On Saturday, October 14, 2017, my daughter and I had dinner at the Oak Stone Craft Pizza & Bar, 1000 Valley Avenue, Winchester, Virginia. The city’s newest restaurant opened late in September at the Handley Crossing Shopping Center, on the east side of Valley, across from the Handley High School’s campus. The parking lot has four handicapped spaces next to the building.
Hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 4:00 PM-9:00 PM; Friday and Saturday, 4:00 PM-10:00 PM; Sunday, 4:00 PM-8:00 PM; closed Tuesday. The phone is 540-450-5262, the Web site is www.oakstonepizza.com, and Oak Stone is on Facebook. Carry out service is available, but delivery is not. Their motto is, “We Cook with Oak, We Cook on Stone”.
A sign directs you to Oak Stone’s main entrance in the short leg of the building’s L-shaped section to your left. You walk along a wide area paved with brick to reach it; later this space will be arranged for patio dining.
A small bicycle rack is in the beginning of this area. The long section of the L has a small door, presumably for serving the patio, with flowers growing in planters in either side along the wall.
The entrance has a vestibule, opening into an entry area with a reception station on your left as you enter. A wooden bench for four or five people allows you to sit while awaiting your turn. The floor is concrete; the high ceiling is black, with black wooden support beams visible. I couldn’t hear any background music. Lighting was by suspended bulbs.
There are two dining sections. One is to your left from the entry area and has tables, some high rise. In the other direction are the bar with a TV screen, and more seating, including a few booths, where we sat. In this area you can see part of the kitchen and its wood-fired pizza ovens, with cooks removing the pizzas ready for serving.
We were seated in a booth, and presented with two double-sided menus on card stock. The smaller one was for beverages, including Draft on Tap, White Wine, Red Wine, and Craft Cocktails.
The larger food menu’s categories included Snacks & Shares; Salads, Big & Small; House Specialties, Craft Pizza, Build Your Own Pizza, Kids; Mocktails, Stills & Soda; and Desserts. Also, Coming Soon: Lunch seven days a week, with Happy Hour information and Lunch Specials. Our server was Jim, a large, friendly fellow with tattooed arms.
My daughter ordered a 10" Craft Pizza, choosing the Margherita, with Roma Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, Basil, XVOO, and Sea Salt. XVOO is an acronym for Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Her order was served on a round ceramic platter, elevated above the table level by a black metal stand for ease in transferring each slice to her plate, one at a time, to be eaten.
My order from Snacks & Shares was Fried Chesapeake Oysters, with Creamed Spinach, Curry, and Black Salt. I requested two servings when I discovered that there were only three oysters in a serving. The two servings of three fried oysters each were on separate rectangular ceramic platters.
Each oyster sat on its own bed of creamed spinach, topped with a dab of curry, and sprinkled with black salt. I cut each oyster in half for eating, and found them rather tasty.
My daughter’s dessert was Strawberries & Pineapple over Wood Toasted Angel Food Cake and Whipped Cream. Mine was an Apple Tart Topped with Ice Cream. As we left, Jim told us that the Oak Stone will be open for lunch in a couple of weeks, and that the brick area will be provided with patio seating soon.
The place was well patronized during our visit. There were a number of family groups with children, including some little screecher creatures. People were waiting to be seated by the time we left.
The ambiance was marred by a high noise level due to the lack of acoustic treatment; it was worse than the Cracker Barrel, noted for its noise. When the patio seating becomes available, it would allow freedom from the indoor noise level. Oak Stone is a keeper, based on service and food.
At the time my wife and I moved to Winchester in July, 1982, this site housed a large flea market. I understand that much earlier it had been an auto dealership, which explains the large parking lot. An extensive restoration has made it the Handley Crossing Shopping Center, which opened for leasing in 2014.
First class job! Best pizza in Winchester. Wedge salad and fried green tomatoes are to die for. Our new favorite Bar, drink menu is unique, wonderful bartender Marcia.