Feel free to take in a deep sigh of placidity. You look to the walls and see lush, overgrown vines embracing the humble brick walls; tiny yellow lights twinkle beneath the leaves. Water trickles harmoniously from an aged yet aesthetically appealing stone fountain. A conglomeration of ferns, baby palms, aloe plants and flowers rooted in mismatching pots gives you the feeling that you have stepped into your grandmother's back yard. Looking above, a screen only partly conceals a blue sky as clouds float lazily by. Once again, Blue Willow takes the cake in this category for its earthy feel and accommodation to various weather conditions. Enclosed in this hushed nook of nature and good food, you might just forget about the hustle and bustle outside the vine-draped walls.
2. Caruso's, 434 N. Fourth Ave., 624-5765, www.carusositalian.com
3. NoRTH, 2995 E. Skyline Drive, 299-1600, www.foxrestaurantconcepts.com/north.html