During the fall of 2011, the Woodsman Tavern opened its glass doors to a hungry mob at the upper Southeast Division Street of Portland, Oregon. Inspired by the overwhelming support for his first Stumptown Café located just a few feet away, owner Duane Sorenson decided to open up a gathering place where people can enjoy good drinks, good food and good company, while cherishing an unshakeable feeling that the place has always been there all this time.
Part contemporary restaurant, part old-school pub, The Woodsman Tavern pays tribute to the celebrated Pacific Northwest, not only in the restaurant’s name, but also in its undying support for the abundant goods and produce that exist in the region. Chef Jason Barwikowski whips up American cuisine with a touch of European influences centered on charcoal-fired Jasper oven making use of only the finest ingredients from artisanal purveyors and local suppliers. The bar is moored by fourteen taps and a long list of cocktails, while the wine list boasts of “old world” collections purchased from the great Northwest and far Europe.
But what is more remarkable about this tavern is its incredibly tasty set of dishes that will surely leave customers not only full, but utterly pleased. Intricately prepared by Chef Barwikowski, the recipes are cleverly and unabashedly stolen from all around the world, from the Manhattan Lapsang souchong to Italian poached fish to the crustless bread stuffed with homemade coppa di testa, crisp arugula and spicy mustard. It is the kind of restaurant that Portland locals expect in every corner, especially with all the reclaimed wood, kitschy dispensers, serious cocktails and genuine coffee. Yet if one enters the doors, grab a seat and pick a dish or two, he would realize that it is more than just a devoted, farmy, Portlandish ideal, it is a gastronomic conduit that can take any diner to a brand new world of taste and flavors.