Food & Drink

Alfresco Dining Thrives in Downtown Westfield

At Amuse, even dogs are welcome when patrons sit outside, according to chef and owner C.J. Reycraft. Credits: Jackie Lieberman

WESTFIELD, NJ — This summer’s mild weather has been a boon to the more than 35 restaurants in Westfield with outdoor seating. With sidewalk tables available on a first-come, first-served basis at most restaurants, patrons with patience have been happily waiting to enjoy alfresco dining.

As a bonus, on Tuesday nights through the end of August, live music from the Sweet Sounds Jazz Festival can be heard outside throughout downtown. (Rain dates are Wednesdays, but so far the festival has hardly needed them.)

“The weather this season has been most cooperative,” said Aurelio Cardoso, manager of The Brick Oven. “Folks love dining outdoors.” 

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It was not yet 4 o'clock clock on a Wednesday and Dave Godlesky, owner of Casa di Pizza, was setting up tables for outdoor dining.

“People love to sit outdoors and chat with one another,” he said. “I am really amazed at how early they arrive, and how late they stay.” 

People love dining outdoors at Ferraro’s, too, according to owner Chuck Murray.

“So many of our customers actually take the train to the restaurant, enjoy lunch or dinner, then take time to walk around town,” said Murray. “As the evening settles, they get back on the train to return home. It’s a great experience.”  

“Regardless of the season, people love to sit outdoors and chat with folks passing by,” said Stephanie Bigmore, an owner of Feast Catering, popular for its gourmet specialties and new line of fresh juices.

Sweetwater’s Steak House offers outdoor seating for 12. “Our beautiful new awning has made our outdoor dining very popular,” noted co-owner Bette Dilollo.

Although space is limited, everyone enjoys dining outdoors at Limani Seafood Grill, said owner George Vastardis. 

“We always do our best to accommodate our customers,” said Vastardis.

It’s not just lunch and dinner that has folks dining outside, either. At places like the Chocolate Bar, shoppers can get frozen treats and homemade goodies to enjoy either seated outside or walking around town.

Outside of Bovella’s Pastry Shoppe, you’ll see dessert lovers sipping coffee and nibbling on pastries.

“Downtown Westfield is fortunate to have a variety of great restaurants,” said Sherry Cronin, executive director of Downtown Westfield Corporation. “It’s wonderful to see the town so alive with people enjoying alfresco dining.”

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