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12.19.07

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Phaedra

Fresh

By Gretchen Giles


S ome of us aren't very good at direction, and removing the ocean's steadfast shore from the mix makes the rudderless even more confused. And so it was that some of us couldn't begin to understand where the new Oxbow Public Market would be located in relation to COPIA. The word "east" was used. As it turns out, Oxbow is smack next to the main COPIA parking lot in an attractive, 40,000-square-foot farm-style building. And as it turns out, Oxbow may just revitalize downtown Napa single-handedly.

If we have been so inclined, we in the North Bay have by now mostly visited San Francisco's Ferry Plaza Building. And we in the North Bay have seen fresh foodstuffs that come directly from our area for sale there priced roughly 30 percent more than we could purchase them for at the local market if we'd just stayed home in the first place. Oxbow is something different.

Fresh food: Oxbow will have 10 farm stands open daily from 8am to 2pm, making every day a farmers market day. Fresh burgers: The insanely popular Taylor's Automatic Refresher, which packs 'em in whether in St. Helena or the Ferry Building, has its newest outpost. Fresh wine: The Oxbow Wine Merchant, operated by the same good folks who run the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, have cheese pairings from the Oxbow Cheese Merchant, a massive tasting bar and an outdoor patio overlooking the Napa River. Fresh wine and food: Folio Enoteca has an 800-square-foot onsite winery in the space and serves light meals. Fresh tea (Tillerman's), fresh spices (Whole Spice), fresh chocolate (Anette's), fresh olives (the Olive Press), fresh beef (Five Dot Ranch), fresh ice cream (Three Twins Organic), fresh bread (Model Bakery), fresh salumi (the Fatted Calf), fresh Venezuelan food (Pica Pica) and fresh dinners-already-ready (Rotisario).

Other booths include the Kitchen Library for books, Heritage Culinary Artifacts for one-of-a-kind antiques and Fete for party-giving. In other words, there's a reason to stop by the Oxbow every single day if you're in the area.

Anette's, Fete, Heritage Culinary, Kitchen Library, Tillerman and the Olive Press opened last weekend. Due to open on Dec. 22 are two of the first farm stands, Bera Ranch and De Santis Farm, both offering citrus; eight more stands will be added. Other stalls are still coming into flower, but the entire market should be up and open by mid-January.

Oxbow Public Market, 610 First St., adjacent to COPIA, Napa. Farmstands open at 8am; restaurants and wine purveyors, 11am. It's Napa, after all, so the day wraps up at 8pm Sunday-Friday and 9pm on Saturday. [ http://www.oxbowpublicmarket.com ]www.oxbowpublicmarket.com.


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