Bar Dobre, the new Polish-Italian spot on SE Hawthorne and 40th, couldn’t have opened at a more perfect time. We’ve been looking for a place to escape the rain and cozy up for hours with a drink and some grub to warm our bellies (and souls), and Bar Dobre (pronounced doe-bray and translating to “good”) swooped in and fulfilled all of our needs and then some.
Owners Stan and Kimberly Pratnicki are some of the most warm, genuine people we’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Stan, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York, has worked in restaurants in Portland since 1997. Taking a break from restaurants until the time was right to open his own, Stan worked most recently at specialty food purveyor, Provvista, where he formed close ties to both farmers and chefs in the area. These connections have enabled Stan to locally source all of his ingredients at Bar Dobre, resulting in heavenly handmade menu items. Everything, from the hand-cut fries and hand-stuffed kielbasa to the Piedmontese beef burger (the cattle is raised in nearby Washington), is made to absolute perfection. And let’s talk about the pierogies for a minute: Stan uses his great aunt’s recipe to form these little pockets of dough and potato. With some dill sour cream to accompany them and a Jadwiga cocktail (union gin, cocchi americano, lemon and champagne), we were happy customers.
They run a tight ship at Bar Dobre, with Stan perfecting the food in the back and Kimberly perfecting the mood in the front. The result? A calming, relaxing oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of Hawthorne, with extraordinary food, drink and service (a rare find in Portland). It’s a place where you can show up for a drink and end up staying for 3 hours, which Stan and Kimberly wholeheartedly approve of. Thanks to Stan’s Polish-Italian background, you can order small bites like a beet salad or larger meals like pizza. You can try one (or all) of the four Polish vodkas or have a glass of wine. Somehow, it all works; it’s made with love, it’s authentic and it’s delicious.
Fun fact: the benches that flank either side of the restaurant were church pews from a church in The Dalles. Stan and Kimberly sanded every inch of these solid oak pews down to raw wood, then stained them and had them custom upholstered. They fit perfectly in the space; so perfectly, that Kimberly believes they were made especially for Bar Dobre.
So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself over to Bar Dobre as soon as humanly possible. Tell them E+E sent you.
3962 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Suite A
Portland, OR 97214
Written by: Lauren Kodiak
Photo Courtesy: Stanley Pratnicki