Ramen bowls, make way for clam chowder and oyster shells. As first promised two months ago, chef Trent Pierce has transformed his hopping SE Division izakaya Wafu into the Oregon seafood spot Block + Tackle, which now provides the casual counterpart to his lauded back-room seafood restaurant Roe. Pierce, a third-generation Oregon seafood chef, first made a splash with his short-lived seafood restaurant Fin, which closed unexpectedly after six months; Roe, a modernist take on fish, debuted in August 2012. Block + Tackle combines those fresh-caught credentials with the raucous atmosphere of Wafu: communal high-top tables remain, now under hanging buoy lights instead of paper lanterns.
Pierce's large opening menu splits into four savory categories: raw, garden, fish, and snacks. The raw section features a changing selection of oysters on the half-shell and unique items like marlin rillettes and a daily seafood "charcuterie" board. Cooked-fish items showcase Pierce's take on classics like clam chowder (served wit house-made oyster crackers), clams casino, a cripsy cod sandwich, and a "surf and turf" featuring hangar steak and salt-cod fritters. A cocktail menu is heavy on rum-filled drinks, supplemented by white wines and bubbles that pair best with seafood.
Block & Tackle will officially open to the public on Wednesday, June 19. Hours of operation: 5p.m. to close, Wednesday through Sunday.
· Block + Tackle [Official site]
· All Previous Trent Pierce Coverage [Eater PDX]