Chicago has no shortage of lovely outdoor concert venues where you can kick back with a blanket, close friends and a bottle of wine. Here?s where to buy a ready-made spread.
Catching a train to see Sarah McLachlan at Ravinia this weekend? (If so, you'll see lots of elaborate feasts, thanks to the Terlato Wines Ultimate Picnic Contest taking place there on Saturday night.) Before boarding, duck into the French Market at the Ogilvie Transportation Center and head to Pastoral. The spot prepares ready-to-go spreads ($39.99) like the Sweet and Savory Picnic of creamy cheeses with fruits and chocolate-covered almonds. Call the shop at least six hours before pickup. 131 N. Clinton St.; 312-454-2200 or pastoralartisan.com
Bread & Wine--a bistro, wine bar and market in Irving Park--is stocked with picnic-ready snacks. Five-nut granola ($6), rosemary-and-sea-salt almonds ($7) and curry-coconut cashews ($7) pair well with small-production wines and local beers. Add baguettes, spreads and garlic pickles, then bundle your goods in an American basket ($20 to $150). 3732 W. Irving Park Rd.; 773-866-5266 or breadandwinechicago.com
When you?re getting your culture fix at the Grant Park Music Festival?s free classical concerts, pick up symphony snacks at the nearby Park Grill. The Picnic in the Park menu ($12.50 to $15) includes salads and sandwiches with classic sides (crunch your Rice Krispies treats quietly, please). Order 48 hours in advance. 11 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-521-7275 or parkgrillchicago.com