Chicago's Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park expanded its concert lineup last year to include popular acts like Wilco and The Decemberists. Young music fans and older arts patrons came together for these hugely successful shows in one of the city's newest and most stunning public spaces. The sprawling lawn may not offer the best views, but the sound is great, the tickets are cheap and, most importantly, it leaves plenty of space to enjoy our favorite part of outdoor concerts – the food.
Indie-rock favorites Death Cab for Cutie take the stage next Tuesday, and we've compiled a special picnic menu in their honor.We decided on a vegetarian menu to match the band's general preference – guitarist Chris Walla is a longtime vegetarian and the rest of the band reportedly eats a lot of vegetarian and vegan meals while on the road. Check out Cooking with Rockstars' interview with front man Ben Gibbard for a look at their tour bus fridge.
Walla's signature Peanut Butter Veggie Sausage Toast sounds interesting, but it didn't give us much picnic fare inspiration. Instead, we turned to the music:
Where Seoul Meets Body
These light Korean dishes will be the perfect match for what is hopefully a lovely June evening in Chicago:
A Spicy Summer Noodle Mix from Dok Suni: Recipes from My Mother's Korean Kitchen by Jenny Kwak and Liz Fried
Napa Cabbage Kimchi, also from Dok Suni
The Minimalist's Korean-Style Crisp Vegetable Pancake – We think they'd hold up well for a picnic, slightly chilled.
My Korean Kitchen's Garlic Chives and Baked Garlic Salad – Two kinds of seasonal garlic? In a salad? Yes, please!
I Will Possess Your Heart (Cookies)
Love is a major theme in Death Cab's music, and what better says love more than a heart-shaped cookie? Cheesy? Yes. Delicious? Absolutely.
Candied Ginger Shortbread Hearts
White Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Dipped Heart Cookies
Confused about the park's alcohol policy? Us too. The official site says alcohol is allowed on the pavilion during public performances, but this policy has been known to change without notice, particularly when alcoholic beverages will be on sale inside the park. If you're afraid of having to ditch your bottle of wine, your best bet is to leave it at home. Wine-Marinated Grapes, however? We're pretty sure those are OK.
Whatever you're drinking, when "The Ice is Getting Thinner," it's time for a refresher.
UPDATE: We just came across the (quite strict) official food and beverage policy for the Death Cab show. Alcohol is expressly forbidden. Small, soft-sided coolers and picnic baskets will be allowed, as well as one non-alcoholic beverage in a plastic, factory-sealed container per person. So, all right then. See the full list of rules here.
Related: The Celluloid Pantry: A Picnic of Chicken, Beer, and Innuendo and To Catch a Thief (1955)
(Images: Death Cab for Cutie and Flickr member David Paul Ohmer licensed under Creative Commons)