Plank is well worth the trip downtown
Fresh seafood can be difficult to find in a landlocked city, but Plank Seafood Provisions in the Old Market is that rare gem. Chef Matt Moser spent three months in the basement of Plank’s sister restaurant, Blue Sushi, developing a unique seafood menu with Flagship Restaurant’s Corporate Executive Chef Tony Gentile. Together they created cuisine inspired by French, Creole, Italian, and Asian influences.
“The food and ambiance of the restaurant transports you,” Moser said. “We’ve had customers say they feel like they’re eating at a seafood restaurant in Florida or California.” It’s easy to see why with its oversized, boater’s orange-colored booths and the life-sized wooden boat skeleton hanging from the ceiling. The restaurant is open and inviting inside with outdoor seating that provides perfect views of bustling, downtown Omaha.
The extensive menu features a variety of fresh seafood, including popular dishes such as seared scallops with braised bacon and cedar plank Scottish salmon. There are “landfood” options that include a blackened Angus burger and smokehouse chicken – which is brined for 24 hours, smoked for two hours, then finished on the wood grill.
General Manager Matt Carper explained Plank’s lunch offerings are designed to cater to a working crowd. “The lunch menu has many of the dinner items such as half of the Po’ Boy sandwich but is served with soup or a salad. It’s built so working people can get in and out in 45 minutes.” Most of the items on the lunch menu are available for $8 to $15.
For those who want a happy hour hot spot after work, the oyster bar is unlike any other in town. Three times a week oysters are flown in from both coasts, and the menu changes daily. “East coast oysters are briny with ocean flavors, and west coast oysters are sweeter with hints of cucumber and fruit,” Moser said. “Some of our regular customers request certain types and we try to get those in for them.” Paired with one of the eight wines on tap or its homemade spiked lemonade, the experience is reminiscent of a southern fish house, Moser added.
Happy hour runs Monday through Saturday from 3:00 to 6:30pm, and Sunday from noon to 8pm. Shrimp cocktail, peel n’ eat shrimp, potato crusted calamari, and braised beef flatbread are all available. “Happy hour is a great way to try more menu items,” Carper said. “Everything is full portions but priced lower.”
The food, prices, and even the ambiance are all meant to appeal to a variety of tastes. Whether someone wants a quick, casual meal or a fine dining experience, Carper wants everyone to feel welcome. “We provide some of the best service in Omaha,” he said. “We pay attention to the little things and give everyone that same amazing service whether they come in wearing flip flops or a jacket and tie.”
Carper and Moser have worked together previously at other restaurants. Now they have combined their talents to create a vibrant place with a focus on fresh seafood, quality ingredients, and great service. They are proud to say Plank has been a huge success since its opening more than a year ago. “We receive great feedback from customers,” Carper said. “We have a lot to offer; we encourage people to come downtown and give us a try.”
Plank Seafood Provisions
1205 Howard St.