At the Walrus and the Carpenter and the Whale Wins, Renee Erickson has showcased two distinct gifts: sourcing and presenting perfect seafood, and spinning a magical sense of place. Both are in full bloom at Barnacle, her skinny 20-seater with the copper counter, the Euro bar, and the chalkboard menu—heavy on the fishies. Don’t go expecting dinner—the place was conceived as the antipasto anteroom to Ballard’s ever-packed Walrus—but the genius of the joint is in the care it takes with tipples and nibbles: items like octopus terrine in rich Ligurian olive oil with lemon or Italian bread with escabeche mussels and cilantro sauce. Fifteen of these “snacks” happen nightly, for pairing with the cocktails, amari, proseccos, and other Italian drinkables. Renee Erickson knows good design—the room is wrapped in white and indigo Moroccan tiles.