How To Have The Perfect Family Picnic

Three local chefs share where to shop, what to buy, and where to lay down that picnic blanket.



Three local chefs share their family picnic plans: where to shop, what to buy, and where to lay down that picnic blanket.

Alexa Wilkinson, The Tapp, Tarrytown

Picnic Spot: Tarrytown Reservoir

“First, I would stop at Arthur Avenue Baking Company in Sleepy Hollow and get their amazing baguettes, then walk over to Mint in Tarrytown for some of the best prosciutto ever. The owner is always wonderful and wants you to try everything, so I’d end up leaving with vanilla dried cherries, cured olives, and white truffle cheese. Then I would make a quick stop at Coffee Labs Roasters and get their iced herbal tea, which is great for kids because it's fruity tasting, red in color, and has no caffeine.”

Bill Rosenberg, NoMa Social, New Rochelle

Picnic Spot:  Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla

“When we do a family picnic, I like to shop at Whole Foods and Tarry Market for unique food items that travel well. Dry meats and cheeses for starters: I love paper-thin jamón serrano from Spain and soppressata from the Alps—my son could chew it right off the stick! Also, Delusso Genoa salami and spicy capicola citterio. I always grab manchego and burrata cheese, also a good sharp Asiago or provolone, maybe with a pasta salad like tortellini and green beans tossed with red wine vinaigrette. Great bread, too, like the filone from Tarry Market or the provolone bread from The Kneaded Bread. I also like to pack pan bagna—a pressed seared tuna sandwich with baby arugula, roasted peppers, and a little pesto mayo. To drink, we always enjoy a great rosé like Jean-Luc Colombo—it’s like summer in a bottle. And for the kids, some orange-flavored club soda and, of course, homemade lemonade.”

Greg Gilbert, Memphis Mae’s BBQ, Croton-on-Hudson

Picnic Spot: New Croton Dam, Croton-on-Hudson

“I like to shop at the farmers market in Croton-on-Hudson. I would make a fresh tomato salad, with New York goat cheese, plus fresh baguettes, lots of berries for the kids, and fresh apple cider. I would pick up some coleslaw, new potato salad, and ribs from Memphis Mae's. To drink, from The Green Growler, a growler of Abita's Strawberry Harvest Lager for me and my wife. I’d stop at Sunshine & Clover for small picnic supplies, and Groovy on Grand for a game for the kids. And, I would not go home after the picnic without stopping at The Blue Pig for ice cream!”

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