SafeTrack/Summer Dinner Special

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Yes, no one including us is particularly happy about SafeTrack.  Perhaps your commute just became a bit longer, perhaps now you have to jump on a shuttle or two.  While we can’t help the folks at METRO mend all the issues faster we can certainly provide some great dining deals to help ease the pain of your commute to work or home.

Mondays | 1/2 priced bottles of our favorite bottles of wine. Can’t finish the bottle no problem you can take it home to enjoy after your commute the next day.

Tuesday-Thursday | Enjoy our SafeTrack/Summer Dinner Special | Any appetizer + Any Entree $28pp (excludes specials, tax and gratuity)

SUNDAY + FOOTBALL = WINGS

YUM, YUM!

Yes, it’s true our wings are available every Sunday online order and pick up to enjoy during the NFL games.

Please complete the form below. All orders must be placed by 5 pm on Thursday for the following Sunday. Payment due at time of pick up. Pick up location: Water & Wall 3811 N. Fairfax Rd, Arlington.

20 wings for $25
30 wings for $36
50 wings for $59

*Prices do not include sales tax and a $5 service fee.

Northern Virginia Magazine | 5 things you need to know about Chase the Submarine

chase the sub logo jpg

 

Score one for Vienna. This month the town will get gourmet sandwiches, plus a butcher and a coffee shop, from three of its residents: Michael Amouri of Caffe Amouri and the husband and wife team of chef Tim Ma and Joey Hernandez of Tim Ma Restaurant Group (formerly of Maple Ave Restaurant).

Chase the Submarine, with seating for 30 guests, will go into 132 Church St. NW. Here are five things you need to know:

1. The subs span the globe
The sandwich menu is split into classics submarines and “Chase” submarines, several of which are throwbacks to when Ma and Hernandez operated MAX, a now-retired food truck. While some star Asian ingredients like kimchi, there is also a nod to Amouri’s heritage, as the George + Georgette is named for his Lebanese parents. They’ll be priced around $8 each. The following is a sample menu:

Classic Submarines

Wagyu Pastrami – House-smoked wagyu brisket, whole grain mustard creme fraiche, carrot sauerkraut, pickled shallots

Virginia Milano – Virginia ham, Olli Berkshire prosciutto, provolone

Steak & Cheese – Thinly sliced rib-eye, peppers and onions, American cheese

Pork + Pickles – Pineapple-braised Polyface pork shoulder, Dijon mustard, rambutan, Gruyere cheese, dill pickled apples

Smoked Free-Range Turkey – Bacon, mash potato, ground cherry relish

“Chase” Submarines

Belly Banh Mi – Foie gras pate, pork belly, daikon, cilantro, jalapeno

The Offal – Veal sweetbreads, bread and butter relish, gochujang

Sweet Beef Cheeks – Beer -braised beef cheek, tamarind sauce, baby Asian greens

George + Georgette – Ground lamb, burnt onion, Amouri yogurt

Bulgogi Submarine – Asian pear-marinated rib-eye, kimchi puree, roasted scallion

Vegetarian Curry – Roasted butternut squash, roasted eggplant, fingerling potato, curry

2. What you’re bringing home
Chase the Submarine is at its core a sandwich shop, but there will also be butchery and pantry components. “We have this large butcher counter, and we want to put on display what we’re doing rather than it being done behind closed doors,” Ma says. They’ll sell custom cuts of meat requested by customers, plus some in-house charcuterie. There’s more. Expect to peruse assorted pickles and ferments by the pint, sauces and house-spun ice cream in flavors such as chrysanthemum tea. Sip on Caffe Amouri coffee, soft drinks, beer and wine.

3. What’s with the name?
Ma, very much a family man, named the sandwich shop after his son Chase Ma. “He’s 3 years old right now and has no idea that he has a restaurant named after him, but I’m sure one day he’ll want royalties,” Ma explains.

4. They’re sourcing from Polyface Farms
Ma and Amouri will source as much as possible from Polyface Farms in the Shenandoah Valley near Staunton. Joel Salatin’s sustainable agriculture practices have made his products the gold standard among local farm-to-table chefs and restaurants, especially after Salatin’s role in the documentary “Food, Inc.” “He [Ma] has access to some of the premier suppliers that even other chefs don’t have access to,” Amouri says of his business partner. “It speaks to what’s in the sandwich.” Ma takes his staff to the farm every two years.

5. You’ll help shape the menu
While Ma and Amouri anticipate coming hot out of the gate serving offal-stuffed subs, they’ll ultimately listen to feedback from customers and fine tune the menu from there. “We’re in the suburbs of Virginia in a quaint town that knows what it likes,” Ma says. “We’ll start with my deals, then we’ll let the neighborhood dictate change—you have to be adaptable.” So don’t be afraid to speak up.

Chase the Submarine expects to open mid-October. “I’m pretty tapped into the community, and there’s nothing like it in this town,” Amouri says. “I get people into my shop, literally five people a day, that ask about it. They want to be the first customers to walk through the door—there’s definitely a buzz.”

Laura Hayes hails from Philly (but don’t hold it against her). She’s been covering the local dining scene for three years, and her work has been published in the Washington Post, Food Network, Washington City Paper, Arlington Magazine and more. Having lived in Japan for two years, she finds herself in a constant state of craving sushi. Laura always orders her favorite savory dish again for dessert and keeps her gut in check through lots of CrossFit classes.

Article

Fall Dining Guide 2014 | The Washington Post

Duck confit. [Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post]

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Duck confit. [Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post]

Duck confit. [Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post]

TOM SIETSEMA Oct. 9, 2014
Here’s my response to people who want “something nice,” hold the sticker shock, in Arlington. A sibling to the tiny Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna, Water & Wall is a young restaurant with an easygoing staff and a window-wrapped dining room remarkable most for the cloud-like lights floating overhead.

Chef Tim Ma sends out dishes as fetching as you might find at some of Washington’s top tables, with flavor profiles to match. Ma’s crisp duck confit decked out with green tomato chow-chow would look right at home at Mintwood Place, and his saffron pasta with crushed paprika almonds, grated manchego and shaved summer squash has Red Hen written all over it. Not every dish is a delight; lamb spiced with harissa lacks the desired heat. Pacing can be off as well, with food sometimes preceding drinks. The wrinkles are nothing an exquisite $8 chicken liver mousse with blueberry compote or snowy, $18 Thai-style catfish semi-sweetened with savory caramel sauce can’t smooth away. Desserts have improved from the early months. My vote goes to the peanut butter-chocolate tart that tastes like Reese’s Pieces, only more refined, and buttermilk scones pressed into service as shortcake with whatever fruit is in season.

Make a dinner date with the restaurant on Sunday and Monday. The payoff: Bottles of wines $75 and under are offered half-price.
Going Out Guide: 3811 Fairfax Dr. // 703-294-4949 // www.waterandwall.com // Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily, weekend brunch // Lunch small plates $6 to $12, dinner $18 to $26, weekend brunch $10 to $16 // 70 decibels // Conversation is easy

Washington Post | Where Creative Meets Delicious

Chef Tim Ma

By , Published: December 3

Water & Wall, where creative meets delicious. 

 

As is his habit at the tiny Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna, where eggs have been scrambled with caramelized kimchi and Chinese sausage, chef Tim Ma slips a pleasant surprise into almost every dish at the new Water & Wall in Arlington.Kale salad is on the verge of becoming a modern American cliche. Even so, I find myself lingering over the first course at Ma’s second restaurant. The hearty greens are arranged with dabs of goat cheese and glossy nuts, as well as apples and pears that are sweet from more than just their natural juices. My fork keeps returning to the fruit as I try to identify the enhancers. Clove? Cardamom? Nutmeg? The gang’s all there. The chef later tells me the spices from the candied nuts rub off on the apples and pears — and that more of the same fruits are pureed into the vinaigrette that makes the salad special.
While Water & Wall shares some of the values of its older sibling, the fresh face is no mirror image. For starters, Maple Ave is a shoebox with a mere nine tables, a dream opened with a credit card. The new dining room replaces Pines of Florence.Water & Wall represents the intersection of the streets near which Ma, 35, lived in New York when he went to the French Culinary Institute, from which he graduated in 2008. (His externship was six months atMomofuku Ko, the darling of critics created by the acclaimed David Chang.)
Water & Wall’s name echoes in its design. “Water” is represented by painted vertical stripes in bronze and metallic green; “wall” is underscored with see-through metal curtains separating the bar from the dining area. Off the main dining room are several semi-circular dark-red “mafia” booths (Ma’s description). The spare scene is illuminated overhead with cloud-like lights in cotton shades.

The secret of many home cooks is the head chef’s explanation for the depth of flavor in some of his dishes: Fish sauce, complex and nutty, elevates fried chicken wings, fried okra and bouillabaisse at Water & Wall.

Chicken is a delicious strategy here, by the way. Two appetizers are based on the bird. One is a liver pât ésweet with onions, bold with garlic and spirited with Maker’s Mark. The lush mix is spread on crostini with ribbons of duck prosciutto and offered with pickled red pepper relish. (The chef likes sweet and heat in his food.)

A second way to enjoy chicken is via the Burmese salad, where shredded poultry, scallions and fresh red Thai chilies are tossed with turmeric oil. Credit for that star turn goes to Ma’s right-hand man, chef Nyi Nyi Myint, a Burmese native who assists the chief at both restaurants.

Ma’s duck confit would elicit joie de vivre in a bistro in Paris. It helps that the dish starts with a pedigree (the duck is from the Hudson Valley) and a juniper cure. The skin crackles when your teeth make contact with it, and the rich meat proves a worthy successor. Deep-fried Brussels sprouts slicked with truffle aioli and tossed with fresh black radishes and shallots make a swell support for the bird. Veal sweetbreads are worth crossing the Potomac for, too. The organ meat teases the tongue with cayenne, smoked paprika and cinnamon; crisp fried kale alongside lends a pleasing crunch to the composition.

Bigger isn’t necessarily better, says Ma, who owns both restaurants with his fiancee, Joey Hernandez. His kitchen at Water & Wall is more spacious and outfitted with newer equipment, he says, but more space and a longer menu mean more prep time and fewer flourishes on the plates. His treatments, often Eastern in persuasion, are nevertheless winning. Hanger steak, for instance, is shored up with smashed skin-on potatoes and a mound of beer-braised collard greens. An Asian riff on Argentine chimichurri, ignited with red Thai chilies, punches up the main course of grilled, sliced beef. A robust seafood stew is sharpened with lemon grass.

Not every chef can pull off savory ice cream, and I’ll confess I raised an eyebrow as I went into a small plate of seared scallops flanked with bacon ice cream. That eyebrow came down after a taste of the creamy, faintly smoky scoop, however.

Risotto thick with sweet potatoes and veined with pecans is a pleasant vegetarian alternative. In the aforementioned company, the main course is also subdued.

Desserts, prepared at Maple Ave, are usually two choices, one night a cookie plate and Japanese mochi, dense and elastic little rice cakes filled with ice cream. Neither selection is so good that you should hold off asking for the check.

Not every dish soars at Water & Wall, but enough do. This is, for the most part, cooking with a refreshing point of view, food that stands slightly apart from the pack.

Why Arlington? “It’s not Clarendon. It’s not Ballston,” Ma says later in a telephone interview. “It’s a quiet part of Arlington — what Vienna is, in general.” Pause. “It’s also one step closer to the city.”

I can’t tell if the chef is smiling when he says that, but I know this diner is.

The Washington Diplomat | Ma Makes Smart Career Move

Ma Makes Smart Career Move With Arlington’s Water & Wall

By Rachel G. Hunt

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Photos: Jessica Latos
Specializing in modern American cuisine, Water & Wall in Arlington, Va., blends techniques and ingredients from various culinary traditions to create simple, locally sourced dishes.

Over the past few decades, Washington has seen the comings and goings of chefs with impressive culinary pedigrees as it has developed into a serious restaurant town. Older chefs who have been cooking their entire professional careers stand shoulder to shoulder in the local pantheon of culinary luminaries with celebrity chefs and hot-shot newbies whose lives revolve around food.

Recently, a new type of chef is joining their ranks. The area is welcoming chefs who began their professional careers in entirely different fields but could not ultimately resist the pull of the kitchen. These are not hobbyist restaurateurs. They are savvy individuals who study the industry before diving in to make sure they understand what is required for success. Some have gone on to receive formal training, others have joined the teams of established ventures, while others have jumped right in by opening their own spot, though they frequently partner with seasoned professionals.

Chef-owner Tim Ma is one of the new breed, and his new Arlington, Va., restaurant, Water & Wall, is a striking example of things done right. Chef Ma began professional life as an engineer but the culinary calling was too powerful, so he left that first promising career to attend the French Culinary Institute in New York City. After a stint at a restaurant in St. Thomas, he returned home to open his own place. His first solo venture, Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna, Va., has drawn critical acclaim and proved that Ma’s decision to switch careers was a good one, especially for diners. With just a few years of experience, Ma recently opened Water & Wall as Maple’s more sophisticated little sibling. Also described as modern American cuisine, Water & Wall demonstrates the ability of Ma and his eclectic team of chefs to blend the techniques and ingredients of various culinary traditions into a creative, appealing menu.

That menu, in fact, is fairly brief and depends heavily on what the team can source locally, so it changes frequently. Broken into either starters or main plates, diners can sample from a nice range of meats and fish, though the purely vegetarian options are limited. Somewhat refreshingly, unlike many chefs, Ma takes fresh, local and seasonal ingredients as a given and does not play them up in promoting his restaurants. It simply is the only way he does things in his kitchens.

The chicken wings at Water &Wall may well be the best in the Washington area and even rival those prepared by the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, the reputed originator of the archetypal Buffalo chicken wing. Ma and his team come to their version quite differently but end up with something every bit as enticing and addictive. While deep-fat frying is an essential first step in both versions, Water & Wall uses Korean red chili paste and crème fraîche to achieve a perfect balance of richness and spice. They alone make the trial of finding a parking place in Arlington worth it. Buffalo wings are actually a favorite snack of sous chef Keelan Thompson, which might explain why these are so good.

dining.water.wall.seating.storySimilarly, the team has put together their version of the coastal Southern classic shrimp and grits as a starter, but they reinterpret it by adding a mild venison sausage, piquillo and tiny okra slices.

On the Asian side of things, steamed mussels are prepared with saffron, coconut, Chinese sausage, cilantro and Thai basil. The Burmese chicken salad, with turmeric onions and chili vinaigrette, is a slightly spicy and traditional dish that’s a nod to chef Nyi Nyi Myint’s native cuisine. The chicken liver pâté, on the other hand, with crostini, duck prosciutto and orange vincotto glaze, is decidedly continental in its appeal.

One of the notable characteristics of Water & Wall’s dishes is their relative simplicity, both in design and presentation. They depend on just a few well-paired flavors and attractive, no-fuss presentation for their effect on the eye and palate. On a recent visit, drum fish was pan seared and served with a warm salad of julienne leeks and pickled cabbage, as well as golden beet chunks and a buttery kabocha squash puree. The pan-seared steelhead fish was paired with sunchoke slices, bits of kale, potato and lemon fish broth. Both dishes were striking with their contrasting colors and textures, and we could not help but think of the old adage that one way to eat healthy is to get a lot of color on your plate. Water & Wall dishes not only look and taste good, they are good for you.

dining.water.wall.chef.story

Tim Ma left a promising career in engineering for an equally promising career as chef and owner of Maple Ave Restaurant and Water & Wall, both in Virginia.

The sides that accompany each dish are also a mark of distinction for Water & Wall. Each is an integral part of the dish as a whole but could easily stand alone. (At this time the menu does not offer sides to be ordered separately, but the kitchen will usually accommodate requests for sides by themselves.) The various purees are particularly well done, but the caramelized Brussels sprouts — quartered, deep-fat fried and tossed in truffle aioli with black radish strips — redefine the lowly little cabbage.

Dessert choices are limited and change frequently, but what’s there stands out. Small pastel mochi balls (pounded sticky rice cake), each filled with different flavors of ice creams such as apple pie, almond and raspberry, are a light and fun choice. The panna cotta — pumpkin on a recent visit — is dense and not too sweet. Partnered with a triangular walnut-chocolate-butterscotch bar, the dish is substantial. Only chocolate diehards will be disappointed with the dessert choices.

Simplicity in design carries through to the space itself. Ma brought on Sucha Khamsuwan of Studio Ideya to create a vision for the space that interprets the restaurant’s name, Water & Wall, which refers to an intersection in lower Manhattan where Ma first met his partner in life as well as business, Joey Hernandez (who is the current general manager for Maple Ave). But Khamsuwan took the literal meaning of the words and used strong vertical elements and shimmery wire-mesh curtain walls that effectively create a sense of flowing water. There is minimal ornamentation to interrupt the flow, and the light sand-colored wood floors further evoke the essence of a streambed. Dramatic lighting fixtures soften the exposed ductwork and cast a muted glow over the earth-toned spaces to create a restful atmosphere.

The elegance of Khamsuwan’s design might easily have overshadowed the comfort of Ma’s laidback concept. But the capable front-of-the-house ministrations of general manager Nick Seo bring out the casual instead. A Washington native, Seo got the restaurant bug early on and left Temple University for the Culinary Institute of America. After graduating, he took on a range of roles at several places in the area before ending up on Ma’s team.

Those career intersections — some of which, like Ma’s, took unlikely detours — have all thankfully led to one place: Water & Wall, where the professional prospects of Ma and his entire crew are overflowing with potential.

 

For original article click here

Eater DC | 16 New Brunches to Try Now

EATER MAPS

16 New Brunches to Try NOW

Thursday, January 16, 2014, by Missy Frederick

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Water & Wall [Photos: R. Lopez]

Water & Wall’s brunch features dishes like eggs with kimchi, truffled eggs and pumpkin buttermilk pancakes.
3811 FAIRFAX DR, ARLINGTON, VA 22203

Washingtonian | Best Bites Blog

Early Look: Water & Wall (Photos)
A second restaurant from the crew behind Maple Ave debuts in Arlington.By Anna Spiegel

Water & Wall blends a range of influences, from New York-inspired decor to French and Burmese dishes. Photographs by Andrew Propp.

Comments (0) | Published November 12, 2013
Conspire with your fellow diners in what Ma calls “New York Mafia-style” booths.

Washington is getting its fare share of New York imports, from an outpost of Daniel Boulud’s DBGB to a Southeast Asian spot from the Fatty Crew Hospitality Group. And now there’s Water & Wall, chef Tim Ma’s newly opened restaurant that mixes Big Apple inspirations with a homegrown neighborhood vibe.

The Arlington eatery’s name nods to the intersection of Water and Wall streets in the Financial District, where Ma and wife/business partner Joey Hernandez lived while he attended the French Culinary Institute. Ma, then an engineer, didn’t aspire to the work-hard, play-hard lifestyle of twentysomething New York City line cooks, and the couple spent time in the apartment planning their Washington venture. Both seem to have a touch of the New York. Maple Ave Restaurant, their first, seems more Brooklyn than Vienna, with fewer than 30 seats and a diverse menu that lists roasted bone marrow alongside Burmese chicken salad. The new spot is a considerable expansion, with 40-odd tables, plus what Ma describes as a few “New York Mafia-style” booths. The design from Studio Ideya also reflects the couple’s former Manhattan home; designer Sucha Khamsuwan even visited the eponymous intersection for inspiration.

 

A cocktail program with house-made bitters and juices is in the works.

Influence for the menu ventures far beyond the mid-Atlantic. Southern-style shrimp and grits with venison sausage share space with classic French duck confit and, again, that Burmese chicken salad. The last is less random than it sounds; executive chef Nyi Nyi Myint is Burmese, and mixes Asian influences into a number of dishes, including a lemongrass-scented bouillabaisse and crispy pork belly with green-papaya-and-mango salad.

For all the ambitious cooking, the restaurant’s roll-out is fairly restrained. The focus now remains on dinner service, particularly the savory side. Dessert arrive in the form of specials (there’s no official menu), like a pecan pie bar with vanilla-Jack Daniels pudding and chocolate sauce. A cocktail program is also in the works, with an emphasis on house-made bitters, juices, et al. Once the essential elements are running smoothly, Ma says they’ll open for a Maple Ave-esque Saturday and Sunday brunch, and then lunch. Call it a New York state of mind with Beltway pacing.

(Left) Pan-seared steelhead trout nods to Ma’s French training with sunchokes and lemon-fish nage. (Right) Burmese chef Nyi Nyi Myint mixes Asian influences into a number of dishes, like crispy pork belly with green papaya salad.
A sauce of Thai basil, chilies, lemongrass, and cilantro brighten up a bistro-style hanger steak.

Washington City Paper | Young & Hungry

Young and Hungry

What to Expect From Chef Tim Ma’s New Restaurant Water & Wall

Posted by Jessica Sidman on Nov. 7, 2013 at 11:23 am

waterwall

Hot off the heals of Northern Virginia Magazine naming Vienna’s Maple Ave Restaurant the best restaurant in northern Virginia, chef Tim Ma has just opened his second spot: Water & Wall.

The new restaurant, located right by the Virginia Square metro, shares several of the same menu items as Maple Ave, including popular dishes like shrimp and grits, saffron mussels, and chicken wings. But Ma says he wants Water & Wall to have its own identity, rather than being a copy of Maple Ave. Other dishes include pan-seared red drum with winter squash puree, roasted beets, leeks, and pickled cabbage; sweet potato risotto; and pork shoulder with chow chow relish, grilled scallions, and garlic oil. Ma also highlights a Burmese bouillabaisse created by chef de cuisine Nyi Nyi Myint, who’s from Burma and London. The menu includes a limited beer and wine list; cocktails are in the works.

The restaurant gets its name from Water and Wall streets in New York, where Ma and his wife lived when he was in culinary school at the French Culinary Institute. “That’s when we started the journey on this whole thing, lots of inspiration, lots of dreaming,” Ma says. “That’s what culinary students do in New York City: dream up their own restaurant.”

Ma says the biggest difference between Maple Avenue and Water & Wall was the build-out. Maple Ave, which opened in 2009, was built by Ma and his friends over the course of a summer. “Every day after work, they would all come over and we would just hang out, put up drywall, scrape floors, clean,” he says. “We literally built that with our own bare hands.”

But for Water & Wall, he hired a professional interior design and architecture firm called Studio Ideya. The designer, Sucha Khamsuwan, actually went to New York to draw inspiration from what he saw at the intersection of Water and Wall streets. Ma says there’s a lot of brick, metal, and hard surfaces, but also some nods to the name like the flowing, waterlike curtains.

Still, Ma says he hopes both places have the same casual contemporary vibe: “We don’t want it to feel like you’re dining at a high-end restaurant. We want you to feel like you’re dining at Maple Avenue but with just the nicer touches that everybody has been asking for.”

Water & Wall, 3811 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 105, Arlington; (703) 294-4949;waterandwall.com

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