The Walrus and the Carpenter
Hello again, faithful readers of Glass of Win. Have you missed me? I have missed you. I’ve finally been delving in my inbox, my Flickr stream, my drafts, trying to pick up where I last left off. Time stops for me when I have to pause my life and take car of medical priorities; it’s daunting to remember that time goes on for everyone else and if I’m not careful, I can be left behind. Where do I go when I recover, and what do I do? Typically, as is the case here and now, I retreat to my creative endeavors and turn inward to a life I do not share with the general public. There is a lot of writing that goes on, and a great deal of indulgence in hobbies I’ve long since shelved in favor of more grown-up pursuits.
When I was in elementary school, and my life frequently paused due to a revolving door of health issues, I’d taken my friends and school for granted, assuming they would just be there for me the second I was home and able to play. When distance also became a factor, I had to face the reality that life does not wait for my body and soul to recover from whatever medical trauma it has recently gone under. It’s a lesson I keep with me in the back of my mind, so when I do return to the real world – as I have here and now – I can say with genuine love in my heart, Thank you for sticking it out with me! Like the new hair, by the way? I feel like a My Little Pony again. *whew*
OK, enough sap. Let’s get right down to some mother effing food porn.
I’m blessed with friends whose high food standards rival my own. My high school friend Liz and her husband Art always know where to take me for a superb meal in Seattle, and ever since The Walrus and the Carpenter came on our radar, we’ve both be eager to get me there. Knowing how insanely crowded The Walrus and the Carpenter gets, we opted to hit it up the first day I flew into Seattle – a Wednesday – shortly after it opened its doors and happy hour kicked in.
In the two short years since I’d last visited Seattle, Ballard went from “up and coming” to “THE PLACE” for food. I consider it both serendipitous and a touch suspicious that my friends relocated here from the U-district. Heh. So, what is The Walrus and the Carpenter all about? In a nutshell: Award winning Chef Renee Erickson partnered with Business Manager Jeremy Price and Developer Chad Dale to realize her long time vision for an Oyster Bar. The Walrus and the Carpenter blends the elegance of France with the casual comfort of a local fishing pub. ~ The Walrus and the Carpenter website
Having unlocked and set my iPhone 4 a mere 48 hours before my arrival, I did not yet have time to give my Tastemade app an official go. Where better to film my first video than The Walrus and the Carpenter, one of the most celebrated new restaurants in all of Seattle? It is rough around the edges, but I think I did all right:
Believe it or not, there was some food that did not make the video! Below are my stills, along with notes and detailed information on each dish.
My notes are buried in the chaos that is my life, but I’m pretty sure that these oysters were blue point and Amai. Light with a slight sweetness to them, I enjoyed them as I do every oyster: with a fresh squeeze of lemon and a pinch of horseradish. It just isn’t a trip to Washington until I’ve slurped down a mollusk or five.
There are pros and cons dining among fellow mushroom lovers: On one hand, we are united in our shared plate ordering; on the other, this means we have to share. Chanterelles were positively everywhere during my trip, and this was one of half a dozen meals where they made an appearance. No complaints, however; these garlic and parsley sautéed beauties were savored by all of us, and hey, when isn’t a poached egg appropriate? Bring it on.
The last of the tomato crop from the farm where The Walrus and the Carpenter sources their produce, these heirloom tomato slices were soaked in pure vanilla extract. I’d never have thought of this combination, but it was heaven on our palates.
My favorite dish of the evening, which came as a real shock because I’ve had cooked oysters before with meh results. These corn meal battered bites, along with the surprisingly flavorful aioli, are decidedly something I can easily snack on for hours. I must give this an official go in my kitchen!
Confession: I’ve been hankering for steak tartar ever since I ate the perfect beef carpaccio in Toronto back in 2011. I would never order raw beef from just any restaurant, however, and the opportunity finally presented itself for me to dig in some quality grade raw bovine. Yes, this lived up to my expectations and then some. Extra love to my friends for putting up with my obsession.
This one was for Liz, sardine lover extraordinaire. Had it been the smaller variety, or smelt or anchovies, I probably could have handled the extra crispy saltiness. As it stood, however, I was more than pleased to sit back and let Liz take charge.
Another variety of texture and flavor for our palates, this panna cotta was just the smooth, slightly sweet finish to my first meal in Seattle 2013.
All in all, my favorite meal during this brief but poignant trip to Seattle. The Walrus and the Carpenter is located in the newly restored Kolstrand building on the south end of Ballard Avenue and includes a heated outdoor space. PRO TIP: Try to go during the week and get there as early as humanly possible!
The Walrus and the Carpenter
4743 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, Wa 98107
Open Daily: 4p-10p
Happy Hour: Mon-Thurs 4p-6p