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Getting Out

Say hello to your next dinner date. From Perennial Virant to Le Colonial, we’ve got the city’s best in alfresco dining. 

Fans of grilled octopus will enjoy Piccolo Sogno's Griglia Mista.

At these enduring (and still-fresh) classics, alfresco dining never goes out of style.

1. Coco Pazzo Café
Pan-seared duck breast over polenta is served with a side of premier people-watching. Scope Michigan Avenue shoppers while sipping on one of 15 wines by the glass or 100 by the bottle. Wine Director Tamra Weiss recommends Castello di Bossi, a light and refreshing rosé ($40). 636 N. St. Clair St., 312.664.2777

2. Le Colonial
The second-floor veranda channels French-colonial Vietnam with palm trees, iron railings and ceiling fans circulating the summer breeze. Go guilt-free with one of the low-calorie cocktails, such as the Mekong Sunset (Ketel One Citroen, tangerine-ginger tea and muddled orange). 937 N. Rush St., 312.255.0088

3. Lula Cafe
For 15 years, this Logan Square gem has pioneered the patio-to-table movement. Flower boxes filled with herbs and edible flowers provide beauty as well as inspiration for a six-course vegetarian tasting menu ($48). And if the summer nights get a bit chilly, just ask for a complimentary blanket. 2537 N. Kedzie Ave., 773.489.9554

4. Perennial Virant
Chef Paul Virant takes advantage of his patio’s proximity to Green City Market for his ever-changing menu, which offers buttered radishes with lemon pickled turnips and asparagus salad with marinated feta. 1800 N. Lincoln Ave., 312.981.7070

5. Piccolo Sogno
Under the shade of an ivy-covered tree in this charming “secret garden,” enjoy a seasonal Italian wine list and rustic dishes—from squash blossoms stuffed with fontina, tomato and olive oil puree ($11) to the signature ravioli ($16). 464 N. Halsted St., 312.421.0077