5/24/2012 10:38:00 AM

6 Early Summer Outdoor Eating Options in DC

PS 7's patio picnic
Early summer, before humidity and tourists hit the streets, is a glorious time for a casual outdoor feast.  It’s the time honored way to celebrate Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, or to relax after work.  Sure you can fire up the backyard grill or ferry your party to a park. But when you don’t feel up to the effort, consider these restaurant deals and festive happenings.

Art & Soul: Let Louisiana native chef Wes Morton transport you from Capitol Hill to Cajun country with an old-fashioned crab boil - spicy crabs, plus sides like corn and sausage - washed down with beer specials (served Wednesdays starting at 5:30 PM, from May 30 through the end of summer; 202-393-7777).
Café du Parc: Honor France and America’s love of freedom and frites on the Fourth of July and Bastille Day (July 14) at this Gallic bistro’s annual block party on Pennsylvania Avenue, near the Mall, featuring live music, American BBQ classics and a crêpe station, all à la carte (July 4, 5-9 PM, July 14, noon-2 PM, 6-9 PM; 202-942-7000).

Eat Bar: Take a trip to the beach when this hip Arlington New American brings the boardwalk to its paved parking lot on June 6. Some 20 wines will enliven a “Beach Bash” tasting, along with seaside eats like conch fritters, fish tacos, Virginia crab sliders - and of course, hot dogs (noon-3 PM; $25 for the wine tasting; food tickets sold on site; click here for tickets).

Hill Country: Lasso the Memorial Day weekend at this Texas-themed Penn Quarter BBQ joint that will feature menu specials (like smoked burgers) and happy hour pricing from May 25-28, with a Gospel Supper on May 27 offering a special classic Americana menu, plus a rollicking church choir from 5:30-7 PM, followed by blues at 8 PM (202-556-2050).

PS 7's: Dig into crunchy fried chicken and red-checkered napkin sides on the patio of this Penn Quarter New American. Iced-tea and brownies are included with the summer meal, but be warned, you’ll be tempted to add one of its artisan tropical shaved ice concoctions and a mason jar spiked drink (daily, lunch, $19 with two sides and dinner, $27 with three sides; starting June 4; 202-742-8550).

Society Fair: Sip wine and sample swine at Old Town’s sumptuous new wine bar, market, butchery, and take-out spot, rolled into one elegant, soaring hall and charming patio. On Monday nights, starting June 4, they’ll be slicing samples from a whole roasted pig. After that, it will be hard to resist ordering a plate of charcuterie (5-7 PM; 703-683-3247).

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