Our last dinner at The Walrus and the Carpenter was two months ago, but the delight of it is still fresh. One of the most fun evenings out we’ve ever had in Seattle, in fact. The food was perfect, including the absolute best steak tartare I’ve ever eaten in my life, delicate gnocchi in duck brodo, a salad made of paper-thin ribbons of celeriac in a creamy dressing, and a mug of warm frothy cajeta for dessert, but that was only part of the appeal.
What made it so great was the company. Shortly after we sat down at the bar, the gentleman on Jon’s left congratulated us on getting a seat, and forced us to eat all the salty, crispy fried Brussels sprouts left in his bowl. They were incredible. The two men on my right complimented me on my choice of cocktail (the unfortunately named but delicious Sexy Old-Fashioned, spiked with Allspice Dram), and I helped them argue with the (extremely competent) bartender over what to have to drink with their dessert. The couple who came in after them were bar hopping around Ballard to celebrate a birthday, and after convincing me to eat some of their duck lardo (twist my arm…), ordered a Moscow Mule in a copper mug and we all had to try that. The Seattle Freeze was nowhere to be seen – everyone was pleased to be there, eating wonderful food and drinking fabulous cocktails, and we were all friends who had never met before.