Ignore the view, which is basically a parking lot. Instead, concentrate on the great-looking Italian food coming out of this D’Amico kitchen, especially the pastas and pizzas. Sunday is date night, when $55 buys a three-course dinner for two (with choices in each course), and bottles of wine under $100 are half-price. Lunch served Monday through Friday, dinner daily.

6411 City West Pkwy., Eden Prairie, 952-941-6868,


3 Squares

Breakfast on the patio is a subspecialty of the Blue Plate Restaurant Co. (witness the handsome outdoor venue at their Longfellow Grill, 2990 West River Pkwy., Mpls., The roomy patio at the company’s outpost in the Grove is an ideal fresh-air venue for crisp waffles, spinach-Brie frittatas, meatloaf hash with bearnaise sauce, steel-cut oats finished with a maple-scented apple relish and lavishly dressed chilaquiles. Lunch and dinner are also served daily, and there’s a full bar.

12690 Arbor Lakes Pkwy., Maple Grove, 763-425-3330,


Washington Square Bar & Grill

One of downtown White Bear Lake’s top summertime assets is the well-appointed patio at this neighborhood charmer, which easily swings from morning (huevos rancheros, Parmesan-pesto-spinach omelets) to night (gazpacho, pecan-crusted walleye, caprese salad) without skipping a beat. Happy hour (3 to 6 p.m. weekdays, 10 p.m. to close daily) includes wine, beer and cocktail deals plus $2 off small-plate items. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, daily.

4736 Washington Av., White Bear Lake, 651-407-7162,

Vivo Kitchen

Lunch, dinner and weekend breakfast on a patio that’s so roomy it could double as a smallish park. Added bonuses: It overlooks a small pond, and segments are precipitation-proof. The kitchen’s something-for-everyone mind-set translates into locally raised tomatoes dressed with rich burrata and basil, well-made pizzas, a Juicy Lucy filled with goat cheese and sweet corn, an impressive BLT, gnocchi with a veal-sausage ragout and an apple-cherry cobbler with vanilla gelato. Full bar, and a decent kids’ menu.

15435 Founders Lane, Apple Valley, 952-891-8808,