Picnic brings a taste of Midwest to New York CityPosted on September 24, 2013 | by Nikita Roach
Vintage meets contemporary at Picnic. Located on the corner of Seventh Street and Second Avenue, the new East Village restaurant offers a fresh take on American comfort food with French twists.
“Picnic offers customers a comfortable atmosphere with modern comfort food,” executive chef Nicholas Nostadt said.
With Midwestern roots in Ohio, Nostadt hopes to bring a sense of togetherness to New York City. At Picnic, he offers sides like sweet potato casserole, macaroni and cheese and scratch baked beans. Most dishes are traditional American, but Nostadt incorporates his training in classic French cuisine.
Picnic’s menu offers something for a variety of palates. However, first-time diners must try the turkey leg confit ($18), which is Nostadt’s favorite item on the menu. Cured with salt, pepper and fresh herbs overnight and later cooked for twelve hours in bacon fat, the turkey leg is accompanied by Picnic’s signature cranberry barbecue sauce.
Another hallmark is the salad selection. Nostadt uses the freshest ingredients like celery, New York apples, golden raisins and capers to create refreshing dishes. A popular option is mache salad ($11), which comprises frisee, mint, fennel, Bosc pear, dried cherries, pecans, roquefort and sherry vinaigrette.
“I really love the Picnic salad,” CAS freshman Jackie Malabanan said. “It’s got a lot of healthy and interesting elements to it.”
Picnic also puts a spin on burgers with the Between the Bun options. You can order a side of slaw, shoestring fries, sweet potato casserole, braised collard greens, broccoli salad, scratch baked beans or cornbread for each item in this section of the menu.
Nostadt’s signature hamburger ($14) with spicy bread, butter, homemade Thousand Island dressing, lettuce, tomato, cheddar and bacon and the pulled pork sandwich ($13) with root beer barbecue, roasted corn and cabbage slaw are both mouthwatering.
Chef Nostadt even improvises on puppy chow, the classic Midwestern dessert.
Using grass-fed meat and sustainable food items produced by local purveyors, Picnic’s small plate items and salads range from $10 to $14 and entrees span from $17 to $21. Between the Bun options are between $12 and $14.
Picnic is located on 117 Second Ave.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 24 print edition. Nikita Roach is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com.