The restaurant set out to meet the needs of its cooped-up clientele by pivoting from its indoor space — a slick set of handsome rooms that received a steady stream of corporate traffic — and transporting its warm, Italian-accented hospitality to a neighboring 22,000 square foot outdoor lot. Now a partially-tented culinary wonderland with twinkling lights, Il Giardino has become one of the most expansive, socially-distant outdoor dining areas in the city.
Young, flirty types stop by to enjoy craft cocktails and rounds of frosé, while local couples stop by for a romantic date night under the stars. Under current restrictions, a pair of large bocce courts, plus ping pong tables, giant Jenga and cornhole all go unused, but soon guests will be allowed to play with increased safety measures in place.
The versatile menu ranges from light raw bar items and shareable appetizers to hearty housemade pastas and sizable steaks. Guests can make room for dessert by perusing the grounds; be sure to check out the handspun gelato cart and crackling pizza oven. For a neighborhood craving a moment of normalcy via a nice evening out, Il Giardino has filled a need.