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Your Chicago: Al Fresco Dining

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Kate Sullivan Kate Sullivan
Kate Sullivan is co-anchor of CBS 2 Chicago News at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m....
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(CBS) – With summer in full swing, there is no better weekend destination than a restaurant with outdoor seating.

Al fresco dining is in high demand, forcing many restaurants to expand their outdoor space.

CBS 2’s Kate Sullivan looks at three hot spots that definitely deliver.

In Wicker Park, an outdoor patio is tucked in the back of Enoteca Roma, doubling the dining space of this usually quiet and quaint roman trattoria.

“In the summer, everything flourishes,” Letitzia Sorano says.

Sorano is not alone. As a restaurant owner, she knows her outdoor space is what’s making her money — that, and keeping the menu seasonal with fresh herbs and lighter, homemade pastas, keep the patio packed.

Chris Bisaillon opened Howells and Hood restaurant last summer with a large outdoor space directly off of Michigan Avenue.

“I’ve never seen anything like it, where, all of a sudden it’s 65 degrees and it’s not even quite patio weather and people are out there with their coat and they’re having some beers and some food and they’re just having a good time,” he says.

With 300-plus beers on tap and a menu that focuses on shareable plates for post-work diners, this restaurant situated in the base of the iconic Chicago Tribune tower has become a summer dining destination.

Diner Kirk Zaranti spends at least two nights a week at Tuscan-inspired Carlucci’s in Downers Grove.

“A lot of times when guests come here they feel like they just took a trip to Italy,” says Genti Mesi, general manager.

Tuscany inspires a lot of Carlucci’s food, including linguini bobonato.

So, whether you’re in the suburbs or the heart of the city, these spots have embraced al fresco dining and what goes along with it

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