Postcard from The Walrus and The Carpenter, Ballard.
You know how when a new idea or suggestion comes at you from three or more different angles and you have to realize that is a thing that must be attended to or must happen? That was this restaurant for me. Serendipity has a fun way of getting you to where you need to be! I had read a review of this restaurant, had also been told by lovely Daisy to check it out, and a waitress at Boat Street Cafe had told Dianah and I about it when we had our Tuesday champagne brunch there last week, and boy-howdy!, how glad I am for listening ears and reading eyes because this was a dang good meal!
OK, this will tell you something about me. I didn't end up getting any photos of our food, but I did, of course, get a photo of my drink! The Porch Swing! So. darn. good. Big, tall, cold and refreshing, the thinly sliced tart apple slices were delicious in the end. It's making my mouth water just to think of it!
The cozy Walrus is lovely and just right. We had an amazing hostess and our waiter was very well educated about the oysters and food. Oh yeah! This is an oyster bar/restaurant!
Since walrus doesn't take reservations we were trying to get there as close to opening as possible, to not have to wait forever. We got there right after they opened at 4 but our friends weren't meeting us until 5:30. We asked the hostess if she could put us on the list and she said she would if we called back, instead of showing up to wait, at 5:15. So we took off to go thrift the Goodwill and instead of calling, just got back there about 5:15 on a Saturday evening. Well, it was packed, and there was a wait list, and a line. But the generous hostess knew we needed a 4 top and she gave us the next one that came available after a 5 minute wait, and even though our friends weren't there yet! I thought it was so fabulous and and sweet of her! It gave us time to sit with our backs against the wall and really check the place out. It was bustling, loud and cheery. Just perfect!
Here is a hard to see photo of the menu. Between Chad, Tony, Daisy and I we devoured a dozen oysters and bread and butter. T had smoked trout, lentils, walnuts, creme fraiche and pickled red onions. D had grilled pork sausage, caramelized brussel sprouts and aioli. C had serrano jamon, pear, and pistachio & mint relish. I had the framani salami, pearl onions and pickled chantrelles. Oh, and Chad and Tony both had a bowl of billy's tomato soup with basil and cream. Chad is still talking about the soup! Everyone thought their food was delicious. I especially loved the pickled chantrelles and Chad's pistachio and mint relish. Yum!
Here is a list of the oysters we tried. I could have sat there for a very, very long time, eating oysters and having drinks. I actually cant wait to go back, just to do this very thing! The Shig oysters were my favorite. Meaty and briny but sweet too. The tumbled shells of the Shig oyster were like no other oysters shells I had seen around these parts. They were smooth and didn't have bumpy barnacles on them. The oysters are served with champagne mignonette, horseradish and lemon but I didn't use any of that. Normally I would have squeezed a ton of lemon juice on but I wanted to taste the real deal, unaltered. And I am glad I did. The oysters didn't need a thing! So. Good.
The Walrus and The Carpenter was started by Renee Erickson, of Boat Street Cafe fame, and her partners. Thus the waitress at Boat Street telling us about Walrus. Walrus is in the newly renovated Kolstrand building on the south end of Ballard Avenue. The building is gorgeous. It also houses a very cool bike store and Staple and Fancy, which I will be trying this Saturday for our anniversary. I will leave you with a few photos of the building and in case you couldn't tell, you should get down to south Ballard ave a.s.a.p. and check out the food. You wont be sorry!
Go eat some oysters!