Thursday, November 7, 2013
New Opening - Water & Wall
I have a confession to make. I am a SUCKER for a good story. I absolutely love stories... you can learn so much about a person from their stories--who they are, what's important to them, where they focus their efforts. A good story takes the black and white and turns it into color. The story behind Maple Avenue and the newest addition to the family -- Water & Wall -- takes fantastic food and a great chef, and gives it meaning.
Maple Ave is the first restaurant from husband and wife team Chef Tim Ma and Joey Hernandez. They started the restaurant following their passion for food, and leaving behind a comfortable engineering career to take a chance.
That chanced turned into Maple Ave. Located in Vienna, Maple Ave just recieved the #1 ranking for best restaurant in No. Virginia. Chef Ma and his wife poured their heart and soul into that restaurant (they grew their own garden on the roof and tiled the floor themselves!) and their dream became a wonderful, successful reality.
Now, Chef Ma and Joey are taking the best of Maple Ave and using that core to start a new restaurant in Arlington, VA -- Water & Wall. I had a chance to sample some of the new items on the menu at Water & Wall, and it is clear that this sister restaurant is going to do some great things.
The menu offers some staples from Maple Ave., including the shrimp and grits which is creamy and delicious - the perfect comfort food (and yes, I do have a bias for shrimp and grits, I said it and an I'm not ashamed).
Given the previous success of Maple Ave, Water & Wall takes some chances with bold, innovative plates like beef curry, with succulent, tender braised beef in a light curry sauce served with fresh greens. A fantastic diversion from the standard dinner options.
Another new gem on the menu is the Burmese chicken salad. This dish is my absolute favorite. The light, tangy sauce with a good amount of spice is the perfect balance with the fresh, crisp cucumbers and red onion salad. It reminds me a lot of Larb Gai, and I am addicted.
The red drum dish plated with sweet potato puree and root vegetables is outstanding and a great combination of fresh, seasonal produce.
To finish off the meal, I would definitely recommend splurging on dessert. The crack cookie is chewy, crunchy and sweet with a cranberry sauce to lighten the dish. A fantastic way to end a great meal.
The outstanding food is underscored by an attentive, friendly and fun staff who focuses on customers and their dining experience. That type of customer service sets Water & Wall apart from other fine dining environments. General manager Nick Seo is truly committed to customers and that value shines through in every interaction with staff.
So, if you are looking for a new dining experience that will leave you hungry for more, look no further. Water & Wall is now open for dinner (and soon brunch!) in Arlington, VA and is a great story about a passion for outstanding food, good people and a dedication to wonderful customer service that will warm your heart and fill your tummy.