599 Lorimer St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn
An oasis of space and playfulness in a scene that has little of either. The sprawling backyard, a vine-tangled patio spattered with picnic tables and hard-resin lawn chairs, is the draw, and it seems to bring out the mellow sun-worshipper in everyone. A free summer Sunday-afternoon barbecue (with veggie burgers and tofu dogs available, natch) that attracts a crowd as gregarious as it is ravenous doesn’t hurt, either. Boys and girls, who all seem to know each other, patter around in sandals and sunglasses or flirt at the long, serpentine bar, while a D.J. (or jukebox) spins indie rock. Until things warm up enough for the backyard, two roaring fireplaces surrounded by après-ski-style sofas inside are just as cozy. It’s enough to make you want to get a civil union and retire to suburbia.