Relax at these three Twin Cities eateries, whose beautiful patios are as inviting as the food.
The leafy, sheltered patio at Heidi's is a fine warm-weather platform for lapping up every morsel of chef Stewart Woodman's innovative cooking and pastry chef Heidi Woodman's equally striking desserts. The bar shakes up some wicked-good cocktails and Sunday brunch is a treat.
2903 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-354-3512, www.heidismpls.com
Meritage sure makes the most of its gorgeous location -- in the landmark Hamm Building, near Rice Park -- with a stretch of sidewalk seating that definitely ranks at the top of the food chain. Chef Russell Klein knows his way around seafood -- there's no better oyster bar in the Midwest, period -- and co-owner Desta Klein keeps the front of the house humming. Don't miss the weekend a la carte brunch.
Watch the world (well, some of downtown, anyway) stroll by from a well-appointed sidewalk perch outside Vincent. Chef Vincent Francoual deftly caters to many tastes and budgets -- from a six-course, $74 tasting menu to a superb $11 daily omelet -- and service is first-rate. Closed Sundays.
1100 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-630-1189, www.vincentarestaurant.com