I admire how much the restaurants in NYC have really hustled to get outdoor dining to work. I watched construction crews sawing away at boards to build makeshift patios in record time. And I’m so glad for it, because outdoor dining really has breathed new life into the city. It used to be depressing walking down the eerie, abandoned streets, but now things are lively again. In Soho, in particular, some stretches remind me of the gaiety of nightlife in the Marais in Paris…in years past.
I really have to hand it to La Mercerie for going the extra mile with its outdoor set up, which is arguably the most attractive outdoor restaurant in the city. It feels like a proper outdoor patio, like it was built with permanent intentions, as opposed to being a quick appendage. That’s why La Mercerie wins the award for best outdoor dining in NYC.
I’m a little sad to see that their signature crepes are no longer available on the menu. I’m not sure why that is. Was the cook with the crepe expertise unable to return to work? But I was happy with what was available. The salad nicoise was light yet still filling, a way to eat tuna and vegetables without regret, and a wonderful complement to my Petit Paris cocktail.
For something more substantial, the breakfast sandwich with a Middle Eastern Parisian twist, also known as the sandwich berbere, or the classic quiche du jour, is recommended. They all go well with the wine list, and if you find yourself tipsy, you have access to the most beautiful bathrooms.
53 Howard St (between Broadway and Mercer St)
New York, NY 10013