Park It

Hit The Gage for Millennium Park's best picnic food

Planning a Millennium Park picnic for the Fourth of July? Or a free show at the Pritzker Pavilion? Get blanket-ready eats from downtown's most underrated source of picnic fodder, The Gage.

The Michigan Avenue restaurant is kitty-corner from The Bean–and the entire menu of internationally and seasonally inspired pub grub is available to go.

Chef Dirk Flanigan designed his lunchtime roasted mushroom ($12) and truffled ham ($16) sandwiches–on long, sturdy filone and ficelle bread, respectively–to be park-friendly. His classic (and exemplary) fish and chips, with flaky cod in crisp Guinness batter, comes wrapped in newsprint, ready to be taken across the street ($15, pictured).

Olives and pickles ($5.50) are portioned to share, as is rabbit paté with piquant apple-papaya-black mustard chutney and sourdough toast ($13) and braised rabbit-arugula salad ($14).

House-made sausages are also easy to split; on any given day, you'll find venison with blueberries, veal with basil and shallots, or North African-inspired lamb merguez, served with crisp potatoes tossed with melted brie.

Or try the roasted bone-in saddle of elk with poached apples and fresh ricotta ($42), or the Gunthorp Farms bone-in pork chop ($32), "both perfect for picnics," says Flanigan, "because they have built-in handles."

The Gage, 24 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-372-4243 or thegagechicago.com