BEST RESTAURANT FOR OUTDOOR DINING - 2005
Nothing frames the night sky quite like the patio of the Black Forest. With its battered brick walls, winding maples, and pergola thick with Virginia Creeper vines, the beer garden feels like a refuge from change in a neighborhood expanding toward the stars. It was among the first outdoor dining areas in these wintry cities, and seems made for third dates, philosophical arguments, and pregnant prosits to the clinking of frosted half-liters. You don't need to examine the art to appreciate its presence outside: a bronze nude here, the winding fountain sculpture there. As another curiosity, a fresh label has been placed on the beer bottle mortared into the wall of the adjoining banquet room (Franziskaner being the most recent choice of decoration). In fact, each year a university architecture class comes to the 40-year-old German restaurant to determine what's "perfect" about the space outside. Sounds like nothing a potato pancake and a Hacker-Pschorr wouldn't clear up.