When I was researching places to eat in Seattle, one place that was often mentioned was The Walrus and the Carpenter. It was included on a bunch of must-try lists, from Bon Appetit Magazine (one of my favorites) to NYTimes to Yelp. Considering I love oysters, fresh seafood, and literature (the name of the restaurant comes from a Lewis Carroll poem) it was obvious that I had to go. I read and heard a lot of horror stories about the wait so I was pretty anxious to get there right when it opens.
The place is hidden in the back of a building. When I first arrived at the address listed, it was slightly confusing– especially since a very cute restaurant was there, but it wasn’t The Walrus and the Carpenter. You go through a side door, down a hall, and eventually land at the restaurant. The anticipation!!
We arrived at a quarter to 4pm on a Thursday, and there were already three parties ahead of us. Don’t people have to work?! Oh wait.. They’re probably visiting like me. Darn. At this point, sh** got real. To be honest, I started to get even more anxious– I think living in San Francisco has traumatized me when it comes to waiting for food. It’s a little ridiculous but you know, in the spirit of full disclosure. We all kind of stand around, waiting, staring at the staff while they pretend not to see us. You know, the usual.
Finally, the clock hits 4pm and we all stand to attention and get into a (somewhat) neat line. We get seated immediately (thank god). I was immediately smitten with the rustic decor. Antler chandelier? Wire baskets? Metal bar stools? All my favorite things.
I proceed to order most everything on the menu. This is how I roll.
Brussel sprouts! Moscow mules! YES! Off to a good start!
Mixed bread plate. The baguette was good– the others, it was ok.
Of course, we had to have oysters and I had to try all of them. My favorites were Eagle Rock, Hama Hama and Blue Pool.
I really enjoyed their steamed clams. It was interesting the addition of lettuce– a little strange but I actually loved the combination.
Yum… Marinated octopus. This actually had mixed reviews within the group.
Halibut ceviche with capers. I really love capers and ceviche so this was right up my alley, but some people thought the capers over powered the fish.
Smoked salmon with some sort of grain (totally forgot).
As I was leaving, I was distracted by the HUGE BOWL OF WHIPPED BUTTER. Really, a restaurant after my own heart.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
4739 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle WA 98107