Sunday, November 23, 2014

Water and Wall - Cozy and Urbane in the 'Burbs

Water & Wall
3811 N. Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22203

I like the trend I'm seeing in independent restaurants. Good service, cocktails, and food in settings that are comfortable and welcoming. Chef/Owner Tim Ma's Water & Wall joins his first restaurant, Maple Ave, in those regards. It's got more seats than his first, which is good because seats are in high demand at his restaurants. Click on the link above to score a reso. You'll need to do it at least a week out if you're a prime-time-diner.
Understated entrance on Fairfax Dr.
We started out at the bar with a couple of drinks. I had the Theodore's Elixir. You can't go wrong with bourbon, Fernet, and some citrus. The ladies had some Thibaut-Janisson bubbles, also appropriate for the occasion.
We were dining with our friends Craig and Laura, who we often share blog-worthy meals with.
Seared scallops with grits. Rich and savory.
Pumpkin soup with sage oil and apple cider creme fraiche. One of the best pumpkin dishes I've ever tried, and the only pumpkin dish I've had this year. I'm saving myself for Thanksgiving.
A lot of restaurants offer fried calamari. Few season it well. Here there was ample salt and pepper, a sudachi aoli, and some pickled Fresno peppers. Lots of flavor.
A little closer please...

Chicken liver mousse with pear compote and champagne gelee. A lot of restaurants have a version of this. Tim's is better than most.
The ladies in a "Whatchu talkin' 'bout Willis?" moment.
Cheryl and I both had the Steelhead Trout. The white bean puree and salsa verde added some pizazz to the dish. The skin was cracklin'-crispy. Interesting factoid: a group of Steelhead Trout is a hover. It eats more like salmon than the white-fleshed brown trout you see in most places.
The catfish. This was my favorite dish. Unfortunately, I didn't order it. My friend Craig did. It had some excellent heat that came on the back end of the bite. Very nice, warm, but not overpowering.
Laura had the Duck Confit. It had Brussels sprouts and a maple gastrique. The skin was nicely crisped.
There were four desserts on the menu. There were four of us. Coincidence? I think not. This was the Pumpkin-buttermilk pound cake. I loved the pumpkin-seed brittle.
Apple crisp.
The bittersweet chocolate bread pudding.
And my favorite...the chocolate-peanut butter tart. I'm not sure, but it tasted to me like they used browned butter in the crust. Nice touch.

Definitely a nice addition to the neighborhood. Congrats Tim & Joey. Nice job. Looking forward to seeing more from you in the future.
Water & Wall on Urbanspoon

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