In the race to attract diners, Big Apple restaurateurs are spending big bucks to transform their newly expanded outdoor seating areas from urban jungle to the South of France.
Ugly city scaffolding at Marea on Central Park South has disappeared under an intricate swath of vines popping with blue and white flowers.
The Catch rooftop in the Meatpacking District and Lola Taverna in the West Village are both literally dripping flowers, while Fresco by Scotto, which reopens next month, has been transformed into a Capri lemon grove.
The striking installations can cost $30,000 to $40,000, but it’s worth it, restaurateurs say, because it boosts revenue by drawing in diners eager to forget they’re eating in a former parking spot.
Plus, the new nature-meets-urban landscapes are the perfect draw for social media pics.
At Fresco by Scotto, which reopens in June, the Scotto family has spent more than $100,000 on their new outdoor space, which is filled with lemon trees to resemble Da Paolino, a famous Italian restaurant in Capri.
“Midtown is dead. We knew we had to up our game and build a spectacular place,” Elaina Scotto told Side Dish. “A designer could take a year, so we called our