DINING AT THE ACCLAIMED HOGSTONE’S WOOD OVEN
Greetings and thanks for stopping in. Today’s blogpost is going to make you hungry because we will be dining at the acclaimed Hogstone’s Wood Oven restaurant on beautiful Orcas Island. Recognized in 2015 & 2016 as a James Beard Foundation “Rising Star Chef” Semi-Finalist, chef/owner Jay Blackinton is both a farmer & a chef. His menu changes constantly because the food is made almost exclusively with what he and his team have grown or foraged for on the island. But he is best known for his delicious wood-fired pizza.
Hogstone’s is a very casual restaurant, with seating both indoors and out.
We chose to dine indoors where we could observe our food being prepared in the tiny, open kitchen by 27-year-old Chef Jay.
We started with what he calls “Oysters from 344 Yards Away & Rosé Beach Mustard”. Delicious, fresh oysters on the half shell placed in a ceramic bowl of polished rocks and garnished with dainty beach mustard flowers. It was a beautiful presentation.
The name holds true to the fact that the oysters and sea mustard are literally harvested 344 yards away from the adjacent Buck Bay where they are farmed.
Next came this simple, fresh salad of New Lettuces Dressed in a Charred Plum Vinaigrette, so generous that Brad and I shared it.
Brad & I also shared one of the 5 varieties of pizzas being offered that evening: New Potatoes & Garlic, Smoked Fresh Cow Cheese & Cured Mangalitsa Pork Backfat with Savory Herbs. Those paper thin strips of fat come from Blackinton’s own Heritage Mangalitsa Pigs, which he raises and butchers each fall He then finds ways to use every last part of the pig, highly valued for their fat-marbled flesh. Since we visited in August when he doesn’t butcher his pigs, he no longer had pork meat available, but he was using the last of the rich & buttery cured pork fat for this distinctive pizza. It was really quite good.
My favorite part of the meal was the unique and creative dessert: Cucumber Sorbet with Nasturtiums and Fresh White Currants. It was cool, refreshing and delicious, right down to the very last nasturtium!
I had never eaten fresh currants prior to this and now I’m a huge fan. I had actually seen them for sale the day before while visiting the Orcas Island Farmers Market. Had I know they were so delicious I would have bought a box full and consumed them on the spot. Now I will be forever on the lookout for these sourish sweet, pop in your mouth little balls of yumminess.
If you’d like to learn more about this true farm-to-table restaurant and its creative and hardworking chef, take a few minutes to watch this lovely video about him. You may just start planning a trip to Orcas Island yourself real soon!
Please stay tuned for one last post about our long weekend on Orcas Island. This time I’ll be taking you for a tour of the amazing Rutabaga Farm, the very special place we called home for 3 nights on Orcas Island.
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So there you have it: DINING AT THE ACCLAIMED HOGSTONE’S WOOD OVEN
Thanks so much for dropping in!
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All opinions expressed in this post are my own. All photos unless otherwise credited are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.