By Gretchen Giles
Not all is wailing and tearing-of-hair in the culinary loams of Napa. While COPIA is (perhaps) temporarily closed for restructuring, the adjacent Oxbow Public Market remains a robust commercial force with the Hog Island Oyster Company having last month opened its new tasting bar there. A sister to its Ferry Building outpost in San Francisco, the Napa raw bar brings the bay to the valley in a big way. In addition to sliders on the half-shell, look for Hog Island to serve up grilled cheese sannys, salads, old-fashioned hot oyster dishes and other seafood specialties.
Already established in the Oxbow is the Santa Barbara–based Kanaloa Seafood, a purveyor devoted to sustainably harvested ocean produce. This launch brings the market's tenant stores up to a healthy 21 outlets, including a charcuterie (the Fatted Calf), butcher (Five Dot Ranch), artisanal coffee roaster (the fierce folks at Ritual), ice cream vendor (Three Twins) and Venezuelan food (Pica Pica). Also doing well at Oxbow are the in-house wine merchant and cheese shops, the world's tiniest winery (Folio), a bakery (Model), mobile rotisserie come to stay (Rôtisario), a chocolatier (Anette's) and olive press and spice shop (the Olive Press and Whole Spice, respectively), a tea stand (Tillerman Tea), boffo burgers (Taylor's Automatic Refresher) and several entertaining-extras stalls (Fête, Heritage Culinary Artifacts and the Kitchen Library).
Beginning mid-December, look for the Oxbow Produce and Grocery stand, which has suffered a midmarket float between Pica Pica and Folio, to take over the window space fronting First Street, immediately gaining higher viz. By March, the S.F.-based high-end cupcakery Kara's Cupcakes will be in the other storefront window. To which we can only say, yum!
Oxbow Public Market, 610–644 First St., Napa. Open Monday–Friday, 9am to 7pm; Tuesday, until 8pm for local's night with free live music; Sunday, 10am to 5pm. 707.226.6529.
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