Although all the icy Totten virginicas and Samish Sweets will thrill your palate and cool your throat, you require other things, too. Like desert-dry Muscadet to wash them down, and steak tartare ($12), and perhaps a savory smoked herring tart ($10). Afterward, you’ll need warm roasted dates ($8) and a hunk of sumptuous cheese drizzled with honey ($8), or a homey pear cake ($8). Chef/owner Renee Erickson knows every voluptuous need of yours, even before you know that you need it. She and her groovy staff serve these dishes up with gusto at her justly celebrated Walrus on old Ballard Ave. It’s the very essence of Northwest, shaken with unfussy French-industrial style and strained through an elegant 1930s screwball comedy. Carole Lombard would have loved this place. Yes, you’ll likely have to wait for a table, but take that time to admire the sheer gorgeousness of the room with its icy baskets of oysters and its brambly chandelier.
Dinner daily. Ballard, 4743 Ballard Ave. NW; 206.395.9227; thewalrusbar.com