Art on the Plate: Ocean House

Cape Cod Life  /  August 2023 /

Writer: Julie Craven Wagner

For 40 years, diners lucky enough to find their way to a table at the Ocean House in Dennisport have enjoyed an unparalleled view exceeded only by the masterpiece found on their plates. Owner Janet Hart-Barbato and her daughter/co-owner Kari Anne Hart, are celebrating a milestone anniversary this year as they have overseen a dining experience consistently recognized as one of the best in southern New England. Day Boat Halibut Owner/General Manager: Janet Hart-Barbato • Co-owner: Kari Anne Hart • Chef: Tom Woods At the helm in the kitchen, Executive Chef Tom Woods brings his love for fresh, locally inspired, innovative dishes to every plate that exits in his domain. Chef Woods credits his colorful and vibrant youthful summers, spent with extended family in Jamestown, Rhode Island, for his commitment and appreciation for what is available and abundant from the rich, local bounty. “It was important to my grandmother to have her family together, and that meant days of clamming and fishing, where we would gather together for dinner and grill our fresh catch, enjoy local vegetables handed over the fence from the neighbors, and pies that tasted of summer,” Woods recalls. Educated at Johnson and Wales in Rhode Island, Chef Woods spent 20 years in Boston, most notably at Blue Dragon, alongside celebrity chef Ming Tsai. Prior to taking over the culinary responsibilities at Ocean House, Woods was at Osterville’s venerable Oyster Harbors Club. One of the most popular dishes on the menu at Ocean House is the Day Boat Halibut, a pan-seared sumptuous filet of the flaky and flavorful fish served atop a brown butter couscous, with summer corn, tomatoes and a passion fruit coulis, crowned with micro pea tendrils. Frenchie, Woods’ charismatic executive sous-chef who has been at Ocean House for decades says, “We serve over 50 of…

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Julie Craven Wagner

Julie Craven Wagner began her experience with Cape Cod Life in 2010 when she joined the sales team after 10 years of working with local businesses on the Cape and Islands with WMVY. In addition to sales, she is the Associate Publisher/Editor of Cape Cod LIFE, Cape Cod HOME, and Cape Cod ART. Growing up on the Outer Cape has given her a unique perspective of life on Cape Cod, from tip to bridge, and that is reflected in her appreciation and presentation of stories found within the pages of our publications. Julie lives in North Falmouth with her husband, Eric, and their yellow lab, Enzo. When she finds free time, she enjoys her Cape Cod life sailing on Buzzards Bay, spending time on the beach in Wellfleet, or exploring Martha’s Vineyard.