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The Water Grill: Eh...

By 9:57 PM

I took a group of clients to Water Grill in Carytown in November and loved it. I raved to the wife about this new seafood place that we HAD to try. She loves fresh fish, and I knew she would love
the modern atmosphere. We came back from a New Years trip to Roanoke and wanted to go out to a new place for dinner. Since The Wife wanted fish Water Grill was the perfect place, or so I thought. I remember loving it. I expected to love it again.

Tonight was my second time and The Wife's first time at Water Grill. It wasn't bad...but it wasn't great. For me a restaurant needs two out of three things to warrant a return great service, great food or great atmosphere. This time around Water Grill had great atmosphere and great service, but the food was just slightly off.

We started with the appetizer special, shrimp skewers with a blood orange sauce. The portion size was disappointingly small. Two skewers with three shrimp each - but the shrimp were small. They had to be 41-50 count, barely the size of a folded pinkie finger. There was a blood orange slice on the plate, but the sauce was more of a marinade, there was a lighter fluid chemical taste to the shrimp and they were over cooked to the point of being almost rubbery.
For entrees, I had the seared scallops and she had the days special - rockfish.

There were three huge scallops. I can't complain about the portion size, as they were about the size of my fist, but they lacked flavor. They were served over a prosciutto, mushroom and asparagus risotto. It was OK...a little bland.

The Wife's rockfish was topped with a fruit salsa and served with scalloped potatoes. She loved the fruit salsa, but the fish was thin. It was well cooked, and tasted great but thin nonetheless. The potatoes were rich and creamy with cheese and bacon - the best part of her plate.
I saw another waitress bring out a filet that looked slightly larger than a fifty cent piece.

All in all, it hits two of our three requirements for a return visit but like The Wife said on the way home great food should not be a compromise. In this economy, especially for a $100+ meal I expect more. Restaurants have to go above and beyond to wow customers. Small shrimp and thin fish don't do that.

The food is good, but not great. It needs to rise to the level of the atmosphere and the service - those are great. The food, just, good and where there are so many great spots...well, you know.

I'll give it one more try at some point - maybe when the patio opens in the spring, but it didn't live up to my first visit - nor to my expectations.

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