Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Walrus and the Carpenter

I should begin this review with a disclaimer that my expectations for this place were very high and it is up there on my "places to eat before I die" list. I've heard people raving about The Walrus and the Carpenter for years and have watched some of my role models including Anthony Bourdain (RIP) and Andrew Zimmern dine in this beloved Seattle establishment. Are you excited yet? Yes, well, stay with me as I tear down my formerly high expectations.

Two cranberry creek oysters with a side of horseradish and champagne vinaigrette

While we're on the topic of disclaiming things, I should also confess that I'm not a huge oyster fan. The only time I've really ever dined on them is after an hour-long shucking class in culinary school (which may be the source for my negative affiliation). So when we decided to eat here, the place known for their oysters, I definitely confided in our waitress who was super helpful and suggested the Cranberry Creek variety which apparently is the smallest and sweetest of the lot. I used the fancy tiny fork, added a squeeze of lemon and a dash of horseradish and prepared for the worst...it was...good! The texture was pleasant and the slight sea brine was refreshing! Although I can't see myself eating a whole plate of these, I can see why people enjoy them.

Scallop crudo with yuzo kosho and ikura 

After pouring over countless reviews, I noticed that the scallops were mentioned quite a bit so I decided to add them to the list. Unfortunately, this dish just wasn't for me. The quality of the scallops was outstanding and while I understand what they're trying to accomplish with keeping the majority of their food raw to enjoy the pure essence of the ingredient..yadda yadda yadda I couldn't help but think what a hot pan and a smidge of butter would do for this meal. I was also not a fan of the Yuzukoshō and craved more texture than the ikura (red fish eggs) could provide so overall this dish was a no-go for me.

Roasted sunchokes & carrots topped with chard and a spiced vinaigrette and labneh (yogurt)

Of all the dishes, this side bothered me the most. Imagine having a plate full of roasted vegetables, sticking them in the fridge overnight and then eating them the following day. Whyyyy would you take the time to roast these vegetables if you were going to serve them cold? Cold roasted beets? Fine. Pickled onions? Hell yeah! But this assortment was begging to be served warm.

Fried oysters with cilantro aioli 

This was by far our favorite dish of the evening. Maybe it's because it had texture or maybe because it's one of the few things on the menu that's served hot, these crunchy morsels dipped in the creamy aioli was a welcomed bite. We both agreed if we could re-order we would get more raw oysters, two cocktails and perhaps double the fried oysters or opt for a bread plate - ahhh perspective.

The Verdict

All in all, I am glad I finally checked this place off of my dining bucket list. Although it's not exactly my preferred style of cooking (or lack thereof), I can look back and appreciate it for what it is - a homage to seafood and that is a mission I can certainly respect.

1 comment :

  1. Wish you had enjoyed it more. I thought those scallops looked raw. Like you say maybe high expectations had something to do with it.

    Great pictures! New camera?143


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