Best Outdoor Drinking

Café Eau

The Chase Park Plaza Hotel recalls nothing so much as a landmark Manhattan destination, from the façade's 1920s ornamental work to the blue glow of the restored penthouse. But if the Café Eau patio, located in the courtyard of the Chase, were in New York, the valet parking wouldn't be gratis, the drinks would be weaker at twice the price and you'd never get a table. Here in the heart of city, the martini pours are heady, the wine list respectable and a generous gin-and-tonic tastes cleaner and cooler underneath the sky. The pool fountains fizz around the patio while the breeze off the edge of Forest Park feels perpetual. Service is consistent, and the atmosphere never gets snooty. While the inside bar can become a weekend parade of the over-coiffed and über-cologned, the patio always feels relaxed, friendly and open to parties large and small.

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