“O Oysters, come and walk with us!” at the Walrus & Carpenter Nighttime Picnic

“A picnic” on legendary Totten Inlet at low tide in the dark and cold in the middle of the winter, and, if you are lucky, an icy gust of wind off the bay to season the experience — more than a little crazy, yes?

Crazy? Yes, but with impeccable literary credentials. Jon Rowley of Taylor Shellfish Farms in Shelton, WA, is taking reservations for his annual nighttime oyster picnic, inspired by the Walrus and the Carpenter.

Beneath a sulkily shining moon, adventurous diners march up and down the oyster beds before eating each and every bivalve they fancy. Or as Rowley describes it, “Lantern light, freezing weather, plump, sweet oysters just rousted from their beds and opened on the spot, award-winning “oyster wines” drunk out of Reidel stemware, a bonfire — just the right mix of magic and madness.”

These pleasant walks will take place on December 21, January 7, and February 6. Reservations can be made online at Brown Paper Tickets.

Seattle's new oyster bar, The Walrus and the Carpenter

The picture above is from the website for Seattle’s new oyster bar opening in July, The Walrus and the Carpenter, “located at the South end of Seattle’s Historic Ballard Avenue in the newly renovated Kolstrand building” . They even included the full poem on their site! The blurb:

Award winning Chef Renee Erickson (Boat Street Café/Boat Street Pickles) has partnered with Business Manager Jeremy Price and Developer Chad Dale to realize her long time vision for an Oyster Bar. It makes perfect sense then, that she would do it in her own neighborhood.

Opening this July, The Walrus and the Carpenter blends the elegance of France  with the casual comfort of a local fishing pub. “The idea is to serve the highest quality food and drink in a space that is stripped of pretense …it should feel like home.”

The newly restored Kolstrand building on the south end of Ballard Ave, will be the perfect home for this rustic, light-filled, oyster haven. Plans for an outdoor space are also in the works. In addition to oysters, the menu will include locally harvested clams and mussels, house smoked fish, frites, and specialty meats. A full selection of wine, craft cocktails, and beer will also be available. And did we mention brunch? Brunch is served Sundays, 10am-2pm.

Ah, summer. Just in time.

I hope every dining experience will also include ruminations on innocence and death.