We had double-good fortune at Hearth and Table. Not only did we find excellent pizza, we met local farmers who will be supplying us cicoria (chicory in English), something we have missed terribly since leaving Italy.
Our friend Amethyst had heard that Hearth and Table was supposed to be good. Papa Murphy’s is “supposed to be good.” This pizza, my dear readers, is on par with Apizza Scholls: some of the best pizza we’ve had in the U.S.
It was a busy Wednesday night when we arrived, buzzing with people eating in and especially with to-go orders. Their approach to pizza at H&T is to customize your pie (but no more than four toppings!) when you order at the desk, then you await the magic while enjoying the adult beverage of your choice. They have an excellent selection of craft brews in bottles and on tap. Pizza toppings are unique: caramelized onions, kale, chevre, and feta as well as the more traditional spicy salami, sausage, and olives. All pizzas have mozzarella and tomato sauce.
As owner Ethan said, it’s not exactly Italian, but it is good. He is right. With all pizza, the crust is the most important component and H&T knocks it out of the park compared to most American pizzas. The ovens are hot hot hot though not wood-fired, so the crust is chewy with spots of char. The same ovens churn out tempting bread and cookies, to be tried on a future date.
Pizza is not the only offering. At both lunch and dinner, the menu changes based on what is fresh. For lunch, there are tempting sandwiches, and we saw many diners enjoying Wednesday’s pork chop special. The veggie side dishes (aka contorni in Italy) especially caught our eye. In particular, there was cicoria on the menu. We had not seen that available since we left Rome! But we were undeterred in our pursuit of fine pizza and ignoring the healthy cicoria we ordered a large (16″) pie with caramelized onions, salami, sausage, and fresh tomatoes. Excellent choice, if I do say so myself. The caramelized onions added delicate a sweetness while the meats were among some of the tastiest you can find in Oregon. We managed to get through half of the pizza, the rest thankfully boxed for us to take home. Next time we’ll order two small pies and try different ingredients.
Ethan sources local ingredients such as Olympic Provisions salami and produce from local farmers. In fact, when we inquired about his source of chicory, he pointed us to two other diners, Chloe and Jesse of Osprey Farm. The were at H&T enjoying some of the evening specials (not pizza). As a result of this divine series of coincidences (cicoria on the menu, Ethan available to chat, the farmers present) we have a cicoria delivery on Tuesday!
Going back is a no-brainer. We may have to try hard to not eat there every week.
Pizza Quality: 3 This is expensive pizza, but you get what you pay for. Fresh mozzarella, high-end meats, beautiful produce, and an excellent hand made crust. You can watch the baker (Ethan’s wife) work.
Service: 3 Caring and friendly, with a purpose and efficiency but always time to chat. We love that Ethan is present and shows such pride in the products he is serving.
Ambiance: 3 Subdued but atmospheric — in fact dark enough that my photos are horrible. It is comfortable, with tables not too crowded. There is not a lot of seating, and I suspect Friday and Saturday finding a table at 7:00 pm would be a challenge.
Total Points: 9
Returnability: The Best! Go out-of-your-way to eat here. If you are on the Central Oregon Coast, make the trek to Lincoln City!