Walrus and Carpenter's Steak Tartare And The Joy Of Discovery

Leslie Kelly

The joy of sharing is one of the many reasons I absolutely love going out to eat, especially when you’re in good company.

Last weekend, my sweet nephew, Brandon, and his lovely wife, Karly, came for a visit. They live in Wenatchee, but Brandon spends much of the year commercial fishing on the Karen Lynn in Alaska. In the decade he’s been at it, Brandon has had some mighty wild and wicked adventures on the Bering Sea, including waiting out a storm with hurricane force winds and, on another occasion, going in the water in a survival suit to cut a tangled net off the propeller. Not to mention tangling with jellyfish the size of footballs. 

So, when I asked if he wanted to go look at what was going up the salmon ladder at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, he jumped at the chance.

Naturally, that outing stoked our appetite for something fishy and we ended up at The Walrus and The Carpenter, standing in a pretty long line before the place opened at 4 p.m.

Everything about that experience was pretty magical: the late afternoon sun warming the outdoor patio, the great mix of music cranked on the sound system, stellar service and, of course, the fish!

While we loved the Blue Pool tumbled oysters from Hama Hama and went nuts over the sublime albacore crudo and, those sautéed sardines? Wow, and please pass me a piece of bread to soak up the excellent sauce.

But the best part of this meal was the steak tartare, partly because Brandon had never tried it. He was a bit skeptical about eating raw beef, but then… I got such a kick out of watching his eyes widen after taking that first bite. He couldn’t stop talking about how good it was, the silky texture and simply seasoned chopped beef with the egg yolk perched on top.

And isn’t that the coolest thing about food? There’s always some new dish, new flavor, new taste to discover and to share.