Urban garden backyard dining in the Washington D.C. project house
Photo: Erik Johnson
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Cafe Dining in the City

From A Capital Improvement, June 2006

One of my favorite Thanksgiving dinners ever was one I cooked for friends and served on a back patio not unlike this one. Of course, that was in San Francisco and this setting is in Washington, D.C., where it might be a bit nippy for outdoor eating in late November. But I'd still venture out here in my goose-down coat for a hot cuppa on a sunny winter afternoon, and certainly dine by candlelight all summer. Only steps off the kitchen, it has the feeling of a private, romantic outdoor dining room, with its sheltering walls and fence softened with lacy shrubs in curved planting beds. The substantial weight of the table and chairs counterintuitively makes the small area seem generous and reassuringly permanent.

—Leslie Monthan, copy chief
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