Down the road a piece (but not that far, in you look at the calendar) is the annual "Walrus & Carpenter Picnic." Yes, W&C is also the name of Renée Erickson's fine oyster parlor in Ballard (4743 Ballard Ave. NW), but Taylor Shellfish runs this event, which takes please at extreme low tide under the full moon in January and February. The name is drawn from Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem in "Through the Looking Glass," in which a walrus and a carpenter stage an oyster feast on the beach. Well, that beach exists, my friends. It's at the south end of Hood Canal, at the Taylor's oyster beds on Totten Inlet in Mason County. A great opportunity to slurp Virginicas, firm and icy-cold, chased with a sip of sauvignon blanc. The oyster to end all oysters, the picnic to end all picnics.
The midnight, moonlit oyster feast used to be a secret event, organized by oyster guru Jon Rowley for a small group of media buddies. Now it's gone public, with its own page on BrownPaperTickets.com. Three dates in 2016, a $125 price tag (to benefit the Puget Sound Restoration Fund). All the oysters you can eat (Taylor staff is on hand to shuck, or you can pick them up right on the beach), all the wine you can drink, Xinh Dwelley's legendary oyster stew, and round-trip coach transportation from the Taylor Shellfish oyster bar in Lower Queen Anne (124 Republican St.). If it's already sold out, get on the list for 2017.