The best summer seats in the house at Broders' Pasta Bar are the ones at the counter surrounding the restaurant's outdoor kitchen. An array of simple and splendid small plates seemingly fly off the grill, and the bar pours a tempting array of Italian wines. In short, summertime bliss.

5000 Penn Av. S., Mpls., 612-925-9202, www.broders.com

The sheltered and romantic patio at Cafe Crema is a lovely perch for enjoying the organically minded salad-pizza-panini menu (and the fine weekend brunch fare), along with the ever-remarkable selection of Sonny's ice cream. Make mine a double scoop of cardamom-black pepper and caramel-pecan, please.

3403 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-824-3868,

www.cremacafeminneapolis.com

When you're affiliated with the nursery across the street, you'd better have a lavishly landscaped patio, right? The Wise Acre Eatery more than lives up to the challenge, boasting almost as much eye-popping plant material as its sister establishment, Tangletown Gardens. Chef Beth Fisher's seasonal cooking is literally up-to-the-minute, since most of her menu's ingredients are sourced, daily, from Tangletown's farm in Plato, Minn.

5401 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-354-2577, www.wiseacreeatery.com

RICK NELSON