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blog swirl & savor

Perfect Picnic Picks in Faubourg St. John

Beth Ribblett

While it's not quite as cool as we'd like it to be yet, we have gotten a little break from the sweltering heat of the summer.  With that ever so slight breath of fall weather comes the perfect time to have a picnic.  And we just happen to live and work in a neighborhood that has great little spots to pull out the blanket, pop open your favorite bottle, add a little cheese and salami and you are set!

Fortier Park

My favorite spots include the tables in Fortier Park (across the street from the shop).  The tables double as chess boards so you can play a leisurely game while you sip on some wine.

Banks of Bayou St. John
Bayou Saint John has many wide green spaces to throw down a blanket but I particularly like the spot by the Cabrini walking bridge under the big oak tree.



City Park offers so many secluded, hidden nooks or more populated spaces for great people watching.  I personally love the area under the old, sprawling oak tree with the huge wind chimes near the big lake.  The sounds coming from those giant chimes automatically put you in a serene, relaxed state while having lots to occupy the rest of your senses as you can watch the boats on the lake and walkers on the path or feed the ducks some of your bread.


And of course we have everything you need at the shop for you outing.  Perfect sparkling picnic wines like the Avissi Prosecco ($14.99) or Ca de Medici Lambrusco ($12.99) go great with cheese and are a festive, inexpensive way to start your feast.  Refreshing palate cleansing whites like the 2010 Frisk Prickly Dry Riesling ($9.99) the 2010 Domaine Pichot Vouvray ($17.50) or the 2010 Taburno Falanghina ($17.99) are a joy with cheese and antipasti and just plain fun to drink.  Lighter style reds like the 2010 Terre Nere Etna Rosso ($18.50), the 2010 Pierre Chermette Beaujolais ($15.99) or the 2009 Tilia Bonarda ($9.99) have enough fruit and weight to accompany both your meats and cheeses.

Now onto the what you can fill that picnic basket with...a nice rotating selection of artisan cheese from St. James Cheese are freshly restocked weekly. Our best sellers include the triple cream wonder Brillat Savarin, the nutty almost butterscotchy Prima Donna Aged Gouda, the crumbly, tangy goats milk Miticana, the semi-soft, buttery Appalachian and of course the ever popular sheeps milk Manchego.  We usually hand select 12-15 cheeses per week to fill the cooler and sample on our cheese plates at the bar.

Cured meats like Columbus Cacciatore Salami, Palacios Chorizo, Creminelli Sopresatta or maybe you'd like to try the new to-die-for house made duck pastrami from St. James or their house made country style pate?  And since pate is not complete with cornichon, we have those and a selection of olives, pesto, crackers and fresh Boulangerie breads Thursday-Saturday.  And we are crossing our fingers that very soon Cheryl Scripter will have her new location of Bittersweet Confections up and running so we can restock our chocolates.

So what are you waiting for?   Come over pick up your picnic accouterments, grab a blanket and enjoy this weather while we can!  Need a few cups or napkins?  Want to pair a specific wine and cheese? Just ask, we'll do whatever we can to help you have the perfect picnic!