Behold the refined design of downtown Portland’s new fine-dining seafood restaurant, Roe. Featuring Pacific Northwest seafood prepared with French and Japanese cooking techniques, Roe is helmed by three-time James Beard nominee for Best Chef Northwest, Trent Pierce, and long-time sous chef Patrick Shultz. It opened earlier this month, relocating from its intimate digs on Southeast Division, where it had operated since 2012.
Setting up shop at 515 SW Broadway, Roe is tucked above the Morgan’s Alley shopping corridor on a partially open mezzanine in the heart of the historic Morgan Building, circa 1913. The Hunan Chinese restaurant originally operated in the space for 35 years, until 2014.
Like at Hunan, guests will find Roe at the top of a staircase by walking through to the back of Morgan’s Alley. Enter Roe through an intimate foyer, where a host greets guests, sometimes with warm cups of dashi. The 40-seat dining room hides behind a black curtain, much like it did when Roe was a hidden restaurant inside B&T Oyster Bar.
In a few words, Roe is all grown up, but eaters will still have to look to find it.
Ben Blank did much of the design work, retaining the Japanese painting and amber glass from the restaurant’s original location. Along with more seating, the venue is much more open.
“If I had to,” says Pierce, “I’d describe the design as a marriage of rough and industrial and very fine and finished.”
While one wall lets in views of the galleria below, an open kitchen runs along the opposing wall. There’s a four-seat kitchen counter, too, which diners can only book by calling the restaurant (this is a good alternative when reservations are unavailable).
Roe is currently accepting reservations with two menu options through its website. A pared down menu, nicknamed the “Theater Menu,” offers seatings at 5:30 and 5:45 p.m., and the experience will last around one-and-a-half hours. The full Roe menu is offered with seatings from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and can span two-and-a-half hours or more.
Pierce says the Roe experience "will still be very intimate. There is no intent to turn tables. Each reservation has their table for the night."
That includes the opportunity to try one of the city’s most decadent offerings: Roe’s caviar flights, which feature three caviars with accompaniments like blini, creme fraiche, and chopped hard-boiled egg yolk. And in January 2018, Roe plans to offer special four-person chef meals.
“In particular, I’ve been really wanting to do a nose to tail tuna dinner,” says Pierce.
- Roe [Official]
- All Previous Roe Coverage [EPDX]
- Iconic Seafood Restaurant Roe Finally Declares Opening Date [EPDX}