Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Walrus Bar and A Lemon Tart


I am sorely out of the habit of bringing my camera places, so not too surprisingly, I didn't even think about stowing it in my car as I left my house for the day early Saturday morning. While we were waiting for our names to be called at The Walrus and The Carpenter in Ballard, Seattle, the thought occurred to me, but it didn't take too much to shrug it off, enjoy the lesser weight in my purse, and simply enjoy the sensory experience of my meal sans camera lens.

Four oysters each; grilled sardines with walnuts, parsley; and shallots, steak tartare with a farm egg yolk and rye toast. My old friend and I sidled up to the bar and partook of this lovely fare with Campari and gin cocktails (Le Perroquet for me and Guiding Light for her).

It was crowded and noisy, but we leaned in close and caught each other's thoughts about family, jobs, and love in the past few months that had flown since seeing each other. Velvety, briny oysters slipped down our throats, and we laughed with our dreadlocked oyster shucker behind the bar at the couple obliviously making out over their tray of half-shells just a few bar stools away.

When Brenna had to dash and there was still half a glass left in our pichet of pouilly fume, I stuck around to get the check. It took very little self-convincing, however, to keep my prized seat at this popular little spot a bit longer and prolong my departure back north. So, I ordered a chevre with cantaloupe jam to nibble while finishing the wine.

The pair next to me was visiting Seattle from Dallas, so we got talking about Texas and all the delicious places they'd been eating around Seattle. Then their drinks arrived in these beautiful frosted copper mugs, and having just heard about this superior Moscow Mule experience, I ordered one too. I sipped my Moscow Mule while sharing a small bowl of spicy toasted almonds with my bar companion on the other side, a professor of business law and singer/songwriter. An hour and a half swiftly and enjoyably passed by, and I would love a return to The Walrus Bar very soon.

I would also love a small collection of copper mugs and to perfect the ways of a Moscow Mule simply for the excuse to grasp that pretty handle and sip on something so gingery and refreshing with a group of friends. (I have yet to find convincing information online that the copper mug is really anything more than an old marketing gimmick for this drink, but please share if you know more.)

{Because I forgot my camera, I decided to sketch my moscow mule based on a photo I snapped on my humble little phone, if you're wondering about the little doodle above. It seemed quite appropriate to the place, too, which had darling little sketches of a walrus and a carpenter, inspired by the Lewis Carroll poem.}

And while we're on the topic of essential restaurants to visit, one of my most admired Bellingham businesses just opened up a cafe, which means I get to appreciate their amazing attentiveness to quality ingredients, fresh flavors, and beautiful aesthetic without saving up the money for a class. Their hours are presently lunch-focused and only weekdays, but if you are able, definitely go visit Ciao Thyme's On The Side. My sister brought me a lemon tart she picked up today, and it was perfection.


1 comment:

Rachael said...

Really, don't worry about your camera if you replace photos with your beautiful sketches. They're lovely!