The Andaz Wall Street is a relatively new kid on the block, but it’s packing some serious popularity power with its lounge area (Bar Seven Five) and its upscale dining room, Wall & Water. The crowd here is classy and well-dressed; and the food matches the clientele.
I went to taste the range of dishes, and a couple stick out strongly in my mind. The uni (Maine sea urchin roe) is served in its original sea urchin shell, not only giving you something gorgeous to look at, but also really ups that flavor of the sea. Also loved their cast iron melted cheese (but really, who doesn’t like melted cheese?). It’s made with Bridgid’s Abbey cheese and served with toasted farm bread. Their charcuterie plate is also a good bet for refined eats. As for main courses, the slow-braised short ribs with blue cheese sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce was a festive pick with simple but delicious flavor combinations. Or if you are in the steak mood (and I’m always in the steak mood) they’ve got a rib-eye served with creamy parmesan grits and a red wine sauce.
Haute Living went to speak to Executive Chef Maximo Lopez about what you can expect from his menu.
HL: Tell us a little bit about what’s on the menu.
Maximo Lopez: As fall turns into winter, there is a big change in the available products we had throughout summer. Fava beans, sprouts and peas are no longer the freshest. New bolder flavors take form — hearty, green leaves, mushrooms and pumpkins that require richer, slower cooking. Since Wall & Water is a seasonal farm to table restaurant, we get rid of the old and ring in the new taking full advantage of very seasonal products.
HL: We loved the uni, that comes in its shell; tell us about the inspiration behind the dish.
Maximo Lopez: The sea urchin is a lovely, little creature that comes from the sea coast of Maine. As we head into the winter, it will become a bigger size with sharper flavor. The idea behind the dish is to incorporate a simple product that is elegant and sophisticated. I certainly believe that less is more but simple is never easy.
HL: What’s your favorite dish on the menu?
Maximo Lopez: The Melted Cheese from Cato Corner with homemade pickles, new potatoes and garlic bread.
HL: Where were you before Wall & Water and what kind of unique perspective do you bring to the restaurant?
Maximo Lopez: I was back home in South America working as the executive sous chef at Buenos Aires Hyatt. My intention is to bring a simpler approach to the New York table with a fresh pair of eyes.