Dining Al Fresco in CNY

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Now that sunny weather is finally here, enjoy dining out at area restaurants. Here are a few to whet your appetite:

Barado’s on the Water


On the shores of Oneida Lake in Central Square, you can access this restaurant the way you want— by car or boat. Many of the tables are outside on the patio overlooking Oneida Lake. You may enjoy a wide variety of food with a great focus on fish and meats.

Heritage Hill


The Pompey facility serves beer, burgers and bucolic views overlooking Palladino Farms, whether seated indoors or outside. Heritage Hill is part of the Onondaga Historical Association’s group of community museums as the Brewseum, which covers the history of brewing in Central New York. Check the Facebook page for live entertainment and events.

Crazy Daisies


The Syracuse facility is part family greenhouse and part garden cafe and part live music venue. In addition to fresh salads and hand-tossed pizzas, savor New York state spirits, beer, wine and cider, whether dining on the wide front porch or at a picnic table on the lawn.

Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-In


Located in Oswego, Rudy’s offers locally the ambiance of an oceanside restaurant, as it’s perched on the shore of Lake Ontario. A favorite of tourists and locals, Rudy’s has earned its reputation for great fried fish dinners and a variety of other seafood. But burgers and other “landlubber” meals are also available, along with all the sides.



The Syracuse restaurant serves up Italian favorites and fresh bread with zesty hot tomato (“Hot Tom”) dipping oil. The patio seating adds to the feeling of a little Italian mom-and-pop eatery in the Old Country. Buy a jar of Hot Tom to savor at home.

Laci’s Tapas Bar


The Syracuse location serves Spanish-inspired tapas family style. Expect a large variety of snack-sized portions to comprise the meal. The extensive drink list is also a big draw.

The Brewster Inn’s


The Cazenovia restaurant features a patio that overlooks Cazenovia Lake. The 1890s structure exudes romance, making it perfect for a summer date night. The drink list includes numerous cocktails, wines and craft brews.

La Parrilla


The restaurant sits on a strategic location — where Oswego River meets Lake Ontario in Oswego. It’s a vibrant, Mediterranean-style bistro with a wine list and ever-changing selection of farm-fresh fare.

Lombardo’s Bridie Manor


Another historic restaurant overlooking water is the Bridie Manor, which is in the circa 1833 Ontario Mill by the Oswego River. The menu includes Italian favorites, seafood and grilled items.

Doug’s Fish Fry


The patio at Doug’s Fish Fry in Skaneateles gets pretty busy this time of the year, especially on weekends. It has served up seafood in a casual atmosphere since the 1980s. The menu includes chicken, kielbasa and other foods off the grill. Its dipping sauce became so popular that the restaurant bottled it for patrons to purchase and use at home. Don’t miss the variety of sundaes to top off the meal.

Heid’s of Liverpool


It has served Hofmann hot dogs and other favorites since 1917. Gianelli sausage, Philly cheesesteak, chicken tenders, onion rings, mozzarella sticks and fries are among the offerings. The restaurant lives up to its tagline, “Food you’ll like.” It’s also adjacent to Sweet Treats ice cream stand, open seasonally. There’s not much for a view at Heid’s, but the special events like cruise-ins and live entertainment, along with ‘50s drive-in ambiance make it a special place to eat. Check the website for the schedule.