I have been wanting to dine at Water and Wall for a while. Everybody I know who has been there raves about the restaurant and the virtues of the Ma team: Joey and Chef Tim Ma who own the restaurant. A few weeks ago, I finally got to experience what everybody has been talking about and I must say, they were right.
All about our dining experience at Water and Wall:
The Scene: As we arrived on a early evening, the dining room gleamed with light. With its large windows, it is well lit and warm at the same time. What caught my eye were large Asian inspired paper lamps and cozy semi round booths. Three of us dined in these booths which I love because it makes the experience more intinmate. I am happy I got to learn a little bit about the story of Joey and Chef Tim Ma on how Water and Wall came alive. Chef Ma, a former engineer turned chef is of Chinese heritage and his wife Joey is Latina. From the decor to the menu, the heritage is woven into Water and Wall making the restaurant truly a modern American establishment.
The Drinks: Like all good dinners, we started with cocktails. I enjoyed a La Paloma, a beautiful cocktail with tequila, hopped grapefruit bitters, grapefruit and lime juice, and grenadine. The Dutchman opted for a more masculine Theodore’s Elixir with rye, fernet branca, capaletti, and benedictine. My cocktail was light and summery and his was more complex and strong. The cocktail menu has a diverse list from fruity to bold, so pick your poison!
The Food: Love when you can see the personality of the owners of a restaurant in the dishes served. This is evident at Water and Wall. In modern geometric shaped Fortessa plates, everything is served with the intent of sharing. A must order is the pork belly and cold ramen. The pork belly is has a crispy skin and moist meat sitting on cold ramen slightly tangled with seared cabbage. Another dish that found a way to my heart was the duck leg confit. Although the main ingredient is the duck, the star of this dish are the perfectly charred Brussels sprouts. According to our server, a guest favorite is the fried chicken. We can see why. Fried chicken can be tricky and this one is mastered with a crispy outside and delectable meat. End your experience with a crème brûlée with vanilla bean and coffee fresh from the French press.
The Verdict: Make it a part of your agenda when looking for places to dine in Arlington. The friendly service, inventive menu, and the personal touch are the keys to a great dining experience. My favorite takeaway from our dinner is that I can truly see the human element of Water and Wall, something that at times is missing in fine dining.
This post was a sponsored by Fortessa in order to promote their #FindingFortessa campaign. Fortessa is a maker of restaurant grade tableware and works with many restaurants nationwide. Fortessa is donating $5 to a selection of regional food charities such as Capital Food Bank for each photo tagged #FindingFortessa from participating restaurants.