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Wine lovers can go elsewhere to pontificate about sulfites and vintages: The infectiously noisy Purple Cafe is designed for classy good-timing. There are entrees on the menu, but the young money crowd which congregates here after work or before symphony concerts knows to stick to the small plate list, which offers smart accompaniments to the restaurant's thematic flights and ample by-the-glass selection.
Find yourself famished in the downtown business district, and you're in a dilemma: Do you drop the money for a meal and a seat in a full-blown restaurant, or do you forgo the full respite of chewing in place and get something on the move? What if you could have your stationary lunch al fresco (devoid of bus exhaust), and with a little solitude too? The rooftop garden at the southwest corner of Fourth and University is the perfect urban rest stop. In the courtyard south of Purple Cafe & Wine Bar, look for the staircase that climbs straight up to the top of the building. Once topside, your new private perch sports many a manicured urn of overflowing flowers, a lofty perspective on the worker bees below. Fellow lunch-takers keep to themselves, and I've never ever heard a single boorish cell-phone conversation. It's an unwritten mutual pact of 30 to 60 minutes of quietude for the enjoyment of all, bologna sandwich not included.—Maggie Dutton