Pick a Perfect Patio to Enjoy This Summer

Enjoy the lake area this season with friends, food and a beautiful sunset.
Soak up the summer sun on Maynard's lakeside patio.

Bacio | 1571 Plymouth Rd., Minnetonka; 952.544.7000; baciomn.com Find a convenient oasis on your way home from work or shopping on Bacio’s secluded patio. Located near Ridgedale Mall, Bacio offers happy hour specials, free parking and a great atmosphere. Best drink: House margarita Best dish: Happy hour specials like burgers, pizzas, ahi tuna or spring rolls Most popular patio time: 5–7 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays Manager’s advice for snagging a seat: Since the rule for patio seating is to seat yourself, get there early—like 4 p.m. Summer special features: Expect fresh fish and an assortment of sandwiches and pasta, all available for al fresco dining.   Bayside Grille | 687 Excelsior Blvd., Excelsior; 952.474.1113; bayviewevent.com On the shores of the lake, Bayside Grille puts a twist on patio dining. “It’s a casual atmosphere on an all-teak deck, and most of the food is served on ceramic and silver,” says Bob Ziton, president of Bayview Event Center. Best drink: White cap margarita Best dish: Steak bites with chili sauce and shrimp spring rolls Most popular time: Fridays and Saturdays 4–9 p.m. and after 10 p.m. Manager’s advice for snagging a great seat: “Stop down at our Boat Bar, which is a 20-foot C Scow sailboat that has been converted into a bar,” Ziton says. It’s a popular place to people-watch and get speedy drink service. Summer special features: Enjoy a full schedule of live entertainment Thursday through Saturday nights, plus ladies’ night every Thursday.   Carbone’s Pizzeria Bar & Grill | 2155 Commerce Blvd., Mound; 952.495.1600; carbonesmn.com Serving pizza, beer and much more to the western Lake Minnetonka region, Carbone’s patio space has a waterfall, fountain, televisions, a pet-friendly atmosphere and a covered awning so you can enjoy the patio rain or shine. Best drink: House margarita Best dish: Try something off the new menu that debuted at the beginning of the season Most popular patio time: Thursday to Sunday 4–8 p.m. Manager’s advice for snagging a great seat: Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis, so plan on arriving between 3 and 4 p.m. before the crowd. Summer special features: Look for live entertainment Friday and Saturday nights, and stay tuned for radio promotions, live radio broadcasts and bean-bag tournaments throughout the summer.   Haskell’s | 1 Water St., Excelsior; 952.474.0937; haskells.com From the location on the corner of Water Street and Lake Street in downtown Excelsior, you can watch the lake or the people passing by while sipping a drink at Haskell’s. Best drink: The new tap system featuring16 different draft selections Best dish: Hand-battered walleye fingers Most popular patio time: Crowds flock to the patio when the Twins are playing to view the game on one of the big-screen televisions or pack the house when happy hour is in full swing. Manager’s advice for snagging a seat: General manager Katie Miceli says to come in early to guarantee a great seat on the patio because they do not accept reservations. Summer special features: Win free drinks or gift cards during free bar bingo starting at 9 p.m. on Thursday nights.   Lord Fletcher’s | 3746 Sunset Dr., Spring Park; 952.471.8513; lordfletchers.com Since 1968, Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge captures the hospitality, serenity and fun that is an essential part of a Minnesota summer. The Wharf takes patio experience to another level, with a space the size of a football field, three bars, and access by land or water. Best drink: Tonkarita Best dish: Walleye sandwich Most popular patio time: Saturdays or Sundays when live music is playing Manager’s advice for snagging a seat: Seating is first come, first serve, but because of the size of the place, you can usually grab a table without too long of a wait. Summer special features: You can hear live music Thursday to Sunday evenings, but people also come for the food. On Wednesday evenings, treat yourself to a Maine lobster for $18.   Maynard’s | 685 Excelsior Blvd., Excelsior; 952.470.1800; maynardsonline.com Since 1998, Maynard’s Restaurant has been a summertime attraction on Lake Minnetonka.  Whether you pull in by boat or car, you can sit on the patio and watch the excitement of Excelsior Bay. Best drink: Jackson’s lemonade Best dish:  Frannie’s chicken salad Most popular patio time: Saturday nights are the busiest, starting around dinnertime Manager’s advice for snagging a seat: Since patio seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis, general manager Jack Stevens says to make a friend. Summer special features: Happy hour specials on the patio Monday to Friday 3–6 p.m. Watch for live music on Thursday nights.   Sunsets | 700 Lake St. E., Wayzata; 952.473.5253; sunsetsrestaurant.com Since 1988, Sunsets has lured customers with the promise of a great meal and a great view. “Happy hour on our patio is phenomenal,” said general manager Patty Kewitsch. Best drink: Sunset’s bay martini Best dish: Artichoke dip Most popular patio time: Happy hour 3–6 p.m. Manager’s advice for snagging a seat: Patio seating is first come, first serve, so managers recommend arriving before 11 a.m. for lunch or 5 p.m. for dinner. Summer special features: Instead of smaller portions during happy hour, Sunsets offers full portions at a reduced price. Sunsets is also rolling out a new wine list this summer featuring unique white wine.