“O Oysters, come and walk with us,” the Walrus did beseech. These whimsical words from the Lewis Carroll poem appear on menus and beer koozies at Seattle’s The Walrus and the Carpenter. A rusty, coral-like chandelier hangs prominently in the center of the dining room, while tables sit so close together that you can’t help but converse with your neighbor.
Chef Renee Erickson’s menu is fresh and bright, utilizing local produce in her pea-vine salad with green goddess dressing, or in the halibut tartare with cucumber, lemon, and sunflower seeds for extra crunch. A daily selection of Washington oysters—served with a Champagne mignonette—appears in order of sweet to briny and can be mixed and matched in whichever quantities you choose.
Wine Director Jennifer O’Neil’s list complements the menu with pairings both classic—2020 Cognettes Sèvre et Maine Muscadet—and unexpected—2019 Les Malandes Saint-Bris, a sauvignon blanc from the outskirts of Chablis. Even the reds play nice with seafood: try the lifted, red-fruited 2019 Savage Grace (a carbonic cabernet franc from the Yakima Valley) with the fried oysters or grilled sardines.
As a neighborhood restaurant, The Walrus and the Carpenter does not take reservations, and there is often a wait. Luckily, Barnacle, their amaro bar next door, serves flights of Seattle-sourced or Italian amari and freshly crafted cocktails.
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