I'm not Italian but I got to eat like one the other night at downtown Napa's Ca' Momi Osteria, a restaurant that prides itself on it's authenticity. This is a friendly and casual place, not to be confused with their even more casual location called Ca' Momi Enoteca at the Oxbow Public Market.
We had been wine tasting all day with a baby - an actual baby, not a grumpy adult - and we were tired and just wanted to relax. I like that the restaurant noise level was lively enough but not SHOUT IN CAPS loud, especially since we had the sleeping baby with us. Yes, you can actually have a conversation here making Ca'Momi a good date night place. But enough of that, let's get to the food.
We started with some fresh burrata with wood oven roasted vegetables, a great appetizer. The cheese was soft and creamy and the veggies had that nice smoke undertone that was so good... mmmm, like this dish.
I was really hungry so when they told me of a deep fried pizza I was sold. They form the pizza dough and fry it and them finish it like a margarita pizza in the oven. I am assuming that this is an authentic dish somewhere but it was a bit weird, like something you might order at the fair, so I might pass on this one next time. The other pizzas around us all looked good however so I wouldn't avoid the pizzas, just maybe save this one for a, um, special occasion.
Next up was grilled cuttlefish. Wait, what? I LOVE cuttlefish at the aquarium, nutty looking sea creatures that look like alien monsters. Well, I guess you can cook them up and eat them and they taste pretty much like calamari so no complaints here. This was a nice surprise brought to us by the chef and worth getting. I did feel a bit guilty eating them but it's not my fault they taste so good. Let's move on to the next course. Man these Italians can eat!
Now we're talking! Spot prawns on top of house made squid ink pasta with sea urchin, it's the best of the best of the sea and delightfully delicious. Sorry cuttlefish, you've met your match. Wait, what did you get?
I had some serious plate envy when I saw you got the braised Oxtail. If you're wondering what it's like it's a bit like the best short ribs you have ever tasted, decadently tender and flavorful. Add some fresh pasta, some pine nuts, this easily was the best dish of the night, good enough to make me forgive the deep fried pizza :-)
So next time you're wondering where to eat give Ca'Momi in Downtown Napa a try. Great ambiance, authentic Italian food, attentive service and moderate prices, it's a good pick in a town filled with top notch restaurants.
Ca'Momi Osteriai | 1141 First St, Napa, CA 94559 | (707) 224-MOMI (6664)