There's an art form to the neighborhood restaurant, and Walter's has got it down. First, it established itself as Walter Foods, a Williamsburg favorite. After showing the Billyburg locals how it's done, it expanded to Fort Greene.
While Walter's doesn't have an awesome outdoor patio like its older sibling did, it's drawn up with the same blueprint that made its predecessor so successful: simple, well-executed classics, reasonable prices, and a friendly environment where everyone feels at home. The bartender in the bowtie is on a first-name basis with everyone, and is exactly the guy you want to shoot the sh*t with on a random Tuesday night.
Walter's is one of those spots that's perfect for pretty much everything, but we generally reserve it for occasions that don't take much planning. Like a meal before an event at Barclays on a weekend morning, oysters and a glass of wine before you go out, or chicken and waffles for brunch. Like the best kind of neighbor, Walter will be there for you when you need him.
They've got a nice selection of oysters and a bunch of other stuff (crab, lobster, clams, shrimp) if you want to you to ball out. We've been known to have dinners which only consist of raw bar and multiple bottles of wine, so it's always nice when restaurants have a roster of shellfish on ice.
One of the most popular starters at Walter's. These pork and beef balls are plump, in a red sauce and drizzled with some Italian Grana Padano cheese. The flavors are great, but the key is the spice. Somewhere there's some fire. It's not overly hot, but it's just enough heat to make the dish stand out.
The same one they serve over at Walter Foods. It's absurdly good. A filet mignon, horseradish sauce, and au jus for dunking. A+.
Thick, juicy, and covered with cheese - this is an excellent burger. We find ourselves torn between this and the French Dip whenever we eat here.
A huge skirt steak served with skinny, crisp fries and sides of horseradish and chimichurri sauce for the meat. We've had better steaks before, but this plenty delicious. The sauces and the fries are both excellent and for you get a lot of food.
Spicy Fisherman's Stew
We like this a lot, although it's not exactly thick enough to call a stew. It's really a big ass bowl of spicy tomato soup, with a seafood medley. There's plenty of broth, but not enough actual meat. We did get a nice chunk of lobster and a number of shrimp, but could have gone for some more clams, mussels and squid. Regardless, we'd order this again.