If you read my post about Four and Twenty Blackbirds, then you heard about the weekend I got “stuck” in NYC due to bad weather. Honestly, this was a hectic thing to deal with as an attorney with obligations at the office piling up, as it would be for any grown up with all sorts of responsibilities. But, for a food blogger and a person who just loves to travel and eat the world, being stuck in NYC was an opportunity.
Luckily, my best friend and her bae who were hosting me saw it that way too, and we went on a food journey to Walter’s in Fort Greene (a Brooklyn neighborhood). I said farewell to Brooklyn over an indulgent meal at Water’s after my unexpected extended stay. I liked Walter’s because it not only gave you good food, but it gave you a certain mood. It was relaxed; you feel that everyone at the neighboring tables is also sharing a great meal with good friends. Pretentiousness is checked at the door.
We got to Walter’s right during dinner time and without a reservation, but we were able to wait just 10-15 minutes at the bar (pictured above) and get a round of drinks in the meanwhile. As we got seated, we had already eyed the menu and our grumbling bellies sang along as we plotted what to eat. We got the following:
- Brussels Sprouts ($7) with vietnamese vinagerette and apples
- Meatballs ($12) pork, veal, grana padona (aka cheese), and red sauce
- Radicchio salad ($12) braeburn apple, asian pear, mint and buttermilk dressing
- Soft Shell Crab (MKT) daily special
- Linguini & Clams ($20) chorizo, white wine, grana padano (aka cheese), chili flakes
Everyone is doing brussels sprouts right now, they are like denim in the 1990s, done in every style, and sometimes a big mistake. I was happy to find that these were unique from other brussels sprouts I have had AND good. The Vietnamese Vinaigrette is a mix of fish sauce and some tasty spices, the crisp apple offers the perfect counterbalance. I really liked this side dish, that we used more as a starter.
The meatballs were probably our least favorite. They had a lot of cumin (at least that is my guess) built into the seasoning, that I found overwhelming. I have been thinking lately about making meatballs at home, if I make a good recipe, I will share it with you.
The radicchio salad was so simple, but done right. I know it was great because I tried to re-create it at home, and it just didn’t have the flavor. They massaged the radicchio with the dressing, and the fruit and mint went oddly well with the creamy buttermilk dressing. (my attempted re-creation mas missing the mint and pear).
Soft shell crab… something about a battered and fried shellfish is just so delicious. It was good, nothing out of the ordinary, but done well. Since it was an off the menu special, we wanted to try it out. We were pleased.
The highlight of the meal was the linguini and clams. I have not had a lot of this classic Italian dish, but man, was this good. I noticed the dish had some special additions, keeping the taste of the classic, but also showing some innovation. The chorizo and chili flakes gave the dish so much flavor and a little punch. My photo did not do the dish justice, so I am sharing one from the Walter’s gallery, but each bite was full of flavor, the pasta was a perfect al dente, the clams were tasty, but thanks to the chorizo and seasoning they were almost an added bonus.
If you are stuck in New York City, get out of the forsaken airport, please do not eat another cinnabon (funny how they put those things in front of us when they know we’re most desperate for any type of comfort, especially a warm gooey icing glazed cinnamon roll), but resist, get in a car, uber, or train, and get yourself to one of the millions of eating establishments in New York City… and if you have time, try Walter’s (in Fort Green and Williamsburg) Brooklyn, NY. Walter’s has it all: ambiance, a mood, the food, and good service.
Walter, whoever you are, wherever you are, you inspired something good.