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Best Outdoor Dining

Slide 5 of 17

Chicago

Chicago Cut Steakhouse. With a 120-seat bi-level terrace that boasts views of the Chicago River and the Loop, this is the legendary steak town’s ultimate outdoor spot for superjuicy dry-aged beef.

Big Star. Highlights of this supercool “honky tonk” taqueria from Paul Kahan (an F&W Best New Chef 1999) include excellent pork-belly tacos and greasy-good queso fundido (a glorious melted-cheese appetizer studded with chorizo). Dim lighting, fashionably disheveled bartenders and country music encourage down-and-dirty drinking of highbrow and lowbrow beers, but there are also exceptional cocktails by Violet Hour mixologist Michael Rubel. Both are best sipped on a large patio that has sleek metal tables and cheery bright yellow chairs.

Big Star. Photo © Steve Dolinsky.
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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.