I’m just gonna say it. American pastries can be good, even great, but they rarely hold a candle to the delicate, Old World pastries of Europe. If you’ve been overseas, you know that smell, that swoon-worthy feeling when you plunge headlong in a cream-filled puff of butter, flour and years of perfection. Ca’Momi Enoteca at the Oxbow Market in Napa somehow embodies all of that, stateside.
“Obsessively authentic Italian” only begins to describe their “bigne”, 100% organic cream puffs flavored with orange, vanilla bean, strawberry, hazelnut, coffee and almonds, then drizzled with caramelized sugar or chocolate. You’ll want to buy them by the dozen, because they won’t last long once you’ve popped a few in your mouth.
While you’re there, stop in for lunch or dinner, where they’re currently serving up gnocchi with butter, sage and Parmigiano reggiano, braised cuttlefish on polenta with, fried sweetbreads or lasagna with radicchio.
What else? We also discovered a treasure trove of bitters, booze and shrubs from Napa Valley Distillery at the Market. It’s a grown up cocktail-Candyland, from their own reserve vodka, Meyer lemon liqueur and whiskey to Luxardo cherries, artisan bitters from around the world, flavored vinegars and specialty tonics.
Oxbow Market, 644 1st St. at Soscol Ave., Napa.