Oenotri is the work of Tyler Rodde, a native of Napa Valley, where his southern Italian establishment features a daily changing menu driven by a local, fresh, and in season ingredients. All breads and pastas are handmade onsite and all ingredients, including the olive oil, come from Oenotri's own farm in Napa Valley. The beautiful pizza oven is a wood burning Acino imported from Naples! Salivating now?
Chopped asparagus with mint, and parmigiano-regiano - a cold antipasti of asparagus, hand ripped mint and grated parmigiano. The asparagus was crisp and fresh, blanched and shocked to retain it's earthy flavor. The mint provided the freshness and balance. The parmigiano was flavorful but not overpowering, and provided the natural saltiness. This was a dish where you could taste each individual ingredient with great balance. At $11 you are paying for the restaurant's location and it's organic mantra, but it's worth it.
Ricotta and spinach ravioli with saba and fava leaves - stuffed pasta filled with creamy ricotta and earthy spinach topped with a light drizzle of olive oil and saba (aged sweat balsamic vinaigrette). This is a dish that could come off as heavy, but not at Oenotri. The made to order pasta was smooth to the taste, light, and pillowy. Each bite left us clamoring for more, the saba drizzle on top provided a really nice sweetness to the dish and the fava leaves were a pleasant earthy surprise (more common would be sage or basil). Our only complaint is that at $16 this dish is a bit expensive for the portion size. Either of us could have finished the dish on our own and wouldn't have been full.
Margherita pizza cooked in a wood burning oven - mozzarella di bufala, san marzano tomato sauce, oregano, and olive oil. The 10" pizza came out piping hot with a lightly charred crust. I'll start by saying it was good, but not memorable. The best part was the crust - crispy but chewy which is a sign of great gluten balance. The cheese came across a bit too salty for our palate. The tomato sauce was fresh, but lacked flavor depth. I for one prefer the margherita at Delfina, Keste, Co, and Zero Zero over Oenotri. At $14 this was on the high-side for such a small pizza. I think next time we'll try one of their veggie farm inspired creations.
Oenotri definitely hits the mark for local, fresh, inviting Italian cuisine. Even for Napa Valley, it's not a cheap dinner for two our bill came to $70 with drinks. Although they are known for pizza, we both found the antipasti and pasta to be the stars. The ambience and atmosphere is fun for large groups; and we'd certainly come back with friends. Check out this spot if you're craving authentic southern Italian fare in Napa Valley. We give Oenotri a solid 7 out of 10.