Like Mother, Like Daughter

My love of indulgent lunches is well documented.  I love the luxury of taking your time, the feeling of playing hooky even if it is a weekend, and the pleasure of knowing you have time to work off your meal versus going into a food coma the second you get home, like when you have a big dinner.
Though heaven knows I do love a good food coma.
Wall and Water is  a new fancy, market driven restaurant in the Andaz hotel downtown.  Normally I would stay away from restaurants associated with hotels, fearing cottony bread and tired club sandwiches, but Marmie swore this place was great.  And I trusted her…cause, I mean, she did birth me and all.
The space was really gorgeous-we ascended marble steps to a high ceiling-ed space decorated in a modern and sleek way.  There were beautiful, rustic tables that perfectly contrasted with the modern, streamlined decor.
We also passed a huge raw bar with people shucking oysters, shaving prosciutto, and slicing cheese…my first sign that Marmie would not be letting me down.
When we sat down, we were served some very good, chewy country bread with soft salted butter and mild, creamy goat cheese.  The goat cheese was a welcome addition to the normal bread and butter offering, and while not especially thrilling on it’s own, I appreciated the effort.
And these little glass coke bottles.  The soda is so much more bubbly and cold this way…does anyone else agree?
Tomato soup.  No doubt, the best tomato soup I have had ever.  Anywhere.  Sorry, random train ride in Switzerland, circa 1999.  You have been replaced.  Marmie and I agreed that this soup was the very ESSENCE of tomato.  Bright, acidic, sweet, vegetal, with a hint of spicy red pepper flakes in the background.  It was finished off with just a hint of cream, so the soup was not one note.  More like pasta sauce than the traditional cream of mushroom soup, but with no extra flavors or seasonings. It was really just like eating hot essence of tomatoes. The nutty, chewy Parmasen crisp gave the soup the salty edge it needed. I am seriously bummed about tomato season coming to an end, and this was probably the best tomato dish I will have for awhile.  Really…this tomato soup kicked ASS. 
Smoked trout with housemade pickles and beets.  Marmie liked this more than I did.  I found the fish slightly dry and too flaky-it greatly needed the excellent pickles and savory-sweet beet creme fraiche.  The fish was just kinda blah-not bad at ALL, but not supple and gently salty the way truly great smoked trout is.  Marmie just loved it, but she tends to like subtler flavors than I.  So sue me.
Swordfish confit with black olives and parsley salad.  COME TO MAMA!  Wow, I have never had confit-ed fish and it is GREAT!  Swordfish is a meaty, thick fish that has a distinctive taste and texture, not ulike mahi-mahi.  Now, I love this texture and meaty taste, but marmie and many others find it offputting.  No more. The confit treatment takes out any “fishy” taste by gently cooking it for a long time in olive oil-or perhaps other fat.  All i know is, this was like eating the mildest, sweetest, most silky smooth ceviche ever.  It was similar to scallop sashimi, but with a richer taste.  The parsley salad cut through the rich taste of the fish, and the olives added a necesary salty punch.  This was some of the best swordfish I have ever had.  It was totally indulgent but really pretty healthy…forget that it was cooked in fat…yeah it was healthy…
Wall and Water Caesar Salad with bacon, anchovies, caperberries, and chicken.  This was an excellent caesar salad-nothing more, nothing less.  The produce was fresh, the dressing lemony, garlicky, and cheesy, and the caperberries were a welcome punch of tartness.  The chicken was well cooked but a little thick for my tastes-it could have been juicier and more evenly cooked-it wasn’t bad, it just could have been better.  The standout for this salad was the anchovy selection.  I had never had white anchovies, and let me say-YUM!  Soft, delicately flavored, not too salty umami bombs that just melted away in your mouth!  It really contrasted with the crispy bacon and cheesy dressing.  Just excellent-as was the salad.
The meal finished with these complimentary dark chocolate brownies-rich, deep, delicious!
And with that we were done!  We had other plans for dessert-to be documented soon ;)  The service was well above par, the surroundings lovely, and the meal fairly priced.  That is, it was on the more expensive side, but that is to be expected.  And, as expected, Marmie did not disappoint in her restaurant picks-like mother like daughter, eh?

Comments

  1. Joanne says:

    Somehow I don't think that the fact that my mother birthed me qualifies her to recommend any restaurant to me ever. Then again, she also hates sushi and will only eat her steaks super well done. So that kind of speaks for itself.

    this meal looks excellent! I'm usually wary of hotel restaurants as well but that soup sounds good enough that I would throw my fears to the wind.

  2. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Joanne-it was truly amazing…and i am glad that you still love your mother despite her faults. My own mother hates "Jersey Shore" and likes canned asparagus…I love her anyway.

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