My husband and I parked, and went into what we hoped was the entrance to the restaurant. There was no sign.
We uncertainly started to make our way down a dimly lit hallway when another couple came up behind us.
Uncertain that we were headed the right way, my husband asked them, “Do you know where you’re going?”
The woman laughed. “No,” she said. “We were just following you!”
It turns out we had a common destination, the Walrus and the Carpenter, and it was just around the corner.
I have been wanting to visit the Walrus and the Carpenter since it opened last year. However, the oyster bar is not close to where I live or work, and it doesn’t take reservations, which can mean wait times as long as 2 hours. I would have to be very motivated to make the trip. (I’m becoming a cranky old lady who does not like to wait in line.)
I found my motivation when I heard that Bon Appetit had named the Walrus and the Carpenter one of the 10 best new restaurants in America. I realized that the already immensely popular place was about to become a mob scene.
So I suggested that to my husband that we have dinner at the Walrus and the Carpenter to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. My husband could probably eat his body weight in oysters so it was an easy sell.
What people may not realize is that in addition to oysters, the Walrus and the Carpenter serves up a host of other fine dishes. Looking at my notes for this blog post, I see that my husband and I ordered 14 oysters and 8 other dishes plus bread and butter. The menu was that enticing. (A bit gluttonous, but hey, we were celebrating! And they were small plates.)
My favorite was the chicken liver mousse tartine with cherries in ale, fennel and pistachio. It defied my expections. I thought it would be heavy and rich, and instead, it had a bright, citrusy flavor.
We thoroughly enjoyed the oysters and every single dish we had, which I thought was truly incredible. (I did not expect to like the tete de cochon–pig head’s terrine–as much as I did.) Eight for eight plates is a very high level of success for a restaurant. And that, I think, is what makes the Walrus and the Carpenter among the best of the best.