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Oenotri in Napa

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  • Ridge May 3, 2010 02:19 PM
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Last week we had dinner with friends at Oenotri, a new Italian place in downtown Napa. It was the second new Italian place in Napa that we have recently tried. The other new place we recently tried was Cantinetta Piero in Yountville.

Short aside on our dinner at Piero: Cantinetta Piero was overall just ok. The Salumi was the highlight of meal. I can only describe the pizza at Piero as an unfortunate confused disaster. The atmosphere was good but Piero has a bit too much Yountville seriousness. I probably would not go back to Piero.

I really liked the vibe and the atmosphere at Oenotri. The food was mostly good to excellent. Here is what we at Oenotri:

Pepperoni pizza with fresh arugula. Excellent. One of the best pizzas I can remember in a long time. So enjoyable it stays in your mind.

White pizza with pistachios. Very good. Not quite at the level of the Pepperoni pizza but very enjoyable.

Salad: Overall good.

Next came the spicy Bucatini pasta with Guanciale (pork jowl bacon?). This dish blew me away so much it obscures my memory of the rest of the dinner. Without a doubt one of the best things I have eaten in 2010 so far. I highly recommend going to Oenotri and trying this dish.

The deserts were all just ok.

1425 1st St, Napa, CA 94559

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  1. You can drop the ? on pork jowl bacon. I got mine at Fatted Calf at Oxbow. Loved it. Here are some other possibilities.
    A good deal of interest in guanciale was generated by this article.

    Fatted Calf
    644-C First Street, Napa, CA 94559

    1 Reply
    1. re: wolfe

      Inspired by this posting, I attempted the Bucatini All' Amatriciana at home. Look forward to trying it at Oenotri soon, but I have to say it was one of the best dishes I've ever made at home. Fatted Calf guanciale and very simple to make. I have no excuse as a Napan to get to Oenotri quickly.

      Fatted Calf
      644-C First Street, Napa, CA 94559

      1425 1st St, Napa, CA 94559

    2. Nice report.


      3 Replies
      1. re: maria lorraine

        We went back Friday with my in-laws. This place is quickly becoming one of my favorite restaurants in the Bay Area. Everything tasted fresh, vibrant and delicious. The food was rich but not heavy. There is so much just ok Italian food in the Bay Area that you forget how amazing really good Italian food can be. Even places people rave about I just don’t get. I would say that the food at Oenotri is my style of Italian food, if that makes any sense.

        Here is what we ate:

        Salumi- excellent

        pepperoni and arugula pizza with added calabrian chilies - amazing.

        Spicy Bucatini with pancetta- Excellent

        Guinea fowl roasted and served with a Perseco and Crème fraiche sauce.- WOW. One of the best poultry dishes I remember eating in a restaurant in a long long time. The meat was tender and was complimented perfectly by the rich and delicious sauce.

        Panna cotta with Orange blossom water- really amazing. Not at all heavy. The creaminess of the Panna cotta was complimented perfectly by the fresh subtle flavor of orange blossom.

        1425 1st St, Napa, CA 94559

        1. re: Ridge

          Overall, I enjoyed Oenotri as well, but was disappointed with the Bucatini with pancetta. I wish they had the guanciale that night. Salumi was excellent as was the squid bruschetta.

          1425 1st St, Napa, CA 94559

          1. re: Dan Wodarcyk

            I tried the bucatini with both and yes it’s much better with the guanciale, but I thought the pancetta version was still quite good, albeit not as sublime as the guanciale version.