WASHINGTON - It's just about that time of year when restaurant hostesses stop asking, "Would you like to sit inside or outside?" But before you settle for the two-top by the bathroom, know that you still have outdoor options.
A handful of D.C.-area restaurants are not taking down their patios, even in the brisk, autumn temperatures. Instead, they're lighting fires.
"Everybody just kind of cuddles around and gets a little bit snugglier," says Alia Khan, dining editor for Bisnow Media.
"It's just such a quintessential fall experience, and I love that there are restaurants in town that are offering people the chance to have this experience if you don't have your own fire pit in your backyard that you can enjoy."
Bisnow's dining publication recently listed some of the top picks in D.C. for fireside dining, and Khan sat down with WTOP to discuss the favorites.
Located in the Hotel Monaco in Penn Quarter, Poste's patio does not disappoint.
"They've just transformed it into their winter lounge … and the fire pits are wood-burning," Khan says. "Nothing really compares to the crackling of the logs and the actual, you know, smell of the smoke wafting up, it's just so darn cozy."
The staff at Poste regularly comes out to the patio to throw wood onto the fire to keep things going.
"You don't need to worry about tending to your own fire. You can just relax," Khan says.
Known as one of the area's best restaurants, Bourbon Steak at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown has an outdoor ambiance as good as its dry, aged meats. The patio has a few fire pits in the outdoor lounge, alongside heat lamps and cozy patio furniture.
Located on Columbia Heights' hip 11th Street strip, Room 11 elevates its cozy ambiance with outdoor fire pits and blankets. The fire-side menu also includes warm, seasonal drinks, such as a mulled cranberry-apple cider spiked with bourbon.
Chef Art Smith's Union Station-area restaurant makes Southern comfort food a little more warm and comfortable with its outdoor fire. Make sure you catch a view of the Capitol in the glow of the embers.
Leave it up to a restaurant inside the W Hotel to put a modern spin on a fire pit.
"They've got these beautiful glass cases that sort of enclose the fire, but they're still super cozy; they'll offer blankets." Khan says.
As Dining Editor for Bisnow Media, Alia J. Khan writes about the business side of DC's restaurant industry. Check out Dining Bisnow for handy listicles and the latest on hot new openings, trends, and innovations in the DC Dining Scene. Peruse the archives, subscribe, or follow @DiningBisnow on Twitter. Alia is a recovering attorney turned restaurant writer, realtor and yoga instructor. You can reach her at Alia.Khan@bisnow.com.
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