Before you complain about the heat, think back 180 days.
You were bundled up in your coat and warm socks, bemoaning the cold and fearing the flu. The sun made a brief appearance at its job in the sky before mailing it in at 4 p.m. There were fantasies about a warm summer day, a day possibly very like today.
Summer is here, and one way to seize the season is to drink and dine outside. This week, we look at some of the region’s best outdoor restaurant patios. Setting aside opinions about food and service, these are a some great places to relax and enjoy the scenes of summer.
Best Patio Views
Banyans on the Ridge is the clubhouse restaurant at the Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman. Its outdoor patio faces east with a sweeping view of blue skies, manicured greens rolling off into the Palouse hills and Moscow Mountain in the distance, a peaceful respite from the city.
Framed by massive wood beams, the stone patio at Ernie’s Steakhouse in Lewiston is a perch overlooking two states. Downtown Lewiston and Clarkston are spread out below and the river-carved slopes of the valley stretch off into the distance where the sun dependably sets each night.
Best Riverside Patio
Drink and dine on the deck beside the Snake River at Rooster’s Waterfront Restaurant in Clarkston. For a quieter place, head to the nearby Q Lounge at the Quality Inn. To really immerse yourself in nature’s ambiance, visit Orofino’s Dining on the Edge where the patio overlooks the Clearwater River.
Great Patio Atmosphere
Great patio atmosphere is more than a chair and table on a sidewalk, it’s a blend of indoor and outdoor elements. At Maialina Pizzeria Napoletana in Moscow, the patio is framed by plants and herbs used in the restaurant’s kitchen. Also downtown, Slice and Biscuit has a walled-in patio with a children’s playhouse and slide. Nearby, Lodgepole’s outdoor patio is more spacious than its indoor restaurant and Patty’s Mexican Kitchen is great for an outdoor breakfast. In Pullman, check out Foundry Kitchen and Cocktails and Birch and Barley. In downtown Lewiston, Brock’s Town Square has a quiet, sunken patio that is a well-kept secret.
Best People Watching
Not all patios are quiet oases, some are best enjoyed with a crowd or are great places to people watch. For street views from the heart of downtown Moscow, settle in at the flower-lined patio of La Casa Lopez. At MJ Barleyhoppers in Lewiston, live music on the tiered outdoor deck draws a lively crowd Thursday through Saturday nights during the summer.
Best Patios for Dogs
No need for sociable dogs to stay at home when there are dog-friendly patios to visit. We asked Inland 360 Facebook fans for some of their favorites. Top on the list was Palouse Caboose Bar and Grill in Palouse. Other picks were Saute on Sixth and Tomato Bros., in Clarkston; and Jollymore’s, Main Street Grill, Brava’s and Brock’s in Lewiston.