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Sunday
Jun202010

Dinner at Wall & Water

*NOTE: This restaurant has since closed.*

  • Cuisine: New American
  • Atmosphere: grand, spacious, open-kitchen, hotel dining   
  • Attire: business casual
  • Ideal for: business dining, quiet conversation
  •  Price: moderate; most dinner entrees under $30
  • Phone: 212-590-1234
  • Location: 75 Wall St. (at Water St.)
  • Website: click *here*
  • Directionswww.hopstop.com/?city=newyork
  • *All photos from my meal can be found on Flickr

    On the second floor of Wall Street's new Andaz Hotel (a newer Hyatt concept), you will find Wall & Water, a modern, New American, incorporating ingredients from New York's bountiful Hudson Valley.  From floor to ceiling windows spanning heights of approximately 30-feet, to the free flowing progression of the dining room (market table, open kitchen), Wall & Water's breathtaking space is nothing short of strategic brilliance and stunning interior design (great acoustics, tables and booths reasonably spaced between one another).

    Wall & Water: view of the open-kitchen

    Wall & Water: table scapeA loaf of sliced country bread and sea-salted butter arrived moments before our salad course.  I began my meal with the Roasted Stone Fruits (stone fruits are pitted fruits, such as peaches and nectarines), which incorporated: halved/pitted plums and peaches (marinated in a maple-syrup bath prior to roasting) topped with crumbled aged-goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, and preserved lemon zest.  The textures of the ingredients complimented one another magically - from the crunchy, smoky pine nuts to the soft, ripe stone fruits - as did the sweet (fruit) and earthy (goat cheese) melange of flavors.

    Wall & Water: country bread served with sea-salted butterWall & Water: Roasted Stone FruitsChoosing an entree for myself was a bit of a struggle, so I enlisted the savvy advice of the chef.  "I love hotel burgers, but is there something else you'd recommend instead?  I'm very conflicted," I said.  When I asked the chef which entree was his favorite, without hesitation, he blurted, "the pork belly."  Even though I have a love-hate relationship with this particular cut (I find that pork belly is similar to a chicken wing in that, while the actual meat is delicious, there's very little of it.  Pork belly, as you know, is sandwiched between two thick layers of fat.), I, rather bravely, asked the chef to "surprise me," leaving my entree choice up to him.  Would I receive the burger or the belly?

    Sure enough, I was presented with the pork belly.  A rather thick, almost triangular slab of meat was served alongside course collard greens, sweet, roasted chunks of apple, and half of a grilled lemon.  While there wasn't much edible meat (as it was sandwiched between two layers of pure fat), I will say that the small portion I rendered was incredibly juicy, tender, and flavorful.  The collard greens were very tough and required more chewing than the bite I had of Emily's skirt steak.  I found the sweet, sauteed apple chunks to be an odd match - dare I say, an afterthought - as a pairing for the entree.  I expected something more clever; something more creative.  But what I found the most odd was the halved grilled lemon that, I suppose, acted as a condiment to one of the components of my entree.  Was I to squeeze the juice over the pork?  If so, wouldn't this have overpowered the meat?  I was confused and, to be perfectly honest, still hungry.

    Wall & Water: pork belly entreeOf the homemade desserts that we sampled, my favorite of the foursome was the fragrant, mixed-berry cobbler, which was served in a Staub (no relation to Danielle, thank you very much) cast-iron skillet.

    Wall & Water: mixed-berry cobblerWall & Water: rocky-road dessert served in a mason jarWall & Water: flourless-chocolate cakeWall & Water: apple pieConclusion: the service we received was graceful, attentive, and precisely paced; our champagne flutes of Laurent Perrier were never under 1/4 of the way full.  Additionally, the space and beverage/wine menu at Wall & Water were of equal radiance and splendor.  While I did enjoy my meal, I do think that portions of the menu may be slightly ambitious.  For example, the pork belly, on its own, was perfectly prepared, but it was imperfectly paired.  This, however, is fixable.

    The restaurant's prices are a bit on the steep side, but the restaurant is located within a hotel, after all.

    Would I return to Wall & Water?  Absolutely.  Do I consider it to be a destination restaurant?  No, but if I found myself in the neighborhood, I wouldn't think twice of going elsewhere.

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    Reader Comments (1)

    You're supposed to eat the two layers of fat. I would guess you would not be hungry if you ate it.

    June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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