Outdoor dining ascends to new heights.
RPM Seafood’s riverside patio
1. Stellar seafood is in no shortage at multilevel RPM Seafood. With a patio overlooking the Chicago River, the view, food and cocktails are unparalleled. The menu has top-grade fish and seafood dishes galore, including surf and turf, spicy miso black cod and tuna au poivre. For a feast, order a seafood tower and toast to an evening out with the refreshing frosé cocktail, made with rosé, pamplemousse, orange and strawberry. 317 N. Clark St.
2. Rooftop dining goes over the top at the 14,000-square-foot patio space of West Loop bar Recess. Cocktails crafted with locally sourced ingredients include the Alderman’s Choice with tequila, peppered watermelon syrup and lime. Others, meanwhile, allude to the impending election season, with the Rum Emmanuel, Flip Flopper and POTUS Punch. 838 W. Kinzie St.
3. With a 38-seat patio, a signature Southern-style menu and a versatile cocktail list, Virtue Restaurant & Bar sets the seasonal tone. Chef Erick Williams prepares a mix of flavors, including cauliflower with cashew dukkah spice and collard greens with smoked turkey. The cocktail list’s fall offerings include a Honey Lavender Side Piece and a sidecar twist with apple cider. 1462 E. 53rd St.
4. Two-Michelin-starred Acadia provides top-tier excellence, especially in its casual spin on patio dining. Chef Ryan McCaskey prepares a hearty lineup of Stonington lobster rolls, lobster potpies, steak frites and the signature Acadia House Provisions burger. Curated by Bar Manager Michael Simon, Acadia’s cocktails are inspired by musical artists, such as the Cherub Rock (for the Smashing Pumpkins), made with gin, rosé and grapefruit-pineapple kombucha. 1639 S. Wabash Ave.
Photography by: Kelly Clancy