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Markets & Stores 4

Noshing in Napa: Oxbow, D&D, Bouchon Bakery

SanJoseHound | May 11, 200808:59 AM

My parents were celebrating their anniversary and wanted something low-key after a recent disappointment at Julia's Kitchen (I could've told them that!) We picked up an elderly aunt who lives in Napa and headed to Oxbow Public Market. This was perfect for my mom, who loves to try little tastes of everything and foreshadowed the rest of the day. Oxbow is pleasantly wheelchair accessible. Although my aunt decided to walk, there were many places for her to stop and sit. I was happy with the small scale of Oxbow. Now on to the food, which we all shared on one table.

I was SO disappointed that the famous porchetta wasn't ready yet. If it were up to me, I would've stopped by on the way home. We tried...
-roti porc plate
-porc sandwich
-roasted potatoes
-half chicken
-pommes frites
I really loved the pork and hogged most of the sandwich for myself. If the pork itself was that good, the porchetta must be great. The roasted potatoes were much better than their counterparts at the Camden Farmers Market and Princeton Plaza Farmers Market: crispy on the outside, well seasoned with herbs. The pommes frites were average but they were still consumed to the last fry. I would have liked to try the Full Belly Farms Roasted Carrots. Maybe next time.

-Llanera Arepa with sirloin strips, cilantro, peppers & onions
-Maize'Wich with cheese & ham
-THREE orders of Yucca Fries
I remember reading that some people thought the arepas were bland... wasn't the case with the one we ordered. The Llanera was very flavorful. My father detected some sort of vaguely bitter spice, that I didn't notice. Loved the Maize'Wich, on Pica Pica's version of cornbread, which is slightly sweet. It was gooey and a little greasy and I'm sad I only ended up with a 1/4 of it! The Yucca fries were a big hit. The Pica'Chup spiced ketchup tasted like regular ketchup to me. The Pica'Pun sauce looks deceptively like Thousand Island dressing but is very spicy (to me).

I had the peanut butter confetti and bittersweet chocolate. The peanut butter was great - strong peanut-y flavor and buttery richness. The bittersweet chocolate was mild and I would have liked it to pack a stronger chocolate punch. Husband had the lemon sorbet and lemon cookie. The sorbet was super tart and tangy. The lemon cookie tasted exactly like its namesake and was my favorite of the two.

We walked around the corner and despite being full, my husband and I tried the passionfruit mousse cake. It was a winner. Passionfruit desserts sometimes verge toward the bitter, but this one didn't. The passionfruit flavor was intense and pleasantly tart. Next time I would buy the 4 inch instead of an individual serving, if I had to share. hahaha...

Next door at Fatted Calf they had their own version of porchetta ready but we were just too stuffed at this point. Next time it would be nice to compare versions between FC and Rotisario.

After a non-chow interlude my mom directed us to DEAN & DELUCA. Everyone else waited outside and I watched her in action at the charcuterie counter. We ate her haul outside, which included:
-serrano ham (my favorite)
-dry salami (Molinari I think)
-baguette from Bouchon bakery
-wasabi peas
-candied pecans
and a Vosges Red Fire chocolate bar, which mom hated but is one of my favorite flavors of theirs.

I guess our brief stop at a winery inspired more hunger because on the way home we stopped at BOUCHON BAKERY. The chocolate bouchon, which is supposed to be their specialty, was a nice texture but lacking in flavor. I found the same thing with their chocolate eclair, nice texture but almost bland. Fleur de Cocoa in Los Gatos does much better with chocolaty things and as a whole. The homemade potato chips tasted like a store brand. We did buy some dog biscuits which our dogs definitely enjoyed once we got home.

Bouchon Bakery
6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599

Oxbow Public Market
610 First Street, Napa, CA 94559

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