Walrus and the Carpenter - A Seattle foodie destination

This is really a little ‘hole-in-the-wall’ type place located in Ballard, Washington. It is just West of the University of Washington.

*picture and description heavy*-full review
recent review I found HERE as one the best Oyster bars in America!

Now when you are driving by, you have to make sure you see the cloud looking sign since it is really small. Then you need to actually walk down a corridor before you actually reach the restaurant.
If anything it is a very small place with bar seating, and then some table seating right behind it. Be sure to get there early or else you may have to wait awhile! I don’t really recommend it for big groups, 4-6 is like the max. There’s a really nice ambience to the place and is very good for couples or group dates.

Now I believe the menu is seasonal but it is also very simple and not overwhelming with too many items to choose from. Sometimes, that can be a bit much.

We ordered just about one thing (or more) from each section of the menu and tried every single one of the fresh raw oysters that they had to offer.

wine list
Starting off with their bread/butter and olives, even that was really pleasant, especially the olives. I want to say they make their own brine for the olives because it was seasoned very lightly and not too salty, unlike some other places I’ve been. I also want to say they whip their own butter but I’m not 100% sure on that either. The bread and butter was not bad, but not thee best ever.

This was a cheese spread type spread of a kind of goat cheese with a rose water syrup/dressing and cucumbers. Surprisingly, the cucumbers went really well with the cheese and bread. I’ve never really thought of that as a combo, but the sweetness of the rose glaze blended nicely with the cooling flavor of the cucumber which helped balance out the tartness of the goat cheese.

Then we had fried oysters. I’m not a huge fan of deep fried oysters, id rather have them raw if theyre small, or have them grilled. But, these were actually good. They weren’t dry on the inside like I’ve had before which put me off fried oysters. My mom, whos not a huge fan of oysters, liked these a lot and the cilantro dip that went with it was a nice match as well.

This next dish was excellent! The smoked trout, lentils and pickled sweet onion just matched perfectly. I’m not a huge fan of lentils because they usually mush up on me, but these black lentils were cooked in a way were they were still nice and firm and with good texture. It was in a type of creamy/mayo-ish dressing and the flavor combination of the smoked trout, and sweet and tart onions just made it really enjoyable.

Next was an artichoke and something salad.
I probably wouldn’t order this again only because I thought itd be more artichoke hearts in it .

Now the steak tar tare with the raw egg yolk on it was wonderful! I also heard it was one of the most popular things at Walrus and the Carpenter. If you don’t like raw items… you should probably stay far away from this dish. However, if you don’t mind or are more on the adventurous side, please just go and try this. I’m not too familiar with places that do a lot of the raw beef thing but this place does it well. Its finely chopped up with some veggies and seasoning and topped with a raw egg yolk which you break up and mix together with the tar tare and use as a dip with the crusty bread slices. It’s a very simple dish that brings out the natural flavors of the meat which. However, if you have an issue with texture, slimy or raw stuff, you probably shouldn’t try it.

The next item to come up were the oysters, my favorite part! I’ve had some of them before, but I’d have to say my favorite one that was new that I tried were the Treasure Coves. They were nice and mild and sweet. I love my oysters on the sweet side so these were wonderful. I like the coppery and briney ones too, but these Treasure Coves were just delicious. I’d also recommend the Hama Hama oysters to anyone that like a mild but less sweet oyster. The rest were tasty too but only the Treasure Coves really stood out to me.

Next was the goat and lamb terrine with (salad). This wasn’t too bad and was one of the better terrines I’ve had. I think what made this one stand out was the fact that it was all wrapped with prosciutto which is one of my favorite cured meats. The salad was actually really good that went with it. They had these nice and plump sweet raisings that complimented the stronger/saltier flavor of the terrine.

And lastly, we have dessert! We almost tried the fig one that people next to us had tried since it smelled divine, but we stuck to the bread pudding.  Now, their bread pudding is unlike any other bread pudding I’ve had before or even personally made. It’s a whole slice of bread they use instead of having it chopped/broken up. Their butter cream sauce they had to go with it was one of the best things I’ve tasted since I love that sort of flavor. I was really tempted to pick up the plate and lick it clean after, but of course, I didn’t.
It was a very simple dish, but the flavor was incredible and the texture of the bread was nice and soft. I’d definitely get this again.

I highly recommend this place (thank you Anthony Bourdain for stopping here on The Layover). It is also pretty reasonably priced. With two pichets of wine and all the food, the total was less than $200 including tax and tip, for what could be a ‘pricier’ food spot.

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