Seattleites looking for a taste of Orcas Island are in luck. Hogstone’s Wood Oven — chef-owner Jay Blackinton’s acclaimed restaurant in Eastsound — launches a new “pizza and wine club” Tuesday, October 20, at noon. Customers can sign up to receive the restaurant’s highly sought after rustic pies (in frozen form) and natural wine bottles, delivered along the I-5 corridor, from Bellingham to Pioneer Square.
Though Seattle has no shortage of great pizza or wine around town, this is still a special treat. Since opening almost eight years ago, Hogstone’s has been one of Western Washington’s most exciting restaurants, earning Blackinton multiple James Beard Award nominations for his wood-fired pies and farm-sourced dishes. In 2017, the chef added a separate, tasting menu destination, Aelder, to his repertoire. Although that had earned kudos, Aelder is on hiatus since COVID-19 first impacted the area, while Hogstone’s is open on Orcas for takeout and delivery only, leaving Blackinton and his team open to exploring new projects.
“We have been plotting frozen pizza for a few years, but we hadn’t made any strides towards figuring it out until the pandemic,” Blackinton tells Eater Seattle. “In addition, we had been planning on launching a wine club in conjunction with a new spot that we have been working on for awhile. Some of those plans fell apart, and some fell together.”
The cost for a Hogstone Pizza and Wine Club subscription is $135 for two pizzas and two bottles of wine per month, or $250 for four bottles and four pizzas, with a minimum three-month subscription. In Seattle, the service will be available within five miles of I-5, as far south as Pioneer Square, as far east as Madison Park, as far west as Magnolia, and everything in-between and north. “As we figure this out we will refine our areas and add destinations that are further afield such as Beacon Hill, Columbia City, West Seattle, etc.,” Blackinton says.
As for the specific pies available, selections will always include Hogstone’s take on a margherita, as well as a vegetarian option, and toppings on some of the seasonal pizzas from Hogstone’s have recently included smoked goat cheese, Yukon Gold potato, and Salt Blade pepperoni. On the wine side, Blackinton says the restaurant will work with its partners to offer “things that you would have a hard time finding elsewhere” from its cellar that features French, Italian, and Pacific Northwest wines made through low intervention methods. But the program should evolve as it goes along.
“There is a whole lot of logistics in all of this for us to figure out. and we aspire to do everything we do at the highest level possible,” says Blackinton. “In order to accomplish that we are going to take this slowly.”