Review: Woodsman Tavern. Portland, OR.

The Woodsman Tavern
4537 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97206

Man, I ate here a while ago. I took on a lot of eating during my last week in Portland and subsequently followed it up with not-a-lot of writing. As a blogger with a full time job, some times the post takes a while to get to.

Woodsman Tavern is Duane Sorenson’s (of Stumptown Coffee fame) first foray into restaurants. I’m a huge fan of Stumptown (I still maintain it’s the best coffee roaster in the US) and was excited to see if Sorenson could create a restaurant with the same kind of magic.

The menu at Woodsman Tavern is seafood-intensive, and I was willing to go along with it. Starting off the meal was kumamoto oysters and chilled dungeoness crab. Both were awesome. Some of the best (maybe the best) raw seafood I’ve ever had. I still have dreams about those oysters.

For the main course, I ordered the prosciutto wrapped halibut w/ green beans & tomato butter sauce. This is the best seafood dish I’ve eaten in 2012. It was awesome. Seriously, look at the photo. Amazing. And it tasted as good as it looks. The halibut was cooked spot on and seasoned perfectly. The proscuitto had a nice char and contributed what almost felt like a sear on the outside of the fish. The tomato butter sauce was the perfect compliment. I could not get enough of the stuff and continually ran the green beans though it because….. well it tasted so damn good.

I didn’t get dessert this night, though I wish I would have. The rest of the meal was so good that I can’t imagine that it would have been a drop off.

The last couple of months I’ve talked a lot about the bon appettit top 50 new restaurants… mainly because I have been obsessed with eating as many of them as I can. So far Woodsman Tavern is the top of the ones I’ve experienced, and it’s not even close. Most of the negative reviews I’ve seen of Woodsman revolve around poor service. While the service I had there wasn’t great, the food more than made up for it.

RATING: *****

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