Dining Outside the Home: Tavern on the Bay in Naples, Florida! Imagine yourself on a sunny afternoon, perched at the edge of a patio, under a swaying palm tree, sipping on a refreshing beverage with a panoramic view of Naples Bay. Ahhh. These are the moments when Time stands still. Notice the Mediterranean-style architecture, the brick-laden pathways, the gurgling fountains, and the waterfront activity. It practically feels like an oasis in the middle of paradise. Feeling hungry? The Tavern on the Bay menu has you covered. The freshest ingredients are used in an ahi poke bowl, chopped salad, prime rib slider, snapper sammie, or shrimp taco. It sure makes choosing something a tough decision. No worries. There really isn’t a wrong choice. Sit back and enjoy.
Dining Outside the Home: Off the Rock Tavern in Naples, Florida! The cozy laid back atmosphere of this place makes people feel relaxed, whether outdoors at shaded tables or indoors to watch the games. It’s the classic setting for your favorite alcoholic beverage, a place to engage in conversation, binge on bar bites, and linger over dinner. Guilt-free menu options encourage healthy choices with fresh ingredients. Don’t be shy; try something new. The day of this snapshot, a table was set…front and center…marked by American flags and personalized place cards. Its purpose was to honor the US military killed in a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan. Thirteen bottles of beer sat ghostly untouched as a tribute for the lives of those brave Americans. When a restaurant community of servers come together like this for our military, is it any wonder people gravitate here?
Dining Outside the Home: Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, DC! Steps away from the White House sits a quaint, historic 1856 tavern that could tell legendary tales, if its walls could talk. Originally an “old boys club”, the Old Ebbitt Grill’s dramatic atmosphere still draws people from all over. Take a look around at the original paintings, antique beer steins, and stuffed animal heads. Murmurings of ghost stories and strange happenings still pop up in conversation. But focus instead on the amazing food and thirst-quenching cocktails. It’s a dining hotspot worth experiencing.
Dining Outside the Home: Schaefer’s Spouter Tavern in Mystic, Connecticut! For perfect al fresco dining in the heart of Mystic Seaport Museum’s seafaring village, choose a table outside under the trees. Take a breath of fresh air as you gaze at the flagship, Charles W. Morgan, an American wooden whaling ship built in 1841. She’s a National Historic Landmark, you know, now docked in Chubb’s Wharf. That’s quite a view. But back to the tavern. For those who may not be familiar, the tavern is named after one mentioned in Melville’s “Moby Dick”. The Museum re-created it as a working exhibit in 1956. As for lunch, I highly recommend the Lobster Roll, served on a split bun with chunks of fresh lobster meat practically overflowing onto the plate. Add a bottle of Mystic River IPA for a mild, earthy, citrus flavor that will go down like a welcome treat for the palate.
Dining Outside the Home: Old Town Tavern & Beer Garden in Key West, Florida! When the heat becomes stifling on a humid island day, duck inside the threshold for cooling shade of Old Town Tavern. This is real southern hospitality. Crafted cocktails and other nice drinks invite relaxation and conversation. Mixed greens and hearty portions encourage shared plates, if you’re into that sort of thing. The friendly staff makes this location a stopping point on a busy street. Drop in and stay awhile.
Dining Outside the Home: Country Tavern in Nashua, New Hampshire! If you like a dose of haunting history served with a rustic dinner in a circa 1741 farmhouse, Country Tavern is the place to be. Not only is the wait staff eager to share their own personal tales of lights “flickering” and ghosts “bumping” in the night, the tavern even provides a full page newspaper article describing details about the resident apparition, Elizabeth Ford. But back to the meal, I recommend the hand-cut filet mignon with béarnaise sauce. It’s delicious, especially if it ends up being your last meal.
Dining Outside the Home: Tavern on the Green at Central Park in Manhattan, New York City, New York! Be captivated by a breathtaking view, in a bucolic setting, while dining al fresco in the beautifully manicured floral gardens of Tavern on the Green. Catch a glimpse of a horse-drawn carriage meandering by. The muscular draft horse practically nods its red-plumed headpiece as its melodic hooves clip-clop past the charming landscaped terrace. Sunlight dapples the outdoor tables in anticipation of quiet celebrations and romantic interludes. In the flurry of New York City, pause long enough to embrace the history of such an iconic landmark. It is definitely worth bookmarking in your travel journal.