The restaurant's interior in 2015
|Established||May 22, 2012|
|Street address||231 Northwest 11th Avenue|
The Parish was a Cajun, Louisiana Creole, and seafood restaurant in Portland, Oregon's Pearl District in the United States. It was opened by Tobias Hogan and Ethan Powell in 2012, and became known for its oysters. In 2015 the restaurant was split in half, and one side of the space began serving brunch, lunch, and happy hour as the Palmetto Cafe. The Palmetto was converted into a private event space and pop-up restaurant in February 2016, and The Parish closed abruptly in September of that year.
Description and history
The Parish (located at the corner of Northwest 11th and Everett in Portland's Pearl District) was established in May 2012 by Tobias Hogan and Ethan Powell, who had operated the North Williams Avenue restaurant Eat: An Oyster Bar. It held three preview events—a private event with local blues duo Curtis Salgado and Alan Hager on May 18, a multi-course seated dinner on May 19, and "Sunday Jazz Brunch with Pete Krebs" on May 20—before opening to the public on May 22. The 80-seat restaurant replaced In Good Taste, a cooking school which occupied the space for eleven years and closed in February 2012. Its name (inspired by Louisiana's administrative divisions) was reflected by the restaurant's "ecclesiastical" interior, which included gray and pewter-colored "cathedral-esque" arches over the bar and a host stand which was a refurbished Prohibition-era Mississippi church pulpit.
The Cajun, Louisiana Creole, and New Orleans-style seafood restaurant served entrees such as andouille, étouffée, frog legs, jambalaya, maque choux, pork belly, and turtle soup, and was best known for its oysters. Its bar, Vieux Carré (French Quarter), served New Orleans cocktails including Bourbon-based drinks, daiquiris, and house infusions. The Parish's 4,000-square-foot (370 m2) interior, designed by Mark Annen, had a shucking station, oak floors, French-blue walls with gray accents, exposed brickwork, subway tiles, and salvaged woodwork.
Hogan and Powell reportedly worked at both Eat: An Oyster Bar and The Parish, switching daily. Like Eat, The Parish was a wholesale supplier of sustainably-farmed oysters to other Portland restaurants. Powell said about the difference between the two restaurants:
When we were doing the oyster bar, we wanted a turn-of-the-20th-century, early-1900s style—what you would find in Slidell, a po' boy shop with good gumbo and jambalaya, a little rowdy, where people consumed a lot of booze. The idea behind The Parish is to take it uptown, to the 1920s ... and (New Orleans') Garden District.
In July and August 2015 the restaurant was split in half, with one side serving brunch, lunch, and happy hour as the Palmetto Cafe. The 38-seat cafe's brunch menu included breakfast sandwiches, burritos, and pastries; its lunch menu included a fried green tomato sandwich with pimento cheese and coleslaw, po' boys, salads, and shrimp and grits. Fried chicken, kolaches, natchitoches meat pies, pimento cheeseburgers, seafood salads, and soft-boiled eggs were happy-hour menu items. In February 2016 the Palmetto was converted into a private event space and pop-up restaurant, and The Parish resumed serving lunch from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The restaurant closed abruptly in September 2016, with little explanation.
According to The Portland Mercury's Marjorie Skinner, "Though the cocktail menu is as fancy as the next, the bar staff is unfussy and approachable, and food prices for the most part steer well clear of the $20 mark—downright cheap eats compared to the rest of the neighborhood." In her book, Food Lovers' Guide to Portland, Oregon: The Best Restaurants, Markets and Local Culinary Offerings (2014), Laurie Wolf wrote: "I like The Parish. I like the guys who own it, Tobias Hogan and Ethan Powell. For the Pearl neighborhood the prices are super reasonable and the small menu certainly delivers the best of the offerings." In her book, Seafood Lover's Pacific Northwest: Restaurants, Markets, Recipes & Traditions (2014), Karen Gaudette Brewer complimented the "open, warm and fun" restaurant with a caveat: "Like its sister restaurant, The Parish can get a little too laid back when it comes to service and consistency." In 2015, after the opening of the Palmetto Cafe, Willamette Week's Robert Fernas called The Parish a leading destination for oysters and said that the restaurant was not negatively impacted by the split.
- Acadia: A New Orleans Bistro, another Cajun and Creole restaurant in Portland
- Le Bistro Montage, another Cajun restaurant in Portland
- List of defunct restaurants of the United States
- List of restaurants in Portland, Oregon
- Jones, Allison (May 17, 2012). "Inside The Parish". Portland Monthly. ISSN 1546-2765. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Jones, Allison (April 11, 2012). "Sneak Peak: The Parish". Portland Monthly. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
- Korfhage, Matthew (September 9, 2016). "The Pearl's Beloved Cajun Restaurant Has Very Suddenly Closed". Willamette Week. Portland, Oregon: City of Roses Newspapers. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Bamman, Mattie John (September 12, 2016). "The Parish Shutters in the Pearl District". Eater Portland. Vox Media. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- "Cajun Deliciousness Be Thy Name". Thrillist. May 17, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- Bakall, Samantha (July 20, 2015). "First look: Palmetto Cafe, a brunch and coffee counter from The Parish owners, in NW Portland". The Oregonian. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Russell, Michael (January 17, 2012). "The Parish restaurant to bring uptown New Orleans cuisine to Pearl District". The Oregonian. Portland, Oregon: Advance Publications. ISSN 8750-1317. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- Grigsby-Rocca, Camille (September 20, 2012). "Introducing: The Parish". Portland Monthly. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- Jackson, Reed (June 20, 2012). "Eastside Restaurants Flock to Downtown Portland as Economy Improves". Daily Journal of Commerce. Portland, Oregon: BridgeTower Media. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- Skinner, Marjorie. "The Parish". The Portland Mercury. Index Publishing. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- "1859 and Dine: Oysters". 1859. Bend, Oregon: Statehood Media. March 1, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Williams, Christina (April 23, 2012). "Portland restauranteurs spotlight sustainable oysters". Portland Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
- Bamman, Mattie John (August 24, 2015). "The Test Period Is Over: Palmetto Café Reveals Brunch, Lunch, and Small Plates Menus". Eater. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
- Walsh, Chad (August 19, 2015). "The Parish Splits Itself in Two; Offers Brunch, Lunch, and Small Plates Happy Hour at Palmetto Café". Eater. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Bamman, Mattie John (February 1, 2015). "Palmetto Cafe Becomes Private Event Space; The Parish Brings Back Lunch". Eater. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Wolf, Laurie (January 14, 2014). Food Lovers' Guide to Portland, Oregon: The Best Restaurants, Markets and Local Culinary Offerings. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 110. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
- Brewer, Karen Gaudette (November 4, 2014). Seafood Lover's Pacific Northwest: Restaurants, Markets, Recipes & Traditions. Rowman & Littlefield. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
- Fernas, Robert (October 27, 2015). "The Parish". Willamette Week. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- "Slide Show: An Oyster Tour at The Parish". Portland Monthly. September 17, 2014.
- on YouTube (The Oregonian, September 29, 2014)
- Bakal, Samantha (September 30, 2014). "Everything you need to know about oysters, plus a how-to-shuck tutorial". The Oregonian.
- Bakal, Samantha. "Oyster 101 with Ethan Powell and Tobias Hogan from The Parish". The Oregonian.