Ca’ Momi, Napa, CA

5forks

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(707) 257-4992
610 1st St
Napa, CA 94559
www.http://www.camomi.com/

Neighborhood: downtown Napa, Oxbow Public Market
Cuisine: Pizza, Italian, Bakeries
Cost: $$ $11 to $30 – Moderately priced
Five Forks = Sets the standard for fine dining in the region and consistently provides superior quality dining

Hours:
Monday through Sunday 7:30AM – 9PM

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Handicap accessible: Yes
Free parking: Street, Private lot
Vegetarian options: Yes
Kid friendly: Yes
Liquor served: Beer & Wine Only
Wine List: They “took the challenge of pairing their old world wine making talents with the finest grapes the new world offers and in 2006 gave life to Ca’ Momi Winery.”  They offer their own wines, a selection of wines from the valley, as well as some of their favorite Italian wines, as a perfect compliment to the food.
Outdoor seating: Yes
Reservations:  Yes and on line

Unique:  Ca’ Momi Enoteca is one of the few Italian restaurants in the country that is VPN certified, meaning it specializes in truly authentic Pizza Napoletana. Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN) is an organization that certifies the authenticity of Pizza Napoletana. This certification is given to pizzerias who meet strict requirements that respect the tradition of the art of the Neapolitan pizza making. This means when you taste Pizza Napoletana at the Enoteca, you are enjoying pizza – exactly how it would taste – if you were in Naples!  The smoky fragrance that settles on the dough with little crispy blisters is really what the style is all about.

oxbow public market

On a recent trip to the valley, Bill and I were looking for a light lunch option.  We’ve been to the Oxbow Public Market numerous times, but hadn’t stopped to try Ca’ Momi yet.  I recall our friend Robert grabbing a pizza during one of our first stops and we’ve dined in the market with a variety of friends, but had mostly stopped for lunch at another favorite that features taco’s of all sorts at the opposite end of the market.

seating

Oxbow is usually busy and it can be challenging to find a seat at times.  Keep in mind that the restaurant is a completely open set up, so it should be expected that it could be slightly noisy.  Once we spotted the chef preparing a fresh Caprese with in season heirloom tomatoes and we saw some available seating, we were sold!  The place sort of feels like a European cafe in a market and you have the option to dine in or go “al fresco” (taking place or in the open air) outside.

outside seating seating2

bar

Bill and I grabbed the corner spot of the bar right where the chef was busy at work.  They did offer beer on tap, but we opted for a glass of wine.

beer wine

An advantage to sitting in this area is that we got to see the chef make various dishes that people ordered.  (I grabbed some snap shots from other reviewers of a variety of dishes).  They say that “their food, like their wine, is a celebration of the families passions its quest for the simple pleasures of life.”

housemade baked pizza crackers

Complimentary:  We were given a little bag of baked house made pizza crackers to munch on while we sipped on wine and waited for our salad and pizza

We started off with:  Caprese  Organic herloom tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and fresh Basil ($12)

IMG_8061 salad

Of course, we shared as I prefer and the flavors were incredible!  Because the owners think authentic Italian cuisine is good enough to stand on its own true flavors, they choose to follow only traditional Italian recipes, prepared with the best organic, local and Italian ingredients.  The salad was simple, but exquisite.  The tomatoes were ripened to perfection and topped with house made mozzarella.  It was then drizzled with Olive Oil and topped with a bit of fresh basil, salt and pepper; and had a smear of homemade pesto. Balsamic was available, which is how we usually prefer our caprese, so we enjoyed a few bites with those flavors as well.  (I will someday make the effort to prepare fresh mozzarella cheese!)

One of my recent finds is Burrata cheese: it’s birthplace is Andria, Italy.  We were so close, but didn’t get there this past fall!

Burrata with seasonable vegtables & flat bread

It’s my understanding that Ca’ Momi offers an interesting variety with in-season vegetables with flat bread.  Holy, yum!

These photos are courtesy of Ca’ Momi’s Face Book Page

burrata2 burrata

Burrata starts out much like mozzarella and many other cheeses, with rennet used to curdle the warm milk. But then, unlike other cheeses, fresh mozzarella curds are plunged into hot whey or lightly salted water

curds2 curds

stretch

It’s kneaded and pulled to develop the familiar stretchy strings, then shaped in whatever form is desired.

burrata3 burrata4

When making burrata, the still-hot cheese is formed into a pouch, which is then filled with scraps of leftover mozzarella and topped off with fresh cream before closing.  The finished burrata cheese is often sold today in a plastic bag or container.  When the burrata is sliced open, ritagli-thickened panna (cream) flows out.  This cheese has a rich, buttery flavor and retains its fresh milkiness.  If you see it on a menu, I strongly recommend you try it!

Back to our “snack”

Entrees:  CAPRICCIOSA Italian cooked ham, marinated artichokes, sautéed Wine Forest Mushrooms, organic mozzarella & organic tomato sauce ($17) 

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I was surprised Bill was ok with this selection to share, because he’s not a big fan of mushrooms.  He enjoyed it!  Their pizza is cooked for 90 seconds in a wood burning oven at 900 degrees. They are about 12 inches in diameter with a raised edge crust and come out of the oven soft and elastic, easily foldable – not crispy.  Bill gave me most of his mushrooms, but the toppings were just enough without being overkill and I like that you can taste each component in every bite!

In Italy, chili flakes and parmesan are not used on pizza.  Instead, they infuse olive oil with hot peppers and spices.  Their spicy pepper infused olive oil is very hot, but was a terrific addition for flavor.

There were numerous options of flavorful Panini’s and Pizzas that they prepare using premium, locally sourced, organic ingredients whenever possible

Verdure (Vegitarian)

The Verdure, vegetarian looked great

Porchetta Rucola e Grana

As did the PORCHETTA, RUCOLA, PECORINI – porchetta, organic arugula, pecorino, romano, organic mozzarella and organic tomato sauce

They offer a variety of Antipasti’s & Salads

antipasto2 anti pasto

linsalata di radicchi and finocchi salad with fennel, oranges and walnuts

The INSALATA DI RADICCHI & FINOCCHI – organic Chioggia (a coastal town of the province of Venice in the Veneto region of northern Italy) radicchio salad with fennel, oranges and walnuts ($12) looked to die for!

In addition to the sit down area, they have a kiosk that specializes in cream puffs and other desserts.  So far, we haven’t stopped to indulge; but trust me, we have stopped to look, smell and drool!

pasticcer

Dessert: The items on display are too numerous to name them all…

Bakery display

Affogato – a double shot of Caffé del Doge espresso over  Three Twins organic vanilla bean ice cream  ($6)

Schiacciata alla Nocciolata – flatbread with organic Italian hazelnut spread ($9)

Cannolo Siciliano – filled with Bellwether sheep ricotta, candied orange zest, chocolate chips & pistachio  ($6)

donut cream puff pastry with milk and honey cream

Millefoglie – layers of puff pastry and vanilla bean pastry cream  ($12)

cream puffs

Ciambellina Latte & Miele – cream puff ring filled with light & fluffy vanilla bean cream   full 12, mini ($6)

But what everyone is raving about is the Bigné & Assorted Pastries – ($29 per pound)

bignes

I think the description from Ambra says it best.  She said seven out of fourteen items that she spotted were bignés, which are puff-filled sweets; “A scattering of nut flakes is framed in a glistening brittle that covers the top. While sinking my teeth into it, I encounter the frothy, delicate filling cream…”

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Another bucket list item for me is the Tiramisú in a Jar – a creamier version of the classic, served in a jar  ($8)

Tiramisu in a jar Tiramisu in a jar2

Seriously, I have to stop…. I can only imagine, but there will be a day…

We were impressed with the service overall and the staff was very attentive and fast!  Clearly you will have your options and we know we will be back!

Bon appetite!
~Chris

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