Best Of 2004

Best Bar Patio: Yemanja Brasil

Painted in the colors of the Brazilian flag and about as cramped as the streets of Rio during Carnaval, the postage stamp-size patio at Yemanja (really not much bigger than the restaurant's few-tabled, brick-walled interior) just looks like a party. The wooden deck is all twists and turns, almost like a hamster maze, allowing for little tête-à-têtes here and there (and the attendant eavesdropping, natch). From the thatched-roof outdoor bar, the house proffers its well-known caipirinhas (the signature cocktail of Brazil, made with lime, sugar and the rumlike liquor cachaça). Best of all, new hammock chairs brought in this past summer give the inebriated yet another opportunity to challenge their sense of balance, hence embarrassing themselves but providing plenty of amusement for friends and strangers alike.