Best Alfresco Dining in Chicago
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Oh, the romance
Cupid hearts Volo. Draw the sheer curtains across one of the cabanas at this Roscoe Village eatery (left), and this candlelit enclave (6 miles northwest of the Loop) will make you feel as if you've stepped into a romance novel.
Though the cabanas are perfect for date night, owner Jon Young is equally passionate about welcoming singles and groups to the back patio, where wrought-iron tables and cedar banquettes also offer charming ambience.
The menu will make you fall for a 2006 Argentine champagne ($10 a glass) and sweet pea flatbread ($10). Fresh oysters (market price) are worth the commitment. The duck confit ($20) has been marinated for 12 hours and slow-cooked for another 12.
Landscape artist Helene Albert surrounds diners with a perfect pair of raised gardens, a century-old barn and a patio fountain. At dusk, hanging paper lanterns create an illuminated fairyland. And the name? It comes from the Latin word for "flight"--which the heart takes with every visit.
Volo, 2008 W. Roscoe Street, Chicago (773/348-4600).