If you're a typical Chicagoan, the minute the mercury hits 65 degrees the windows fly open and any thought of sitting home in a hot kitchen cooking evaporates like the mist over Lake Michigan.
Summer in Chicago means taking advantage of the few warm months we have to enjoy doing almost everything we can outdoors, not the least of which is dining at sidewalk cafes.
Local restaurants manage to adjust all sorts of space outdoors to say they offer "alfresco dining"-even if that means just a few sparse tables on a busy sidewalk. Others build plush accommodations for pure relaxation. But anywhere outdoors is coveted by parents of children who would otherwise be messing up a clean kitchen floor.
The options are great and varied for alfresco dining in the city.
4518 N. Lincoln Ave.
If French dining is your thing, but you've given up hope since you had kids, you'll be delighted to know about Bistro Campagne, Lincoln Square's organic and locally sourced French bistro, with one of the best outdoor patios. Bistro Campagne's outdoor terrace is like another room of the restaurant all unto itself. A walled-in courtyard has ambient lighting and tablecloths on the tables just like in the nooks and crannies inside. Order up the Croque Monsieur for the kiddos and bon appétit!