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WaPo Express | The Tastemakers

The tastemakers

BY HOLLEY SIMMONS

chefs

Express invited all nine chefs to dinner at Aaron Silverman’s Capitol Hill hot spot, Rose’s Luxury, where he and his crew prepared an after-hours spread of oysters, smoked brisket, fall slaw, toasted white bread and a horseradish creme fraiche.

Crowded farmers markets. Adams Morgan on a Friday night. Heck, even Vienna. Anyplace these nine chefs are cooking, we’re there. Though they’re not exactly household names, each one adds something special to D.C.’s food scene, whether it’s serving upscale food at an affordable price or preparing vegetarian meals that’ll leave you questioning the merits of bacon. You’ll notice that many of the culinary talents profiled here are busy settling into a new role or hard at work getting a project off the ground. That’s just one of the reasons we were thrilled they accepted our invitation to sit down for a family meal so we could get to know them all a little better.

http://oceanadesigns.net/images/granite/toasted-almond/toasted-almond.jpg marjorieMarjorie Meek-Bradley
Secret Ingredient: Change

When Marjorie Meek-Bradley joined the kitchen at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon in 2005, she was the first woman to ever prepare food on the hot line. “I was like, ‘You’ve been open seven years. That’s [expletive],’ ” says Meek-Bradley, who in March inherited her current role as executive chef at Ripple (3417 Connecticut Ave. NW). Previously, Meek-Bradley served illustrious stints at Eleven Madison Park and Per Se in New York and at Washington Square in Philadelphia — where she met Mike Isabella, who later tapped her to be Graffiato’s chef de cuisine. “I learned a lot from Mike about Greek and Italian cuisine,” Meek-Bradley says. Coupled with her California upbringing, these Mediterranean influences shape her menu at Ripple, where 90 percent of the produce is sourced locally and fresh pastas like carrot cavatelli are standouts.

http://1844house.com/2016/01/ Tim Matim
Secret Ingredient: Perseverance

Maple Avenue Restaurant (147 Maple Ave., Vienna) was days away from bankruptcy when Tim Ma figured he might as well start cooking whatever he wanted at the nine-table eatery he opened in 2009 with a credit card. “There’s a brunch dish we serve with eggs and kimchee that I literally make for myself every morning,” Ma says. “I was like, ‘Screw it, let’s just put it on the menu.’ ” Following some positive local press, diners flocked in droves. Now the reservation-recommended restaurant is busy slinging plates of eclectic American cuisine influenced by Ma’s classic French training. The little restaurant that could is doing so well, in fact, Ma is opening a second outlet in Arlington, named Water & Wall, on Nov. 1. “It’s going to be an expansion of Maple Avenue, with the addition of a tasting menu.”

http://shellystearooms.com/fi/shellys-tea-rooms-news-summer-2015/ johnJohn Shields
Secret Ingredient: We’ll find out soon

Since 2012, when he and his wife handed in their aprons at Town House — the unassuming restaurant in a tiny Virginia town they overhauled and turned into a fine-dining sensation — John Shields has toyed with the idea of opening a concept in D.C. Make that a series of pop-ups. Nope, definitely a restaurant. In Philly. Maybe. It seems the Chicago-born chef finally has some solid news for loyal followers: “We found a space we like and have a lease in hand. It’s in Georgetown.” With an anticipated opening date of summer 2014, the yet-to-be-named eatery will feature the same inventive cuisine once hailed at Town House, with an emphasis on seafood and a casual dining area out back. “I’ve always tried to keep things pure and just accentuate flavors rather than being overly creative,” Shields says. “That won’t change.” We’re going to hold him to that.

Aaron Silvermanaaron
Secret Ingredient: Authenticity

Crowds at Rose’s Luxury’s (717 Eighth St. SE) first Saturday dinner service earlier this month caused a 2½-hour wait, inspiring a few impatient diners to craft impromptu seating out of wayward peach crates. The draw? Aaron Silverman’s eclectic American knockouts like popcorn soup and sausage with lychees. A Rockville native, Silverman studied political science before realizing his heart belonged in the kitchen. Following culinary school in Gaithersburg, Md., he landed stints at Momofuku in New York and McCrady’s in Charleston, S.C. With most dishes landing under $15, and with 25 cents donated to help feed hungry children for every diner who walks through the door, Silverman delivers high-level food sans pretension. Design details like tables built and signed by his uncle and a framed picture of his grandmother (the restaurant’s namesake) help to cultivate a warm environment. “We want everyone to feel like this is their home,” Silverman says. “It takes longer to turn tables, but people have a better time.”

chayaBettina Stern and Suzanne Simon
Secret Ingredient: Simplicity

Trying to find the Chaya taco stand (chayadc.com) at the farmers market? Just look for the longest line. Launched in May, the popular vegetarian Latin American-influenced concept is led by self-trained chefs Suzanne Simon (an Ohio native with a degree in environmental science) and Bettina Stern (a Manhattanite who got her culinary start at Ina Garten’s now-defunct gourmet food store, Barefoot Contessa). The two also run loulies.com, a mindful living blog with a concentration on eating seasonally and consciously. “When you eat food in-season, you’re eating it at the peak of flavor,” Stern says. “It’s also more affordable because it’s in abundance.” A brick-and-mortar restaurant with a focus on plant-based cuisine is the goal, though the two plan to fine-tune dishes like kale and roasted potato tacos on handmade tortillas with creamy poblano sauce at pop-ups and year-round farmers markets.

Katsuya Fukushima daikaya
Secret Ingredient: Happiness

If you’re dining at Daikaya (705 Sixth St. NW) when a Backstreet Boys song comes on, be prepared: “We start a restaurantwide sing-along,” chef Katsuya Fukushima says. But before he was able to let loose at his Sapporo-style ramen shop (with a bustling izakaya upstairs), the former culinary director of Jose Andres’ ThinkFoodGroup spent two months in Japan training under a ramen master. “I learned to have respect for ingredients,” Fukushima says. “But things can’t be too uptight, because when the kitchen’s happy, it comes out in the food.” Playful touches like a sake bomb with a spherified sake bubble that bursts under pressure delight guests. More smile-inducing news: A whiskey bar and a second ramen shop are in the works.

cedricCedric Maupillier
Secret Ingredient: Ambition

Cedric Maupillier has some ideas worth listening to. (His charming French accent certainly doesn’t hurt.) “I want to create a concept that can overtake McDonald’s,” he says. “I believe in creating jobs and giving people culinary experience.” The Citronelle alum is well on his way at Mintwood Place (1813 Columbia Road NW), where his American-meets-French menu draws loyal crowds and glowing accolades. Not bad for an ex-pat who started cooking at age 15 so he could afford a moped. His cuisine is refreshingly accessible, with escargot hush puppies coexisting alongside a wood-grilled cheeseburger.

Scot Harlanscot
Secret Ingredient: Instinct

Scot Harlan is a former pastry chef serving meat-heavy dishes at his new-ish restaurant, Green Pig Bistro (1025 N. Fillmore St., Arlington). If that disconnect strikes you as odd, you should know that Harlan doesn’t always play by the rules. Rather, the Arlington native (who in 2002 walked out on a coveted position at The Inn at Little Washington to attend Bonnaroo) follows his intuition in the kitchen, which lately has led him to simple dishes minus the snobbery. His buffalo ribs fried with hot sauce and honey and served with a blue cheese sauce are a good example. “I don’t buy microgreens,” Harlan says. “Ever.”

Urban Daddy | A Sleek New Date Spot. In Virginia.

Main Dining Room

The Wall
A Sleek New Date Spot. In Virginia.

Click above for slideshow

interior

photo by: Teresa Kroeger

So there’s this great restaurant called Maple Ave. Which you probably haven’t been to. Because it only has nine tables. Also: it’s in Vienna.

But good news: thanks to the gravitational pull of the city (or something), the chef is drawing closer. To Clarendon.

His new place is called Water & Wall, it’s got a whopping (by comparison) 80 seats, and it opens on Saturday night.

This could be the only place you can go to eat food from a chef who’s a former engineer and who also cooked at New York’s Momofuku. Fortunately, you’ll find more Asian influences than math on the menu, like Burmese Bouillabaissepork shoulder with chow-chow relish and pork belly with green-papaya salad.

If a backslapping business dinner is in the works, head to the semicircular booths looking out the windows. If you ask nicely, the chef will also serve you a tasting menu there.

But this is more of a date spot, with glass everywhere and moody lighting coming from suede-and-canvas chandeliers. Start out with a basil gin and tonic at the copper-and-granite bar. And then… well, maybe just stay there. It’s separated from the dining room by a copper curtain.

Lest anyone sees you in the suburbs.

 

A Sneak Peak of Water & Wall

Tim Ma’s Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna, VA, was opened on a credit card, and is now a bright star on the foodie radar screen. Ergo, scoring one of the nine tables in its dining room can be a challenge. So it’s good news that he and his team are about to open another, bigger venue for his distinctive, modern American, globally influenced fare – this time in Arlington’s Virginia Square. It’s called Water & Wall, named for the intersection of the NYC streets where he and his wife/co-restaurateur Joey Hernandez lived when they first cooked up their restaurant plans.

Read the Full Article by Olga Boikess at Zagat

Pines of Florence Closes, Water and Wall Preps Begin

Tim Ma and Joey Hernandez, known for Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna, are bringing Water and Wall to Arlington. Ma said Pines of Florence moved out the last couple days of June and the Water and Wall folks brought in designers and engineers right away on July 1.

The concept will be similar to that of Maple Ave, which the chef alternately calls “eclectic American” or “creative American.” Ma said he’s classically French trained and another chef at Maple Ave is Burmese trained. Their different cooking strengths will allow for simple fare such as a chicken sandwich, and more inventive dishes featuring rabbit or sweetbreads.

Read the Full Article by Katie Pyzyk at ArlNow

Water & Wall is Tim Ma’s New Arlington Project

ARLNOW got word of a new project from Maple Ave. Restaurant’s Tim Ma yesterday. Eater checked in with Ma to flesh out the project in a bit more detail, though things are still in the very early planning stages.

The new spot will be located at 3811 North Fairfax Drive, but it will actually be called Water & Wall. The menu will “have similarities in style to Maple Ave., but will for sure have its own identity, not just a Maple Ave part two,” Ma said via email. Other than that, he and his partners are just saying that they’re excited about the new project.

Read the Full Article by Missy Frederick on Eater.com

Water & Wall, by the Owners of Maple Ave. Restaurant – Opening on Fairfax Drive in Virginia Square

Tim and Joey, the owners of Maple Ave. Restaurant in Vienna, will be opening Water & Wall at 3811 N. Fairfax Drive in Virginia Square (in the old Pines of Florence space).

“Water and Wall” is the intersection of where Tim and Joey lived in New York City when Tim was attending the French Culinary Institute, and interning at Momofuku Ko.

In Joey’s words, “It was in that building that we started to draft our ideas of owning a restaurant. We created menus there, created dishes there, etc. So, essentially, it was where the dream was born.”

Read the Full Article by Don Rockwell at DonRockwell.com