Five outdoor dining spots to try and what to eat while there

With an outdoor dining season that's shorter than most would like, and so many open air places to choose from, it's important to pick al fresco spots carefully. From new seasonal menu items to great spaces, here are five spots to catch some air while you enjoy a bite to eat this season.

Antico Posto
118 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook;
"When I dine outside, I feel like I'm on vacation. It feels like I'm getting away from my everyday life, and like I am able to enjoy being in the 'now' while enjoying nature and my meal," said John Chiakulas, executive chef and partner at Antico Posto in Oak Brook. "The patio at Antico Posto is cozy and surrounded by flowers and Italian herbs, which makes guests feel like they are in Italy at a local cafe." The patio seats 20 people. "It's been an Oak Brook favorite for about 14 years," Chiakulas said.

Chiakulas' favorite summer menu item is his heirloom tomato pizza. It is made with fresh mozzarella, baby kale, fresh cherry tomatoes, freshly grated Parmesan and balsamic vinegar. "It's a cross between a salad and a pizza," he said. "The flavors are bright, fresh and light, yet satisfying. It simply tastes like summer. Also, the kale is not cooked, which gives a cool texture typically found in salads."

By Veronica Hinke

Chicago Tribune

(June 8, 2016)