Finding dining alfresco in the summer is key here in New York City. When the sidewalk seating starts popping out in May prematurely, everyone is bubbly, skipping and looking for a place to sit outside. The High Line Hotel in Chelsea’s outdoor nook is a specialty pop-up dining area just for the season created by the Epicurean Group (L’Artusi, dell’anima, L’Apicio). First things first, jump on those frozen negronis as soon as possible. This couldn’t be anymore refreshing, delicious, amazing or perfect. Nothing tastes better on a hot day even if you aren’t a negroni fanatic. Don’t worry about sitting outside if you are opposed to heat either as there are umbrellas on the tables to shy the sun away from you. Alta Linea is the kind of place snackers bow down to. Skip the entrees- there are only three anyway- and go for the aperitivi, cheeses, and salads. It’s more fun to order and pick over several things.
Grilled Summer Beans
Start with the Grilled Flatbread served with housemade spreads. While this is a hefty portion and a price tag of $17, if you are a party of two, the lovely staff will happily provide you with a half order. Solid. The grilled bread is toasty and thick and thin enough for dipping in Housemade Ricotta, Roasted Eggplant Romesco and Cannellini. We loved the Grilled Summer Beans Salad with chilies, feta, pine nuts, mint and a light preserved lemon vinaigrette. This was probably my favorite thing of the night because it felt healthy and extremely tasty. The Arancini Balls stuffed with salumi, fontina, and fried sage will make anyone happy. Good call on the fried sage. The Pork Meatball Polenta is pretty hearty. Steer clear of this and save room for the giant Caramel & Chocolate Sea Salt Ice Cream Sandwich. It’s more like the consistency of a piece of cake mixed with a brownie and thicker than a cookie. It’s fun and necessary as is everything else on this menu.
Alta Linea is the definition of an Italian summer. Sit back, grab a drink eat some cheese and salumi or a grilled cheese with white cheddar, gruyere, scallions, and red onions for that matter. Then take a stroll down The High Line as you should. As a reminder, the restaurant is only open through the summer months so pencil it in.