second annual tent party in late July, featuring three bands, delicious food and an outdoor carnival. Check the website for more details. Maple Tavern, 9375 Deerwood Lane N.; 763.425.2700.
3 Squares Restaurant
Nothing says summer like a cucumber pear margarita and a fresh spinach salad. With a 17-table patio complete with an outdoor fireplace, 3 Squares is excited to offer a fresh menu this summer. General manager Tim Walker says the roasted pear salad is a consistent customer favorite. With three happy hours a day (8–11 a.m., 3–6 p.m., and 9 p.m.–1 a.m.), there’s no excuse not to bask in the summer breeze and sip a mango margarita. 3 Squares Restaurant, 12690 Arbor Lakes Parkway; 763.425.3330.
The Lookout Bar & Grill
The newly-remodeled outdoor patio at The Lookout Bar & Grill features a volleyball court, hammocks, a horseshoe pit and a playground area for youngsters. With the largest outdoor patio in Maple Grove it’s easy to see why it won in the “Best Outdoor Dining” category during this year’s Maple Grove “Best Of” contest. Located at the highest elevation in Hennepin County, it offers some great views and a vibrant and delicious menu featuring made-to-order burgers like the bacon-cheddar burger, homemade soups and fresh salads. The Lookout, 8672 Pineview Lane N.; 763.424.4365.
Malone’s Bar and Grill
With their extensive happy hour menu (hello spicy green beans!), great drink specials and delightful patio, summer is in full swing at Malone’s Bar and Grill. Malone’s offers specials like pan fried walleye, chop salad and ahi tuna bites. Craving a spicy burger? Try the Sriracha burger, topped with a honey glaze, vinegar cucumbers and pepperjack cheese. Malone’s Bar and Grill, 12635 Elm Creek Blvd. N.; 763.447.6500.
Claddagh Irish Pub
This authentic pub house has a fun and friendly atmosphere, serving freshly prepared Irish classics like the Jameson burger, a ground beef patty with a Jameson glaze, or the paddy mac, a hot shaved corned beef and Swiss cheese sandwich. With its lively atmosphere, enjoy the scenic outdoor space which you may have missed in back, and from which you can wave to those sipping margaritas on the patio at 3 Squares! Claddagh Irish Pub, 7890 Main St. N.; 763.773.7400.
Pittsburgh Blue Steakhouse
Pittsburgh Blue prides itself on serving flavorful steaks. Start the evening with an order of calamari and bourbon-maple glazed bacon. Try one of the several filets, like horseradish crusted filet or bleu cheese crusted filet. For dessert, order the popular red velvet cake or fruit crisp. All that makes for a perfect evening on one of the area’s best night-time patios. Pittsburgh Blue Steakhouse, 11900 Main St. N.; 763.416.2663.
Redstone American Grill
A perfect combination of an upscale steak house and casual chain restaurant, Redstone Grill offers generous portions of classic dishes like Parmesan crusted walleye, rotisserie chicken and grilled meatloaf. A pairing with sides like garlic mashed potatoes or baked beans make this a perfect summer meal that may taste even more delicious on the patio. Redstone American Grill, 12109 Main St.; 763.420.0232.