If you’ve never stopped in for an oyster or eight at Tobias Hogan and Ethan Powell’s EaT: An Oyster Bar, you’ve almost certainly sampled the briny fruits of their labors at another Portland restaurant.
These two oyster fanatics are the reigning conductors of Portland’s oyster orchestra, bringing in the freshest options and sending them off to make diners happy all over town. Given the rise of upscale seafood dining in Portland since the team launched EaT in 2008, the demand for high-quality oysters has far surpassed the output capabilities of the small North Williams location. With the orders are rolling in, Hogan and Powell jumped on the chance to take over prime Pearl District real estate earlier this year to realize their expansion dreams in the form of The Parish, set to open in May at the corner of NW 11th and Everett.
The name of the 80-seat restaurant was inspired by the traditional moniker for counties in Louisiana and other gulf states, but the interior of the Pearl District eatery certainly recalls the more ecclesiastical use of the term (as imagined by Portland VIP architecture/designer Mark Annen). In addition to the subway tiles, exposed brick, and salvaged woodwork required to be a proper PDX eatery, The Parish features cathedral-esque arches above the bar in crisp and proper hues of pewter and grey, and an ornate salvaged pulpit is currently being renovated for use as the host stand at the restaurant’s main entrance.
If the decor leans toward the sacramental, the religion of the Parish could certainly be defined as oyster worship.
From the large wall menu detailing the day’s bivalve offerings and space for three shuckers to serve up a constant stream of oysters behind the bar to a walk-up counter with bagged and iced oysters to-go (along with suggested retail wine pairings and hot sauces), the new eatery is setting out to make 2012 the year of the oyster.
Like Hogan and Powell’s North Williams’ eatery, The Parish will serve as wholesale oyster supply for Portland eateries. The roster of Hogan and Powell’s wholesale clients currently includes top restaurants like Paley’s Place, Laurelhurst Market, Andina, Bar Avignon, and DOC, and with the launch of The Parish’s west-side wholesale oyster operation, we could be seeing even more oysters on menus around town.
As far as how those oysters will be used, Hogan and Powell will lead the charge of the oyster revolution by offering raw, baked, and grilled variations from their open kitchen. The Parish menu will be divided into appetizers prepared in a small cookspace behind the bar and small and large plates full of bold Southern flavors. The Parish occupies the former In Good Taste cooking school space, and the team is making the most of the expansive kitchen by planning an ambitious menu that will be part upscale New Orleans staples (think gumbo, jambalaya, and etouffee), part seasonally-shifting New American plates echoing the bold flavors of the gulf. The Parish’s bar program, while still in its early R&D phase, will feature house infusions, New Orleans favorites, Bourbon-focused cocktails, and upscale daiquiris using seasonal fruit.
Hogan and Powell hope to launch into full operation by May, with happy hour, late-night dining, and weekend brunch featuring live jams from local musicians available from week one. Stay tuned for more photos and menu details as they roll in!
231 NW 11th Ave