There remains little time to celebrate the fleeting summer with a great picnic; however, there's no reason to settle for a slapdash spread. That's because, this summer, some of the world's finest hotels, chefs, and restaurants are stepping out of their comfort zones by curating ready-made baskets containing the likes of free-range chicken, local cheese, artisanal chocolates
…and even, in one case, an organic cotton blanket.
: Though she’s known for her California cuisine, Chez Panisse
chef Alice Waters is customizing baskets for guests at Mandarin Oriental NY
, with proceeds benefitting her Edible Schoolyard
program. Menus include local salumi, thyme-grilled quail, and assorted delicacies. Similarly, The Mark Hotel
in Manhattan enlisted chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten
to design a picnic-in-the-park
menu. The package deal, which includes a basket filled with all the fixings (blanket, cutlery, even champagne), also includes access to a fleet of bespoke Republic Bikes
. For those venturing to the French Alps, boutique hotel La Bastide de Moustiers
offers a chef- organized picnic in the back of a ’50s Chevy pick-up truck. The chef? Nineteen-time Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse.
Washington, DC's Hill Country BBQ
launched delivery to the National Mall on Independence Day, and they’re keeping it up all summer long. Alfresco diners supply their own blankets, but the Texas-born restaurant delivers ribs, brisket, and mac ‘n’ cheese straight to the lawn. Meanwhile, Stinky Brooklyn
is peddling a basket stocked with fancy cheese, Mast Brothers Chocolate
, assorted nibbles and, for a few extra bucks, vino from a neighboring wine shop. Blue Ribbon Bakery Market
, the small West Village (NY) general store that's big with foodies, fills canvas totes with meat, cheese, and house-baked bread, plus cutlery, cups and an oft forgotten picnic essential: a corkscrew.
Picnic Delivery Services:
Delivering European-inspired picnics to any park in Manhattan, Perfect Picnic NYC
is a service that upgrades last-minute outings into memorable culinary affairs with portable gourmet lunch spreads not found at the corner bodega. Customers can design their own picnic package or choose from pre-planned options. Most consist of typical outdoor fare like baguettes, seasonal jams, and cured meats but, the higher the price, the fancier the food, as caviar and foie gras are two of the lavish edibles available. When possible, the self-described picnic boutique sources from local purveyors, including North Fork potato chips
, Robicelli's cupcakes
, and Brooklyn Brine pickled vegetables