Best Outdoor Drinking

Little Water Cantina

Outdoor drinking in Seattle is like salmon spawning: it's only possible in a brief window of summer, and the pink flesh (naturally occurring in the fish, badly sunburned in humans) arrives almost en masse. Alas, if only the salmon on their way upstream had the luxury of enjoying a last meal and a fine cocktail at Little Water Cantina. The Eastlake restaurant serves superlative nouveau-Mexican fare, but its main attraction is the 2,000-plus-square-foot patio overlooking Lake Union. The Cantina's monthly "Snouts and Stouts" event pairs a whole roast hog with local stout brews, but perhaps the best time to visit is a quiet, sunny weekday afternoon, when it's possible to snag a picnic table with a prime view and let the bartenders get creative with the extensive tequila selection at their disposal. KEEGAN HAMILTON 2865 Eastlake Ave. E., 397-4940,

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