An Afternoon in Ballard: The Walrus and the Carpenter and D’Ambrosio Gelato

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Although I’ve lived in Seattle (West Seattle to be exact) for about 6 months now, I still feel like a tourist. I only recently saw the infamous “Gum wall” in Pike Place and I still haven’t been to the Woodland Park Zoo or had a cocktail at Knee High Stocking Co. I’m trying to kick my “bucket list” so this is the start of that.

The Walrus and the Carpenter 
4743 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, Wa 98107
(206) 395-9227
Daily: 4pm – Late
Price Range: $$$ ($30-50 per person)

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 I tried to not read too many reviews on this place because I wanted to go in with my own blank slate. My mother read about it online and decided we should get there very early. Good choice, Mom. We got there at 3:30 PM (they open at 4 for happy hour) and there was already a line of people leering at the staff.
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The space itself is very quaint and seating is very intimate. The staff brought us to a table and since we didn’t want to bump elbows with anyone else, we decided to take a seat at the bar. Awesome choice, I got to watch hipster oyster schucking! I love the white on white interior, it’s somewhere in between shabby chic and beach theme.
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This was not my order 🙁
wal 5The cocktail list was extensive. I ordered a Mustache Ride (get on it!) which was bourbon, cynar, all spice liqueur, maple and lemon. It was perfect blend of sugar and spice and the marinated cherry on top was… well… the cherry on top.
We cut to the chase and got a plate of each available oyster. Each oyster…hmmm… how do you really describe an oyster? It’s like a refreshing burst of the ocean that caresses you tongue. That’s the best I’ve got. The Treasure Cove Oyster from Case Inlet, WA in particular was the most “sea like” one of the bunch. I get why they’re an aphrodisiac, now if only Mom wasn’t my date…
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After the oysters we moved onto the butter lettuce, so we wouldn’t feel like total fat kids. It was crisp, topped with a lightly melted slice of morbier cheese with hints of black truffle.
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As if fresh oysters weren’t enough for me, I had to try them fried. The fried oysters are heavenly here. The outside is perfectly crisp, without scratching the top your mouth. The inside is soft and buttery but still maintains a sense of refreshment to it. The cilantro aioli was also the perfect match for a dip, I even had some leftover for my bread.
Fried Oysters with Porch Swing cocktail and bread
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The innards. Heaven.
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Speck. I saw this listed on the menu and honestly had no clue what it was (I’m not a chef or an expert) but we decided to order it anyways.wal 10
Glad we did. It was sliced smokey prosciutto with preserved pumpkin, ricotta cheese, drizzled with balsamic vinegar reduction and topped with mint. This was like all good types of flavors in one: salty, sweet, fresh and creamy. I want to copy this at home so bad but the preserved pumpkin aspect of it makes it seem too timely. I guess I’ll just have to keep coming back.
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The finale was the smoked trout, topped with a pickled red onion and rests on a bed of creme fraiche with lentils and walnuts. This dish may look diminutive, but it’s so rich, two people can share it. The smoked trout is the best I’ve ever had and the creme fraiche blend with so chewy and flavorful. I don’t even like uncooked red onion and this won me over.
We wanted to stay for dessert but we decided to take a walk around Ballard, which is a very cute neighborhood. There are lots of bars, plenty of shopping and sadly a lot of construction right now. Makes it tough to shop when you’re worried about not having a hard hat. We walked a couple of blocks to:

D’Ambrosio Gelato
5339 Ballard Ave NW
(between Vernon Pl & N 22nd Ave)
Seattle, WA 98107
Hours: Mon-Thu 12 pm – 11 pm
Fri-Sat 12 pm – 12 am
Sun 10 am – 11 pm
Price range: $ (1-10 per person)

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I am missing an Instagram image of the sign 🙁

I haven’t had cantaloupe gelato since my mother used to
take me to the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas. It’s one of those food items I put on a pedestal and assumed nothing could live up to it. D’Ambrosio had it as an option, so I had to try it.

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I tried a sample of it and was instantly taken back to being 18 and not able to gamble in Vegas. It was fragrant, but not too sweet and watery. So good. I got that with a scoop of the salted caramel gelato which is also pure awesome. Perfectly salty and sweet. The interior to this place is very Euro-hip, it was very quiet on a sunny day, I think the construction scares people away.I’d come back here for sure though.

The Walrus and the Carpenter Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Julianne

Actress and Founder of Girls on Food: I was born and raised in the suburbs of Sacramento, California. I grew up a typical “McDonald’s kid”. I was very picky about what I ate and refused to try new foods. No fun, I know. My Mom started taking me on trips to Europe when I was a teenager and that’s when my palate for finer foods began to develop. Some of my most memorable favorite meals include Veal Bolognese in Rome, Gyros in Athens, Paella in Lisbon and Duck L’Orange in Paris. While this helped me grow out of a fast food phase, I still eat out quite a bit. I know I should be at home cooking, but I love dining out. I started working in restaurants in various front of the house positions at age 15. Since my start, I’ve worked in every casual restaurant setting you can think of: a teriyaki stand, brewery, sushi nightclub, trendy Mexican, family-style Italian, American diner, pizza parlor and even a BLT themed food truck. I can't help but notice that many of the LA food bloggers don't have any sort of background working in a restaurant. A lot of my perspective on food and dining out comes from my years of experience in the biz. Since starting this blog, I have shot appearances on a couple of cooking competition shows as a taster (including MasterChef Junior and another upcoming show). We have also started producing a Youtube Channel. IMDb page here: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2023647/ For this site I contribute content from all over Los Angeles (and the world) to showcase my favorite fine-dining spots, steakhouses, exclusive supper clubs, Hollywood nightlife and our very own #GOFx events, which I plan and coordinate.

1 Comment

  1. Reply

    marji

    August 29, 2012

    It's no joke to arrive early; prior to 4:00p practically guarantees a seat in the restaurant. It was uber- cool in it's decor; not fussy at all. When I read the reviews, I was worried that the service would be below standard, but I was really impressed with the level of service that we were given. The fresh ingredients that went into the preparation of the meals were bar none. If you are in Seattle, it's worth the trip to Ballard to dine at this great restaurant.

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