High Line New York Social Soup Experiment was a Success!
October 26, 2011
We had such a great time this past Saturday at the High Line Social Soup Experiment, eating excellent bowls of soup with a hundred other people. Everyone was happy and chatty and seated at a long communal table. Sounds great, right? It was. And it was only $5 a person! Spearheaded by a group within the High Line park family called High Line Food, and enjoying sponsorship from the likes of Eater.com, Edible Manhattan, the Green Table restaurant in the Chelsea Market, and Harlem’s Hot Bread Kitchen, this “Social Soup Experiment” was such a big hit with those of us lucky enough to go that we are hoping it will be the first of many such events…and that you will be able to join us next time.
High Line New York: Building Community Around the High Line Park Project
Here’s how the Social Soup Experiment on the New York High Line worked. We first heard about the event via a post on Eater.com, and though details were a little vague, we thought: Soup? High Line? Five bucks? Sign us up! We snatched up some tickets for the second of two seatings, and showed up on the appropriately fall-ish feeling Saturday afternoon. And though we figured it would be good time, with probably some decent food, the Social Soup Experiment on the High Line surpassed all of our expectations.
First of all, the soup itself was fantastic, a ridiculously hearty farro and bean creation with at least a half dozen kinds of beans, lots of vegetables (kale, tomatoes, onions), herbs (including rosemary), all given a nice lively little kick by the Roman-esque inclusion of a spicy olive oil. The chef was Mona Talbot, who recently published her second collection of soup recipes, Zuppe, and she should take a deep bow for her key contribution to the Social Soup Experiment on the NYC High Line.
Slow Food USA Challenge Appealed to the New York High Line
But there was more to the meal, too, including two kinds of first-rate bread from Hot Bread Kitchen, a crock of fresh butter, and a perfect, tart-and-sweet apple from the Hudson Valley. The volunteer servers and staffers were friendly and helpful, the soup bowl was bottomless (we had thirds), our table companions amiable, and, as mentioned, the whole thing cost only $5, a figure, by the way, that is not random.
As the High Line’s Melina Shannon-DiPietro explains, “we were inspired by Slow Food USA’s Five Dollar Challenge. The idea here is that you can eat really well, you can source good ingredients, have a luscious meal, really enjoy it with friends.” And the Social Soup Experiment at NYC’s High Line Park–supposedly only the first in what they (and we!) hope will be a series of communal eating events on the High Line–succeeded, wildly, on all counts.
Social Soup Experiment on the High Line NYC details
The High Line Social Soup Experiment was a one-day-only feeding, but apparently High Line Food plans on hosting a series of similar High Line Park New York events in the future. The best way to find out about them will probably be via the High Line’s email newsletter, which you can sign up for at the High Line website.