Seacoast restaurants will continue to offer outdoor dining throughout the winter as the demand for the accommodation remains steady and the COVID-19 pandemic persists.
Many establishments began outdoor dining last year, as a way for restaurants to survive during the beginning of the pandemic.
Here are five places in the Seacoast of New Hampshire and southern Maine with outdoor dining options worth experiencing in winter 2021:
Galley Hatch & Tinos Kitchen and Bar in Hampton
The need for outdoor dining became clear during COVID, Galley Hatch Restaurant Director of Operations Joe Linnehan said.
As a result of the surging demand from customers, the restaurant added igloos last winter and will now offer outdoor dining on a recently added deck.
In the beginning of the pandemic, Galley Hatch Restaurant received special licensing to use outdoor igloos as a way to safely distance customers from one another. The reason the restaurant chose to add a deck is because igloos will no longer be permitted when the outdoor dining emergency order as a result of COVID expires at the end of the year, Linnehan said
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The heated deck has room for up to 50 people and contains two fire pits, which can seat up to eight people per fire pit, according to Linnehan. Soon, the deck will be contained with a plastic covering to hold more heat in.
The deck connects to the indoor bar area, Linnehan said, and there are two large TVs for game viewing. The restaurant offers table service, a rotating seasonal cocktail menu and live entertainment by local musicians, Linnehan said.
The menu includes an extensive assortment of classic New England meals, like the Yarmouth sandwich with fried haddock on a brioche bun, and baked treats, like the caramel apple cake, Assistant Manager Marisa Buss said. The meal comes with tartar sauce and a side.
If you're in the Hampton area and are looking for another cuisine, Tinos Kitchen and Bar is located on the second floor of the same building as the Galley Hatch and is owned by the same company, Linnehan said.
Tinos serves Mediterranean food and utilizes a wood fired grill, according to Linnehan. The cocktail and wine menu features imported wines from different countries that are chosen for paring with Mediterranean flavors, he added.
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Tinos also has a heated outdoor deck on the second floor with 60 seats and one large fire pit that can seat up to 16 people, Linnehan said.
Magnus on Water in Biddeford
Co-owner of Magnus on Water Brittany Saliwanchik said the restaurant first opened in January 2020, just two months before the country shutdown in an attempt to curb the COVID pandemic.
The restaurant specializes in cocktails, wine and a variety of small food plates, similar to tapas style, although slightly bigger than traditional tapas, Saliwanchik said.
The restaurant shut down in March at the onset of the pandemic and partially re-opened for takeout only in May 2020, Saliwanchik said. That summer, the restaurant opened up a patio with contactless service. It was only six months ago that Magnus on Water became fully operational, which meant no more contactless food service and indoor dining. The patio is heated and has a fire pit for extra warmth.
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“Hospitality is as important to the identity of this restaurant as are the cocktails and the food," Saliwanchik said.
The menu is consistently changing based on what fresh food is available from local fishermen and farmers, Saliwanchik said. She recommends calling the day of to inquire about menu and booking your reservation online in advance.
Saliwanchik asks that customers try to call ahead if they want to be seated outside on the heated patio.
Street in Portsmouth
Street is "a casual restaurant and cocktail lounge" on the West End of Portsmouth, according to its website, with a wide range of food items. Street's items include falafel, phở, burgers, bibimbap, and much more.
The patio at Street has an awning, is heated, and has 12 tables. During winter, the restaurant downsizes to six large tables, according to a Street manager.
Ciao Trattoria and Wine Bar in Durham
Ciao Trattoria and Wine Bar is an Italian restaurant owned by longtime Durham residents Doug and Kim Clark, according to the restaurant website.
The restaurant offers outdoor dining and heaters throughout the winter, Kim Clark said.
"What people want right now is comfort, familiarity, value and to feel a part of the rebuilding of the human spirit," the website states.
Since the pandemic began, Ciao Trattoria pivoted from a fine dining model to the less formal concept, according to the restaurant's website.
Ore Nell's Barbecue in Kittery
Ore Nell's Barbecue on Badger's Island in Kittery has outdoor seating and heaters, according to assistant manager Daniel O'Leary.
Outside there are three picnic tables in total and one heater that's close to two of those tables, O'Leary said. Additionally, a covered porch has four tables and 16 seats.
O'Leary recommends customers try the jalapeño cheddar cornbread and brisket.
O'Leary also recommends following the restaurant's social media for daily specials.
If you'd like to add a restaurant offering outdoor dining to this list, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll continue to update this list.
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Correction: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect first name for Galley Hatch Restaurant Director of Operations Joe Linnehan.
This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Outdoor dining NH ME: Galley Hatch, Tinos, Ciao Trattoria, Ore Nell's