“Por eso nos afectan tanto los recuerdos, las fechas, los días

de cumpleaños, los nacimientos y las despedidas.

Algo de nosotros se queda en los calendarios sin uso,

tal vez para continuar aquella tradición temprana

de coleccionar tarjetas postales.”

Carlos Giménez


Hungry for Culture? Or Dinner? Have Both By FLORENCE FABRICANT, The New York Times, JUNE 21, 1991

Hungry for Culture? Or Dinner? Have Both 
By FLORENCE FABRICANT, The New York Times, JUNE 21, 1991

WHETHER Joseph Papp or the organizers of the New York Philharmonic's free concerts in the park like it or not, they have given their audiences dinner theater. Look around the Great Lawn of Central Park during a concert or before a performance by the New York Shakespeare Festival any weekend, and all you see is people eating and drinking.
For some who find that culture makes them hungry, the solution is usually to be found in last-minute hot dogs from a pushcart vendor or the sandwiches and pastries sold outside the Delacorte Theater. But others devote the same kind of planning to the open-air feast as they would for a dinner party. It's not uncommon to see picnics in the park by candlelight with buckets holding bottles of wine and steaks sizzling on portable hibachis.
The time and planning required to assemble a satisfying picnic of just-cooked foods and fresh cool salads, along with all the necessary equipment, may be out of the question for those who work all day and hope to arrive to spread out their tablecloths before the conductor raises the baton. But that does not mean settling for soggy tuna on rye from the deli.
By mid-June, catering shops and some restaurants are ready for the concertgoers and others who enjoy eating dinner in a park. Many have organized special menus with the necessary utensils. Some even have a supply of custom-designed boxes or baskets to hold the spread.
There are hundreds of menu possibilities at dozens of places: simple yet stylish fare like grilled marinated chicken or focaccia stuffed with mozzarella and arugula; luxurious repasts like smoked salmon or cold poached fish with green sauce.Some carryout shops require a day's notice to assemble picnics; others need less than an hour. Many will prepare custom picnics and will even fill a customer's own basket. Here are some recommended picnic providers, all within a few blocks of Central Park.
AKEMI, 1128 Third Avenue, at 66th Street, (212) 734-1532. Japanese restaurants and some fish markets sell attractive boxes of asorted sushi and salads. Traditionally, these have been arranged in handsome lacquer bento boxes, but these days foil and plastic are more commonly used. Akemi offers one bento assortment with portions of California roll with salad and rice, along with chicken wings, Japanese potato croquettes, condiments and chopsticks for $9. Beverages are extra, and orders for the evening should be placed by noon. Hours: 11:30 A.M. to 9 P.M. Monday to Sunday.
AMSTERDAM'S BAR AND GRILL, 428 Amsterdam Avenue, at 81st Street, (212) 874-1377. This restaurant has three picnic menus for $14.95 each, offering poached or grilled chicken or poached trout, with potatoes, salad, fruit and cookies. These picnics, packed with utensils, can be ordered with only a 15-minute wait. Hours: Noon to midnight Monday to Sunday.
BURKE & BURKE, 2 Lincoln Center, at 66th Street, (212) 799-7000, and at other locations throughout Manhattan. Purple boxes come filled with a sandwich, salad, fruit, dessert and a soft drink or sparkling water for $15 each. For $30, pate, salmon caviar and cheeses with crackers are added. Disposable utensils, plates and cups are included. The meal is ready to go in half an hour. Boxes can be assembled for 12 or more with 24 hours' notice. Delivery can be arranged. Hours: 7 A.M. to midnight Monday to Friday; 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. on Saturday and Sunday.CANARD AND COMPANY, 1292 Madison Avenue, at 91st Street, (212) 722-1046. Five enticing picnic menus, featuring hearty salads like shrimp and avocado or swordfish with roasted vegetables, come packed in baskets for $15 to $17, with beverages extra. For parties of 10 or more, the shop offers a giant wicker hamper for $15 extra. Orders for the evening should be placed in the morning. Hours: 7 A.M. to 9 P.M. Monday to Sunday.
CUCINA RUSTICA, 515 Columbus Avenue, at 84th Street, (212) 799-0316 or 799-0704. This shop offers a simple fruit-and-cheese plate for $10, an appealing antipasto of meats or vegetables for $12.50 and a sandwich or a cold plate and salad for $15. Each meal comes with a dessert and beverage. More elaborate entrees are available with menus at $25 each from Panarella's, the adjacent restaurant under the same management. The picnics come in beribboned bags or in baskets, for an extra charge. Orders should be placed by noon. Hours: Noon to 9 P.M. Monday to Friday; 10 A.M. to 9 P.M. on Saturday, and 10 A.M. to 7 P.M. on Sunday.
GRACE'S MARKETPLACE, 1237 Third Avenue, at 71st Street, (212) 737-0600. Six picnic menus are offered this summer, each with a main dish, two side dishes, bread, a nonalcoholic beverage, dessert and occasionally cheese. Prices range from $18.50 a person (for chicken salad with sun-dried tomatoes, grilled vegetables and saffron rice, a roll and chocolate cake) to $28 (for an assortment that includes poached red snapper with salsa verde). Picnics are packed in a shopping bag with a cloth tablecloth and paper napkins, candles, plates and utensils. Classic picnic baskets can be rented. The store suggests wines for each menu. Picnics require 24 hours' notice. Hours: 8 A.M. to 8:30 P.M. Monday to Saturday, and 10 A.M. to 7 P.M. on Sunday.HALE AND HEARTY, 1849 Lexington Avenue, at 64th Street, (212) 517-7600. The food at this shop, which follows the American Heart Association's guidelines on fat and cholesterol, is prepared under the supervision of a dietitian. Calorie counts can be obtained. Three picnics at $15, $20 and $25 a person, with a two-person minimum, consist of lavish sandwiches and salads or barbecued chicken, with desserts and beverages. Each meal comes with utensils and a basket that is available to borrow or, for $10, to buy. The shop rents blankets, too. A minimum of an hour's notice is required. Hours: 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. Monday to Friday and 11 A.M. to 6 P.M. on Saturday. The shop is closed on Sunday and will be closed on Saturday in July and August.
PETROSSIAN, 182 West 58th Street, (212) 245-2217. This luxury shop's idea of a princely picnic for four consists of a half-pound of smoked salmon, 125 grams of fresh Russian sevruga caviar, half a pound of goose foie gras and baguettes. The meal and utensils are packed in a sleek reusable insulated bag. The tariff is $159 complete; it is up to the customer to provide the Champagne. A day's notice is required, and delivery is available. Hours: 11 A.M. to 9 P.M. Monday to Friday, and 11 A.M to 8 P.M. on Saturday and Sunday.
WILLIAM POLL, 1051 Lexington Avenue, at 75th Street, (212) 288-0501. Among the various options at this catering shop are boxes filled with a pair of savory pinwheel sandwiches, along with a container of salad, fruit and dessert for $18. A picnic of baby chicken for $20 is a better value. Other assortments start at $7.50 for a snack pack of crudites with dip. Utensils are provided, and 24 hours' notice is required. Hours: 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. Friday to Saturday. The shop is closed on Sunday and it will also be closed on Monday and Saturday in July and August.
REMI TO GO, 145 West 53d Street in the Atrium, (212) 581-7115. Shopping-bag picnics at $15 each include a main-course cold pasta salad or a hefty sandwich on country bread or baguette, a small appetizer, green salad, dessert and nonalcoholic beverage. More elaborate menus are available and are priced accordingly. Orders should be placed by noon for late afternoon or early evening pickup or delivery. Upon request, the food will come arranged and wrapped on the shop's stylish blue-and-white-striped paper plates. Utensils and a checked cotton tablecloth are included with the picnic. Open on weekdays only. Hours: 8 A.M. to 7 P.M.
SARABETH'S KITCHEN, 424 Amsterdam Avenue, at 80th Street, (212) 496-6280, and 1295 Madison Avenue, at 92d Street, (212) 410-7335. Three sandwich menus -- grilled chicken on focaccia, grilled steak on focaccia and grilled vegetables on sourdough rolls -- or goat cheese with tomato-and-basil salad, come in a box with pastry, fruit and a nonalcoholic beverage for $15. Orders should be placed in the morning. Hours: 8 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. and 6 to 10 P.M. on weekdays, and 9 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. and 6 to 10:30 P.M. on Saturday and Sunday.
THE SILVER PALATE, 274 Columbus Avenue, at 73d Street, (212) 799-6340. Nine picnic menus priced $14.50 to $28 each come attractively packed in a festive bag with utensils and tissue or, for $12 extra, in a basket made of grapevines. The $14.50 menu includes ham, brie and arugula on a baguette with sweet grainy mustard, tri-color coleslaw, a raspberry linzer cookie, fruit and a beverage. An all-salad menu is $18.50 and an Asian salad menu is $23. Orders must be placed 24 hours in advance. Hours: 7:30 A.M. to 9:30 P.M. Monday to Friday, and 7:30 A.M. to 8:30 P.M. on Saturday and Sunday. PERFORMANCES TO DINE BY
Here is a sampling of outdoor performances conducive to picnicking in Manhattan this summer.
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK, part of the New York Shakespeare Festival. Delacorte Theater, Central Park, entrance at West 81st Street. "Othello," produced by Joseph Papp, with Raul Julia as Othello and Christopher Walken as Iago, directed by Joe Dowling, tonight through July 14. "A Midsummer Night's Dream," presented in Portuguese by Teatro do Ornitorrinco of Brazil, July 30 to Aug. 11. "The Tempest" presented in Spanish by Rajatabla from Venezuela and directed by Carlos Gimenez, Aug. 27 to Sept. 8. All at 8 P.M. Information: (212) 598-7100.
"HAMLET," Central Park, Cherry Hill Fountain, entrance at Fifth Avenue and East 72d Street. Shakespeare's tragedy performed by Matinee Idyll, a street-theater company, today and next Friday at 5 P.M.; at Carl Schurz Park, East River from 84th to 90th Street, tomorrow and June 29 at 5 P.M.; at Grant's Tomb, Riverside Drive at 122d Street, Sunday and June 30 at 5 P.M. Information: (201) 867-1575.
RIVERSIDE SHAKESPEARE COMPANY, Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, Riverside Drive at 89th Street. Staged reading of "Macbeth," tomorrow and Sunday, at 5 P.M. "The Taming of the Shrew" (July 20 and 21); "Much Ado About Nothing" (Aug. 10 and 11) and Aristophanes' "Lysistrata," Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 and 2. All at 5 P.M. Take your own seating. Information: (212) 369-2273.
KIMATI DINIZULU AND HIS KOTOKO SOCIETY, a program of reggae and African music, World Trade Center plaza, today at 12:15 P.M. Information: (212) 466-4235.
JVC LINCOLN CENTER JAZZ FESTIVAL, with the Arthur Blythe Quartet, the David Murray Trio, the Steve Lacy Sextet, the Donald Harrison Quintet and the Microscopic Septet at Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center, Sunday from 2 to 7 P.M.
SOUNDS AT SUNSET, outdoor performances on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 P.M., on the Esplanade at Battery Park City, along the Hudson River from West Thames to Liberty Street, beginning July 9 with the singer and pianist Steve Ross. Series runs through Sept. 10. Information: (212) 416-5300.
NATIONAL CHORALE NEW YORK FESTIVAL OF AMERICAN MUSIC THEATER, concerts by the National Chorale, conducted by Martin Josman, in Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center, beginning July 9 at 7 P.M. with a presentation of music by George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and Stephen Sondheim. Runs through July 23. Information: (212) 333-5333.
SUMMERPIER, concerts at Pier 16, Fulton and South Streets, beginning on July 13 at 8 P.M. with an appearance by the National Chorale. Information: (212) 669-9400.
LINCOLN CENTER OUT OF DOORS, varied performances at the Fountain Plaza, North Plaza and Damrosch Park, beginning on Aug. 1 at 8:15 P.M. with the dance troupe Pilobolus. Runs through Aug. 26. Information: (212) 875-5400.
TRADEWINDS WORLD-MUSIC FESTIVAL, concerts at Pier 16, Fulton and South Streets, beginning on Aug. 6 at 12:30 P.M. with Kimati Dinizulu and his Kotoko Society. Runs through Aug. 15. Information: (212) 669-9400.

Source: The New York Times

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...