Picnic at the Elevated Acre

Ask a New Yorker to name the best spot for a picnic, and you’ll hear the names of some of the city’s better known parks and green spaces: Central Park, the High Line, Bryant Park, even Fort Tryon Park, or Prospect Park in Brooklyn. But few city dwellers have heard of the Elevated Acre, a public plaza tucked away in the Financial District and three stories above the city’s streets, at 55 Water Street.

The Elevated Acre has been around since the 1970s and, thanks to a recent makeover by Rogers Marvel Architects, is now a verdant venue for outdoor movies, performances, and special events—not to mention picnics with stunning views of Brooklyn across the East River, and just steps from the downtown luxury condos for sale at 101 Wall. To plan the perfect picnic on the Elevated Acre, here are the best sandwich shops, grocery stores, and wine boutiques near this lovely public space and the luxury condos for sale at 101 Wall.

Pisillo Italian Panini | 97 Nassau Street

The hordes of hungry office workers that frequent this Italian sandwich shop at lunch hour (among them New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio himself) already know: Pisillo offers some of the Financial District’s best (and biggest) sandwiches. Choose from classic Italian cold cuts like sopressata, speck, or coppa, paired with fresh or smoked mozzarella, and an endless combination of spreads, hot peppers, and quality condiments imported direct from Italy, all served on crusty loaves from the Royal Crown Bakery. These 14-inch panini are sized for sharing and portable for picnickers on the go. But be advised: Pisillo’s famous panini are available Monday through Saturday, but the shop is closed on Sunday.

Zeytuna | 59 Maiden Lane

Once sandwiches are in hand, head to this neighborhood food emporium to stock up on gourmet delights to round out your picnic spread. In the upstairs market, you’ll find the deli and cheese counters, a fishmonger, butcher, an antipasto bar, and a broad selection of groceries—from fresh fruits to sparkling beverages and spicy pickles, all in a quaint faux cottage-themed interior. Downstairs is one of the city’s best gourmet food courts, with pizza and sushi stations, Korean barbeque dishes, as well as an impressively stocked self-serve salad bar and steam table.

La Petite Cave | 83 Maiden Lane

The only thing left to procure is the right beverage to pair with this picnic lunch, and Financial District wine sellers La Petite Cave are sure to have just the thing. Owner Larry Skrivanek is lauded by locals for his knack for recommending the perfect pairing, regardless of your taste or budget. The shop’s diminutive scale means each selection in the inventory has been handpicked by Larry himself, and his intimate knowledge of every bottle he stocks allows him to answer customers’ questions and guide their selection without pushing a sale or his own preferences. From delicate rosés to fruit-filled gamays, cooling chenin blancs, and effervescent vinho verdes, there’s plenty of wine varieties to savor with the rest of your Elevated Acre picnic choices.

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