I hate to sound generic, but the soup at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Market, located in the W hotel in the Theater District, tastes like spring in a bowl. Seriously. Labeled simply as “Green Pea Soup, Parmesan” the soup comes to you via tableside presentation. When the shallow bowl of frothy Parmesan foam gets placed in front of you along with 10 (or so) baby croutons, you’re still not clued into how delicious this soup is. It isn’t until the waiter is standing above you, pouring a stream of steaming, vibrantly green soup that you get clued into the fact that this isn’t your average, run of the mill pea soup. This is something special.
I like to think I’m a tough critic when it comes to food but this soup was flawless. At its core, it’s just a really well made soup. Velvety and tasting strongly of vibrant and fresh pea, the flavor really stands out and the cheerfully grassy color is just brilliant to look at. The foamy whipped Parmesan accompaniment is a nice surprise to the dish and it adds an element of excitement, not to mention an incredibly strong, cheesy flavor. The croutons look unassuming and bland but don’t be fooled. These babies are toasted up in lots of sweet butter that pops in your mouth when you bite into it, further punctuating all of the flavors in the bowl. Make no mistake, one may find that $9 is a little steep for a bowl of soup but I’d much rather pay an extra couple of dollars out of my comfort zone if it means I get a perfectly executed and well-balanced dish.
Market itself has an atmosphere that you’d expect from the W; clean, chic and modern, it’s the type of space that makes you feel special. The staff was very friendly and accommodating and it was the special little touches that made the experience all the more memorable. At the bar, where I enjoyed my soup, I was greeted by a duo of seasoned nuts and popcorn. All of which had welcoming, bold flavors and served as a great start to my meal.