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Is Walrus & Carpenter “the most important” restaurant in Seattle?

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Is Walrus & Carpenter “the most important” restaurant in Seattle?

Tom Armitage | Feb 18, 2013 11:02 AM

Bon Appétit magazine recently announced its list of “the 20 most important restaurants in America,” selected by the magazine’s restaurant editor, Andrew Knowlton. The selection is described as not the fanciest or trendiest restaurants or the ones with the most stars, but rather “the places that define how we eat out,” the “fearless spots that drive chefs to innovate, restaurateurs to imitate, and the rest of us to line up. In short, “the restaurants that matter right now.”

Given that criteria, one Seattle restaurant made the list – The Walrus and the Carpenter. I think W&C is a perfectly fine place, even though the oysters there aren’t any better than those at a number of other Seattle venues and the selection is quite limited. My reason for going to W&C is its prepared fish and shellfish dishes like mackerel crudo, scallop tartare, and squid with romesco. But, as nice as these dishes are, the choice of W&C as the “most important” restaurant in Seattle strikes me as odd. What do other Hounds think?

For what it’s worth, I found a number of other choices on Bon Appétit’s list equally if not more puzzling. But I understand that this is in the nature of, if not the raison d’être of, such lists.

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