Wall & Water
When asked what made me decide to try Wall & Water (it had already been determined that I wasn’t a hotel guest, but worked up the street–really those are the only two reasons someone would be dining in this nowhere edge of the city) I didn’t have the heart to admit that it was a Village Vines 30% off promotion. Normally, I’d shy away from $14 cocktails, “house-pressed” ginger syrup or not. But a $9.80 dark & stormy? Sure.
The manager is painfully attuned to the service being described as “hot and cold” in the doubled-up New York Times review from August. Consequently, they’re kind of overdoing it now, falling hard into the ingratiating end of the spectrum. Not that I’m calling for more aloofness, just balance.
The food, however, hits all the right new American notes. Raw bar, charcuterie, artisanal cheese? They’ve got that too. Overall, the menu is a little pricey but good as opposed the little pricey but middling that plagues nearly every establishment in a ten-block radius (Setai excluded). I would return if I had an expense account type of job, and recommended it to someone I work with who probably does.
The salt-sprinkled hunk of butter drizzled with olive oil and goat cheese topped with cracked black pepper added variety to the bread basket.
The swordfish confit starter would’ve been better for sharing. It was hard to gauge serving sizes based on price. Fifteen dollars of seafood could be a few bites or it could be substantial like these three slices of mild, firm fish. The dish was appealing but not exciting enough to hold my attention. The smoked trout with pickles and beets might have been more my style.
It’s hard to go wrong with a pork chop, especially with such handsome grill marks. I enjoyed the slightly unusual pairing of meaty pinto beans and horseradishy slaw. Potatoes would just be too obvious and I’ve been trying to take a break from heavy starches, so this was perfect.
At its core, Wall & Water is at hotel restaurant in the Financial District. Lots of suits, and for nearly an hour I was the only female in the dining room. Eventually, a young guest was seated next to me who ordered swordfish (an entrée, not my appetizer) a glass of water and blew through his meal in minutes, sunglasses on, iPod buds in ears the entire time. This is what’s going to happen to all those kids glued to DVR players at the table when they grow up.
Wall & Water * 75 Wall St., New York, NY