ovenbird chicken Chris Hastings is the keeper of a new flame at OvenBird.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Chris and Idie Hastings open their second restaurant, OvenBird at 2810 3rd Avenue South, at Pepper Place. Ovenbird is a refined yet rustic restaurant that offers a well conceived and beautifully executed indoor–outdoor dining experience of small plate fare cooked over a live coal fire. It is named for rfuous hornero, “red ovenbird,” a South American bird that builds its oven-shaped nest with a side entrance shaped like an “O.” Coincidentally, OvenBird has another namesake in a poem by Robert Frost, “Oven Bird.” And the poem’s passing of time theme also befits the restaurant. Ovenbird has been in development for two years. Twenty years have passed since the Hastings opened their first restaurant, Hot and Hot Fish Club. And a live fire restaurant has been Hastings’ dream since he was a boy, cooking over campfires.