Picnick, the new Will Goldfarb double kiosk project at the Battery, is starting to shape up for its projected Labor Day weekend opening. Director of operations will be Kevin Pomplun, most recently chef at the Hotel on Rivington restaurant Thor.
The somewhat upscale Picnick menu will range in price from $6-11. Sandwich selections will include sous vide chicken club with Berkshire bacon, prosicuitto with taleggio, and a Caprese-style sandwich with Joe’s mozzarella and local arugula. “We wanted to create food that was healthy, but not overly healthy,” says Pomplun. Mixed market Asian greens with Chèvre and pistachio vinaigrette will be a salad offering; the kiosks will also sell streamlined, portable desserts. Picnick will sell only one kind of smoothie at a time, featuring in season greenmarket fruit. House made sodas (like fizzy lemonade, blood orange), and fair trade Colombian coffee will also be available.
With the exception of its drinking straws (maybe they should go celery), all of the food packaging at Picnick has been specially sourced: each item has a low environmental impact. Cups are made from cornstarch that self-destructs at an appointed temperature (130˚ F), the sandwich wrappers are made from biodegradable cellulose. In addition, Picnick’s refrigerators and blenders will run off wind power, elected through ConEd’s Solutions program, which allows any customer of the utility to choose the provenance of their electricity. “It makes so much sense,” Pomplun says, “the more people who sign up for it, the more alternative energy sources they’ll have to build.”
Don’t expect to be plied with eco-friendly mission statements alongside the (post consumer waste recycled) menu boards at Picnick, or the exact size and width of the restaurant’s carbon footprint. Expect a menu. In lieu of extensive over the counter politics, the restaurant’s website (TBA) will document its use of renewable resources and will link to projects supported by its suppliers, such as well building in Ethiopia, and the fair trade cotton market in Africa.
As suggested by its name, Goldfarb and Pomplun have designed Picnick to be a portable concept. While they hope to be open in Battery Park year-round, the goal is for the restaurant, ecological and fair-trade ideals included, to be grafted in other locales. Starting in the early fall, Picnick will offer full-service, off premise catering. In the meantime, Goldfarb and Pomplun will match the Battery Park Picnic will outdoor events, such as yoga-breakfasts, and dinner theater.