Water and Wall: Duck Confit

Water and Wall Duck Confit

Water & Wall, the newish Virginia Square restaurant has some really solid, crave-worthy dishes. However, we came away from our first meal there with a little confusion.  We ordered beer but got a glass of wine offered only by the bottle. We arrived with excitement about the lambchetta advertised online, but couldn’t find it on the menu. We kept looking for the rest of the cocktail list, but they only offer three vodka drinks in an era when brown booze is the best. The last bit of mystery: Why would a restaurant with water in its name shun fish dishes and opt almost entirely for the world’s fattiest cuts of meat (pork belly, short ribs, sweetbreads,..)?

The Best Thing on the Menu: Duck Confit with Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, Truffle Aioli and Cider Gastrique fits squarely in the world’s fattiest cuts of meat category, but we don’t care. You’ll pick up that bone with zero to no shame to carnivorously grab every last shred of caramelized meat. There’s a glossy, sticky candy like quality to the duck, which gets offset by the creaminess covering the fried Brussels sprouts. This is the best duck confit dish in the DMV bar none.

Water and Wall Chicken Wings

Water & Wall is Chef Tim Ma’s second restaurant. The engineer-turned-chef’s first spot, Maple Ave is known for its chicken wings, among other tasty things. We’re glad to see the wings made their way onto the menu at Water & Wall too. They’re covered in crème fraiche and Korean red chili paste.

We’ll be back for brunch because that menu looks a little more inspired with its Eggs & Kimchi, Venison Omelet and Pumpkin Buttermilk Pancakes.

Duck confit not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Zaytinya: Crispy Brussels Afelia


Adventures in mezze at DC food magician José Andrés’ Zaytinya unveiled yet another vegetarian-friendly Best Thing on the Menu (BTM): Crispy Brussels Afelia. We promise BTM loves meat, especially rare meat. But, these seductive sprouts can convert even the staunchest of sprout haters, thus landing it as Zaytinya’s BTM.

The crispy, creamy, tart and tangy brussels sprouts can be found in the Hortariki (خضراوات) section of the menu, also known as Vegetable Mezze. They’re described as “brussels sprouts with coriander seed, barberries and garlic yogurt.” Barberries are most commonly used in Iranian cooking (where they are known as zereshk) and have been used medicinally for over 2,500 years, especially when related to the cardiovascular and neural systems.

Now back to the sprouts. Be sure to save some of Zaytinya’s warm, fluffy oblong-shaped pitas that arrive at the start of the meal to scrape up the garlic yogurt that lines the dish, or let loose and make sprouty sandwiches.

Zaytinya was one of the original restaurants to play into the hearts (and mouths) of small-plate-loving, variety-craving, dish-sharing Washingtonians.  A trip to the innovative Turkish, Greek and Lebanese tapas temple is not to be missed. Nor is the BTM!

Crispy Brussels Afelia not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.