Summer fun guide: Patios for romance
811 Highland St., Victorian Village
Like many of the finer restaurants in town, Basi Italia doesn't take reservations for its outdoor seating. If the weather is pleasant, though, waiting for a free table is worth it. Simply get a head start on one of the many fine bottles on the wine list at the outdoor bar. Once you're seated at a table, soak in the ambiance, reminiscent of an intimate European cafe, with your sweetie. Strings of white lights and glowing, lit-up trees create a dreamy setting not unlike the romantic scenes in movies when love suddenly appears. Just resist the urge to reenact the dinner scene from "Lady and the Tramp" using your Lamb Bolognese.
263 E. Whittier St., German Village
The outdoor tables in the secluded little oasis behind the German Village restaurant are always in demand, but Barcelona doesn't pack the patio with seats. Each table has enough room to allow diners on dates to forget about the people seated nearby, and eating under the brilliant blue umbrellas while surrounded by an abundance of potted plants is a treat for eyes as well as tummies.
M at Miranova
2 Miranova Place, Downtown
The patio at M is one of the city's most overlooked romantic spots. The patio, ringed with little white lights, offers a limited view of the river and a serene location for enjoying ambrosial cocktails by M's mixologist, Cris Dehlavi. Even better, there are comfortable couches in a semi-private seating area located just outside the restaurant's entrance. The space is available on a first-come, first-serve basis for drinks, dessert or even a whole meal.