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Jul 3, 2006 04:26 AM

Malfatti and Ravioli from Lawler's Liquors, Napa

After finding La Taquiza closed, I headed over to Lawler's Liquors to get some malfatti and ravioli to go. A month ago I'd tried The Depot's version -

The price per dozen is half or even less than The Depot charges. However, the quart container wasn't filled with quite as much sauce. I also got a half loaf of garlic bread.

These were destined for my dinner later at home, but wanting to try them freshly cooked, I popped off the lid in the car to try one of each. The malfatti do have more flavor here, I think. I'll confess that I spotted a pile of dried herbs, maybe bundles of oregano, in the kitchen and that might have influenced me. The color of the malfatti is not as brightly green as The Depot's and lacks the watery, spinach taste. These have a more concentrated, dried herbal flavor and a firmer texture. They might be just a little bit smaller, but not by much.

The ravioli have thicker pasta skins here without the tender delicacy of The Depot's. Also, the filling was more pastey in texture and less complex. Reheated later, the wrapper turned rather doughy.

The red sauce has more oil and less ground meat in it, but has many thick slices of canned mushroom. I liked the flavor better as it seemed richer in tomato flavor without the overly tangy bite and spice of The Depot's. Adding some shavings of well-aged Pecorino Romano at home made it complete.

I'd say that I like the sauce and the malfatti better at Lawler's, but prefer The Depot's ravioli. I also liked the garlic bread, which toasted up nicely in the toaster oven. Considering the difference in price, Lawler's is a stand-out.

Lawler's menu -

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  1. !!!! NOTE: 2006 post ... Adding Link

    Lawler's Liquors
    2232 Jefferson St, Napa, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: rworange

      Funny, we used to get quarts of malfatti in red sauce for lunch at Lawler's when I was in high school. Across the street from Butter Cream if we had time between classes in the morning we'd get donuts and something for lunch later.

      Not the best food, but I remember the price was right...

    2. I know this is an old post, but so many times I have wondered about the "malfadas" I ate when visiting grandma years ago. When I was old enough, it became my job to go pick up the take-out (she made me take actual pots and pans, or maybe that was restaurant policy). I have tried to remember the name of the Depot, but was unable to until this post. Now I remember! I know we never tried Lawler's - but next time we're in town visiting family, I want to try these. Thanks for the post!

      2 Replies
      1. re: enbell

        Just a note,the malfatti served at The Depot is now sold at Val's Liquors

        Napa: Clemente's malfatti at Val's Liquor?

        1. re: rworange

          Great info, *as always* RW, thanks!

      2. Dinner tonight was a side by side comparison of the malfatti from Lawlers Liquors and the malfatti from Val's Liquors (Clemente's) which was previously sold at The Depot.

        These certainly are something different.they are like small breakfast sausages in shape with a soft gnocci type of texture.

        I liked the Lawler's better. Side by side, the Lawler's are longer ,thinner and not as soft. The Clemente's are like fat little cocktail weenies in shape. Color-wise they were identical. However, you could see there is probably more potato in the Clementes.

        LIke you I tried one each in the car right after I bought it. The Clemente's which I bought first were pleasant. However, when I removed the lid at Lawler's the delicious aroma filled the car.

        There is more going on with the Lawler's maletti sauce. The ground beef is thicker and there are nice slices of mushrooms in it. It is a thinner, less dense sauce. Clemente's did ask if I wanted cheese and then added about a heaping tablespoon of grated cheese to the top