We feel fortunate to live surrounded by nature, yet in close proximity to the amenities of a big city, especially great restaurants. Now that East County is growing, there are more choices for excellent dining experiences nearby. Our recent venture to Hearth Wood Oven Bistro in Washougal was no exception. Our multi-generational family has a wide range of tastes from traditional to the eclectic – and all were satisfied.
Located in the newly-revitalized downtown Washougal on Main street, the interior exudes a mix of modern flash with homey warmth. The red brick oven centerpiece sets the tone and provides an appetizing aroma as you walk in the door. We were seated quickly and offered an array of drink and appetizer specials on the Happy Hour menu, as well as the full dinner menu.
We opted for the roasted brussel sprouts and mixed green salad for starters. The seasonal menu featured fresh seafood from the region, including Spring salmon and Willapa Bay oysters, so we had to try their fried oysters. Most of their dishes are baked or roasted in the wood oven, so even vegetables emerge with a rich smoky flavor. The brussel sprouts were among the best we’ve ever had, and could even make a non-vegetable eater a convert. The fried oysters were prepared just as we like them – lightly sauted with a thin coating rather than crusted corn meal.
Their signature artisan pizzas range from the traditional cheese, pepperoni, or sausage toppings to the creative, eclectic Thai chicken or bacon pesto. All are hand made and wood fired for that smokey glaze that accentuates the fresh ingredients. Drinks included local microbrews on tap, a reasonable selection of red, white and sparkling wines, and specialty cocktails.
The service was very friendly and efficient, and the staff made us feel right at home. This is another great spot we will add to our options when looking for a satisfying dining experience.