The Walrus and Carpenter (Seattle, Washington)

4743 Ballard Avenue NW
Seattle, WA 98107

"Best New Restaurants In America," "10 Best New Restaurants in America, " etc, etc, so on, and so on. These are just some of the kind words that have been written about the The Walrus and the Carpenter this past year.

Seems like nowadays the recipe for a successful restaurant is to be seasonal, market driven, have a strange location, little to no signage on the restaurant, strange name, and of course good food. The Walrus and the Carpenter has all the criteria above and more.

Back of the restaurant, or was it the front????  Not really sure.

Roasted Almonds – espelette pepper, sea salt (3)
A nice little snack to kick start our appetites. Didn't really need a kick start - we were already starving. The sea salt and espelette pepper added a salty and peppery flavor.

Marinated Olives (3)
Another little snack to nibble on while we waited for our real food to come out. The olives were nicely brined in a mixture of spices.

Chicken Liver Mousse with candied squash and dried cherries (10)
Pretty much anytime I see chicken liver mousse on a menu, there is a really good chance I am going to order it. The mousse was smooth as butter and delicious. I really enjoyed eating the mousse with the candied squash and the dried cherries.

Treviso Salad – apple, hazelnut, creamy dressing (8)
Treviso is an italian vegetable that is also known as "winter flower"; it is a red radicchio. The salad was slightly bitter due to the treviso but nicely balanced with the creamy dressing and the slices of apple.

Fried Oysters with cilantro aioli (8)
Looking around at other tables, it seemed as though everyone was ordering the fried oysters. The oysters were breaded in what seemed to be a cornmeal crust.  The texture and taste was a bit overly complex. I didn't really enjoy this one much.

Smoked Trout – lentils, walnuts, crème fraiche, pickled onions (10)
The various components of this dish really balanced and complemented each other.

Kale Gratin – gruyere, hazelnuts, tarragon (10)
This was my first encounter with a kale gratin. The flavor of the hazelnuts were really predominate in this dish.
Didn't love this dish nor did I dislike it.

Pumpkin Pudding Cake with espresso butter sauce and whipped cream (8)
This was a nice dessert to end our meal. Since it was freezing outside, the warm pumpkin pudding cake with its spices was a fitting dessert. 

I am not sure if The Walrus and the Carpenter really deserves all the high praise and attention that it has gotten. Overall, we did enjoy the food that we had, most notably the chicken liver mousse and the smoked trout dish. The restaurant space was beautiful and the ambiance were just right, but the food was not quite what we expected.