Copperwood Tavern

Whether your desire is a slab of bison, or maybe a rustic country atmosphere, it’s at Copperwood Tavern.


Copperwood Tavern


Photo by Stefanie Gans.

4021 Campbell Ave., Arlington

The problem with the Village at Shirlington wasn’t the lack of customers or restaurants, but the seriousness in its food. Not until The Curious Grape arrived in spring of 2012 with a seasonally driven menu that there was an ambitious menu in this complex.

Copperwood Tavern continues this concentration on good food in a mountain lodge-chic motif. With reclaimed wood, filament bulbs dangling from the ceiling inside of mason jars—and plenty of copper accents—the room is a study in nailing restaurant interior design trends.

The food reflects the vibe with a ribeye of bison. Bison replaces beef, says chef Allan Javrey, to “keep it a little more country.” The huge cut wears only salt and pepper and some darkness from time on the grill. It’s a little lighter tasting, but still provides that meaty satisfaction. No sides accompany entrées, so for $28, the restaurant evokes casual, but the menu screams steakhouse prices. 

The $14-frisee salad is more meal than starter, with bacon (and bacon dressing), duck confit, apples, potatoes and an yolky duck egg. Joined with its constant companions bacon and maple syrup, a bucket of Brussels sprouts ($8) is winning side. -Stefanie Gans

(January 2014)