The Feast for Four
The West Sider from Blue Ribbon Bakery
14 Bedford St., nr. Downing St.; 212-647-0408
$175 for four
It comes in: Two Blue Ribbon canvas bags.
Charming accessories: An Opinel knife and corkscrew (BYOB, though), plus plastic cups, cutlery, and paper napkins.
Advance notice: 24 hours.
The spread: Coarse country pâté and rich pork rillettes with Dijon mustard and red horseradish; delicately smoked red trout and sturgeon (both of which are cured and smoked in Blue Ribbon’s Brooklyn restaurant) served with three-onion cream, fennel slaw, and anchovy aïoli; egg shooters (hard-boiled eggs topped with olive-oil mayonnaise and cuaresmeño pepper); aged manchego cheese and golden-reserve Mexican honey to drizzle over it; mixed olives and garlic dill pickles; creamy fresh-churned Blue Ribbon butter for smearing over brick-oven baked breads (ciabatta, country white, Jewish rye, and olive flat); homemade sweet tea and lemonade.
And to finish: Eight oatmeal-raisin cookies, four mini banana-and-honey bread loaves, a selection of local berries with locally made maple yogurt.
The French-Accented Duet
Bouchon Bakery picnic tote
10 Columbus Circle, nr. 60th St.; 212-823-9366
$62 for two (for this assortment)
It comes in: A brown-and-white canvas tote. Advance notice: Noneóbut you have to go to the bakery to do it.
Charming accessories: Inflatable beach ball, Bouchon postcards (BYO postage).
The spread: Each picnic is assembled when it’s ordered. This version contains a tuna tartine (canned tuna, a little mayo, thinly sliced hard-boiled egg, and radish rounds) on pain de campagne; Madrange ham and Emmenthaler cheese on a crispy baguette, with cornichons on the side; a vibrant salad of red and white endive and baby watercress, with spicy walnuts and red-wine vinaigrette packaged separately (to add at the last moment, thus preventing wilt); two bottles of GuS soda and three dog biscuits.
And to finish: Transcendent pastries, of course. The tarte au citron, macaroons, and signature chocolate bouchons travel particularly well, as does the bag of caramel popcorn.
The Thai Meal for One
Sapa’s Bangkok Reverie Box
43 W. 24th St., nr. Broadway; 212-929-1800
$15 for one
It comes in: A red carrier that contains three bright-red Chinese-takeout boxes.
Charming accessories: Multiple sets of chopsticks.
Advance notice: Order 24 hours ahead of time.
The spread: Varies, although all are Patricia Yeo’s Thai-inflected dishes. This version has three vegetable spring rolls stuffed with finely shredded eggplant, Napa cabbage, and mushrooms, and served with spicy carrot ketchup; chicken that’s been marinated in curry with a touch of lemongrass atop pad Thai noodles; and a delicious green-papaya-and-herb salad with a lemongrass-caramel dressing.
And to finish: A cream-filled pastry shell topped with grilled mango, washed down with Izze’s sparkling blackberry soda.