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Hogstone’s High-End Counterpart Is Taking Shape on Orcas Island

It’s called Aelder, and it opens July 7


Dining on Orcas Island is about to get even more interesting, as Aelder, the tasting-menu spinoff of the island’s respected Hogstone’s Wood Oven, will open July 7. Reservations should be available online beginning today, and the locally focused chef’s-choice dinners will be held Friday through Monday evenings.

The new eatery was announced in January without a name. It represents a split for Hogstone’s, which started in 2013 as a rustic pizzeria and later added high-end tasting menus to further showcase local farm-to-table produce, including that of Maple Rock Farm, run by chef-owner Jay Blackinton and partner John Steward. Now, Aelder will feature those tasting menus, with options of four, seven, and twelve courses in the dining room, while Hogstone’s occupies the revamped backyard area and offers a casual experience focused on vegetables, raw seafood, and pizza.

Aelder is named for the combination of the words alder — a scrappy, fast-growing, and resilient tree — as well as an elder — wise, knowledgeable, experienced. It promises to be “an ongoing investigation into the terroir of the Pacific Northwest islands,” according to the website.

Along with The Willows Inn on Lummi Island and the new Ursa Minor on Lopez Island, Hogstone’s is part of an impressive class of hyper-local restaurants off the coast of Washington. National tastemakers have taken note, with the James Beard Foundation naming Blackinton as a semifinalist for its Rising Star Chef award the past three years, and Food and Wine magazine placing him on this year’s Best New Chefs list, saying, “If it doesn’t thrive on Orcas, Jay doesn’t cook it, a choice that makes for the purest expression of Pacific Northwest cuisine we’ve ever encountered.” Aelder is definitely one to watch.

Hogstone's Wood Oven

460 Main Street, , WA 98245 (360) 376-4647 Visit Website