Who has the best outdoor dining setup (distance, heat and good food)? [Boston, MA]

We had a great dinner along these lines at Alcove last week. Some places just lucked out with their physical setup during this pandemic.

I’m looking for a place to bring a small group for an early dinner on Saturday. It is supposed to be a nice day but in the high 40s by dinner time. The title says it all. We’d like somewhere with good food and drink that takes covid precautions including distancing seriously. We’ll be dining outdoors so heat lamp game is important. Not as interested in tents unless they are quite open.

Feed me Onions!

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A couple of our old stand-bys, Branchline and Il Casale Belmont (I’ve been disappointed with the food at the Lexington location), come to mind although I haven’t been to either under quarantine conditions. I think both teams would take safety for guests and staff seriously.

I wanna to try Chalawan badly. But the thought of eating outside on Mass Ave is a deterrent. :neutral_face:

ETA: I wonder if SRV’s patio has heat lamps?

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I’m not sure about the heat situation, but Semolina Kitchens outdoor setup has looked enticing to me. It’s set up off to the side of the restaurant and is tucked back off the sidewalk. They’ve been doing a great job for takeout all through the pandemic, imo, and I’d guess they are also handling the sit down stuff well.

@digga I dont think I’d want to eat out front of Chalawan either, haha.


Semolina is a good thought. They only accept reservations for up to 4 people unfortunately. Someone suggested Benedetto. Not sure we are looking for that high end though.

May I suggest you read my post on Craigie Next Door ? Excellent precautions, roomy, in a empty parking lot and heat lamps, too! Ample portion size, delicious meal.

I like Semolina. Not as impressed with their Covid precautions, follow through. Different story at parent Dave’s Fresh Pasta. Dave watches everything, consistent follow through imho.

Interested to know where you choose, your experience. TIA.

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I’d consider Spoke. I’m not sure how big a group they’ll take but their outdoor setup is quite nice and they appeared to be taking very good COVID precautions when we ate there.

I haven’t been since having spring onion but I loved it then. The current menu looks absolutely Felisha (aka Flea)-worthy.

Curious minds look forward to a post-meal report @uni (no pressure!).

ETA: What happened to the full-on sun that we were supposed to have today? That might make heaters even more imperative this evening, but hell, we’re hearty New Englanders, correct?!


If you’re in the Waltham area - Gustavos (which moved from Main street to Moody street this year) has a pretty nice outdoor set up. Their seating is not directly on Moody street (unlike others), it is in this little open space beside the building. It is surrounded by acrylic panels to cut down on any breeze (top is still open, so not tented in) and they have lots of heaters. They’ve really put a lot into trying to extend their dining season . . . .


We had an early lunch at B & G Oysters. Two outdoor options to choose from, a below-grade terrace in back and street level tables on the side. Tables well-spaced, and abundant heat lamps.


We’ve enjoyed a lot of Semolina Kitchen take out since March, though I have no experience with eating on the patio.


Has anyone ventured outdoor dining in Boston this fall? Friends are coming into
town so I’m wondering if a meal outdoors is still possible and/or tolerable in November. Where?

This is a long shot, for scheduling reasons also. Though if don’t ask I certainly won’t be ready with good suggestion(s) for a get-together.

We had a very nice meal on Pammy’s street patio earlier this week. I don’t love the new prix fixe format, but the food was as good as ever. It was not only tolerable, but quite beautiful to dine outside this past week (and most of the fall). However, it is supposed to be colder moving forward. We did some outside meals last November, mostly out of desperation, but it was damn cold. Many places have heaters, but make sure you are right under one.


^ Keeping this in mind for sure, thanks.

  1. Loyal Nine? It was warm when we ate there, but they did have heating lamps.

  2. Oleana now takes garden reservations, but I have not checked since September.

I like both of these because you are not on a sidewalk. Also the food.

  1. Forage has an outdoor set up in their off-street parking lot, but my experience with their food has been a bit mixed. They do have interesting-sounding Tuesday-wine dinners, though.

^ This. I much prefer not being on the sidewalk, both from a distancing perspective and because I don’t feel the need to be a public spectacle while eating. It’s dinner, not a show. :laughing:

Thanks for the tips!

Now you have me intrigued. How dramatically do you eat anyway?

Eating on the sidewalk in the US has all sorts of implications and consequences. We don’t face this particular problem as much in the Greater Boston area:

but it is a theoretical question for us. American cities were not set up for outdoor dining, unlike European, so we’ve a long way to go. (Set up a better safety net, anyone?)


Saltie Girl has a nice setup.

As do we at home - I picked up a second propane patio heater for $99 recently and we have been getting maximum benefit from our small terrace.


Well, I do wish I could unhinge my jaw or something amazing like that. Then I’d sell tickets, LOL.

And in relation to the article you linked, food insecurity is a very big deal to me (personal history from times in childhood). Whatever we do to help always feels like a drop in an ocean of need. Yeah, a long way to go.


Great to know. Sounds enticing!

Unless your friends know what to do after a random person screams “O-H!!” in an eating and drinking establishment, then I’m afraid I can’t make any suggestions.

That said, we have dined into December outside and fared well (I think once was at Brewers Fork?). Have blankets, will travel.