It's great when our favorite topics combine themselves into one convenient story—cronuts in the rain room, Cronuts wearing Google Glass, Citi Bike waiting in line for a Cronut, Cronut and Citi Bike hooking up in the rain room and eventually birthing Cronuti Bike, etc.
The latest trend in overspending now appears to be "curated picnic baskets," a market that was probably already tapped out with the creation of just one company, let alone a second. But this one is different, see? Abboccato Ristorante has created not just picnic baskets, but picnic baskets specifically designed for transportation via Citi Bike. Go ahead and react to that. I'll wait.
Unlike the PIP basket, which utilizes charming but heavy glassware, Abboccato stores its contents in adorably-sized plastic containers, meaning even the meekest picnicker can transport the basket without ripping a deltoid.
But the basket—or rather, paper box, which proved to be rather difficult to re-close once opened—has one major flaw: For a product whose entire raison d'être is that it's designed to fit in a Citi Bike basket, well...it doesn't fit. The restaurant even made its own Vine, depicting a Citi Bike rider attempting to awkwardly stuff the portable meal into the bike's storage space, and failing.
It's possible to flip the basket-box so that it fits length-wise, but that doesn't solve the issue of where to stow the two pint-sized Pellegrino soda bottles that accompany the food. If the box was specially designed, wouldn't it have been prudent to perhaps make it taller, like a Picnic Skyscraper, as to accommodate the drinks? Yes, they're easy enough to store in a backpack—but if you're bringing a backpack, why not just put everything else in there, too?
Logistical gripes aside, the contents of the basket—which included house marinated olives and Parmigiano-Reggiano, Genoa salami, bread sticks, bruschetta, two spreads and two Napoleon tricolor cookies—were demolished by Gothamist staff faster than a hyena pack finishes off an antelope—with particular delight at the spreads, which were truffle ricotta and cannellini beans with red onions and parsley. But was it worth $28?
Christopher "I Live On Hard Tack And Drill Bits" Robbins: No. A baguette (which is more bread than what we're given here) is $2-3, expensive cheese is $8-10, some cherry tomatoes or olives or some other nibbly fruit/vegetable are $3-5, a few slices of saucisson or whatever is $5-7, and hey look, we're only up to $25, Maximum. Do it on the cheaper side for $20 and get a $10 bottle of wine and The Picnic Just Got Hotter.
Jen Carlson: Aside from whether or not I'd actually be able to spend money on this myself, I do think $28 is worth it! There were some unique items (WHIPPED. TRUFFLE. CHEESE. OMG.) and I think that's about how much it would cost you if you were buying this stuff on your own. But it comes all packaged up for you. My only issue is the box doesn't fit into the CitiBike basket, which seems like a huge flaw.
Allison Davis: Say WHAT?! Was that a mini version of what you get for $28?! If that was full-size then hell no.
Josh Steele: Wouldn't the decadent type who enjoys truffles, bon bons and fancy cheese be taking cabs and not Citi Bike?
In the end, Abboccato's Citi Bike basket will undoubtedly hold appeal with the "Who Cares Let's Just Get The Bottle Service" set—and we don't blame them. The rest of us will be in the park with a bucket of Popeyes and brown-bagged Mickey's.