Italian Food in Napa - Oenotri's a MUST

 

 

Wow, so the last three times I have been in Napa - all within the past 3 months - I have had to pleasure of eating at a restaurant called Oenotri. The atmosphere is really earthy but high style. There is a tiny little bar full of some of the best Italian {and Napa} wines that are all retail price {a $30 bottle is a $30 bottle, not a $90 one} and the food is just amazing. 

This last week, while I was visiting, they featured dishes from Jessica Blah's book Cooking With Italian Grandmothers. I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica and she is young and adorable. We talked food and photography and she seemed really interested in healthy children's meals. 

Her cookbook is a very large and novel-like that is full of interesting stories and recipes. According to the web site:

American chef Jessica Theroux spent a year traveling throughout Italy, cooking and talking with Italian grandmothers. The result is a charming and authentic collection of recipes, techniques, anecdotes, and photographs that celebrate the rustic and sustainable culinary traditions of Italy's most experienced home cooks.

As you know, I'm a vegetarian who occasionally chows on pasta! So, the menu at Oenotri was perfect. I hate going to gourmet restaurants that have like ONE option for vegetarians! It's really frustrating. 

There is meat on the menu here but it's so easy to overlook because there are so many other options. The salads are some of the best I've ever had and the pasta is even better than I make at home. Especially the pastas from Jessica's book that they featured. One dish consisted of large thin spelt pasta topped with a creamy walnut pesto.

The group I was with ate both meat and vegetarian so we had so much great food to choose from. On a regular basis  the restaurant features a daily changing menu driven by ingredients that are local, fresh and in season. 

photo credits: yelp, oenotri site, Brant Ward / The Chronicle