Category Archives: Outdoor dining

YaYa’s new patio ready to go

YaYa’s Eurobistro at 8115 E. 21st St. already had a very nice patio.

Now, it’s even nicer.

The restaurant recently completed a renovation and expansion of the patio that includes more space, new furniture, new lighting, and new patio gardens with more than 1,000 plants.

There’s also an artistic new stone wall.

Of course, patio weather won’t last much longer. But the restaurant plans to have at least one more band play before the season is over. The Source will perform there tonight.

For more information, call 316-634-1000.

Siena’s patio will open this weekend

Siena Tuscan Steakhouse, the fine dining restaurant that opened in January inside the Ambassador Hotel at 104 S. Broadway, is adding a patio.

The gated off area, which has room for about 24 seats, is right on Douglas and looks at over the bustling intersection of Douglas and Broadway. It should be ready to go by Friday, said executive chef Marshall Roth.

The patio is pretty close to Douglas, and during daytime hours, it’s pretty traffic-noisy. The Ambassador staff will be adding tall plants that should help cut down a bit on the noise. The patio also is on the north side of the hotel, meaning that it’s shaded during lunch and dinner hours.

I made him do this.

Another recent addition is a “Chef tasting menu,” which Roth introduced last week. The option allows diners to sample a multi-course menu, which changes every day on Roth’s whim. Five courses are $75, or $110 with wine pairings. Eight courses are $95, or $145 with wine pairings.

For a reservation at Siena, call 316-440-5300.

Wichita’s 10 best restaurant patios

Happy people dining outdoors at Newport Grill

I don’t know if you all caught the Perfect Summer section in Sunday’s paper. It was a fat, 72-pager, and it was filled with lots of good restaurant news.

One story I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss was one I wrote about my favorite outdoor dining spots in Wichita.

Wichita restaurants have lots of nice patios, and the tiny window when you can properly enjoy them — after it warms up but before the flies and sweaty temperatures arrive — is closing quickly.

Check out my list, and see if your favorite patio made it. You also can read stories I wrote about the best beer and wine for summer, ideas for throwing outdoor summer foodie parties, and a list of places you can take summer cooking classes.

And if you want to get up close and personal with the Cake Face folks, you can read about their idea of a perfect picnic.

Tanya’s pretty pergola ready to go

The patio is covered, and Tanya plans to plant some vines that will snake up the sides.

As of today, the pretty new pergola at Tanya’s Soup Kitchen at 1725 E. Douglas is up, and the patio is open.

Crews have been working on the structure, which is covered on top to make it rain-proof, for a couple of weeks. Those who visit for lunch today can be the first to enjoy the new structure and enjoy a view of Douglas while they slurp their soup.

As for the Pug Brunch Tanya planned but had to cancel on tornado weekend, it’s still going to happen, but she’s been waiting on the pergola completion to reschedule. She’ll let me know when she has.

Question of the week: Best outdoor dining?

It’s that very brief time of  year when it’s not too hot, not too cold and not too buggy to eat outdoors. But it won’t last long.

My question this week: Which restaurant in Wichita has the best outdoor dining area?

Hurry up with your answers in the comments section below. I think I just saw a fly.

New restaurant, new patio, new owner

Luca Italian Kitchen in Old Town Square should be open in about 15 days.

There’s all kinds of news in Melad Stephan’s dining world

Stephan, who owns Oeno and Sabor and the soon-to-open Luca Italian Kitchen in Old Town Square, plus Press out east at the Waterfront at 13th and Webb, recently sold one of his restaurants — Egg Cetera, the breakfast restaurant at 242 N. Mosley that he’s owned since June of 2005. (I’m working on getting information on the new owner. So far, all I know is that his name is Manuel.)

“I just need to not worry at 6 o’ clock in the morning,” Stephan said of his desire to sell the breakfast and lunch restaurant. “I have enough worries from 9 to 2.”

I drove past Luca today, and it’s coming along nicely. Stephan says he hopes to have it open by June 14 or 15. When I visited, workers were painting shelves, and when I peeked inside, I could see that Stephan is reconfiguring the space to make it look different from its former incarnation as Uptown Bistro. The menu is coming together, created by Gianluca Sciagata, the restaurant’s new Italian chef, who moved here from Aspen, Colo. Stephan says he’s most excited about tasting the chef’s homemade mozzarella and homemade pastas.

Sabor's pretty new patio, which faces Old Town Square.

Also, Stephan finally has his patio at Sabor opened, with seating for about 25. It’s a very pretty little patio, and Stephan says he has approval to put one on the front side of Luca as well. He also has obtained approval to expand his Oeno patio all the way back past the side of his new banquet room, and once he prices fencing, he’ll get started on that project.

Once Stephan sends me the Luca menu, I’ll share more details.

Patio dining in Wichita

Larkspur's dreamy patio. Look! There in the background! It's The Eagle!

Larkspur's dreamy patio. Look! There in the background! It's The Eagle!

One of the things I most love to do when the weather’s even in the vicinity of decent is to sit on one of Wichita’s gorgeous restaurant patios and enjoy a glass of wine and a plate of deliciousness.

Sadly, Wichita’s not much of a sidewalk cafe town, but the patios we do have are very nice. Since this weekend promises reasonable temps, I thought I’d share my nominations for Wichita’s most fabulous outdoor dining spaces. Add yours below if you think I missed one.

1. Chester’s Chophouse, 1550 N. Webb Road: The covered patio at this upscale steakhouse is something to behold: Secluded seating, gorgeous stone accents, comfortable tables, a glowing fireplace in the corner and a view of a pond — and an office building. But it’s still a great place to wine and dine.

2. Yia Yia’s Eurobistro, 8115 E 21st Street North: The landscaping is gorgeous at this Bradley Fair restaurant, and the patio — filled with pumped in jazz or sometimes live music — has a special feel.

3. Larkspur, 904 E. Douglas: Larkspur’s patio is fun because it offers prime Old Town people watching — and it’s right across the street from the Wichita Eagle. In the spring, it has gorgeous wisteria dropping from the lattice covering, and it offers a nice mix of short and tall tables.

4. Redrock Canyon Grill, 1844 North Rock Road: The cozy, covered patio at Redrock is tucked into the side of the restaurant, and despite its parking lot views, it’s beautiful and comfortable. A highlight is the glowing fire pit that separates it from the front of the restaurant.

5. Pho Hot Bistro, 306 N. Rock Road: Owner Danny Nguyen serves upscale Vietnamese food out of his restaurant, which offers a pretty patio complete with gorgeous plantings and built-in misters.