Napa’s New Garden of Eating

The Oxbow Public Market serves up culinary delights of the Napa Valley.

Lassa Skinner and Kate Arding, Cheese Merchants, Napa, image

Lassa Skinner and Kate Arding are the market's cheese whizzes.

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"It’s one-stop shopping for the food I prefer to spend my money on," says Chris Carpenter, a vintner and leader in the wine region’s Slow Food movement. "I know where it’s coming from—I can meet the people who produce it."

What’s got Carpenter crowing? The birth of OXBOW PUBLIC MARKET in the city of Napa this December. An emporium for all things local and sustainable, the 40,000-square-foot market sits on First Street, on a bend in the Napa River, in the burgeoning Oxbow District. Its near neighbors include Copia, the culinary museum, and Napa’s wine train depot. The barnlike new structure houses 35 merchants, including 10 farm stands stocked with fruits and vegetables from growers within a 100-mile radius.

Some offerings: Charcuterie and meats from Fatted Calf. Rustic breads from the Model Bakery. Regional olives and oils from the Olive Press. Local and imported cheeses from Oxbow Cheese Merchant. Grilled meats and poultry from Roli Roti. Uncommon wines from Oxbow Wine Merchant and Wine Bar. And treats from Three Twins Organic Ice Cream. Also in the complex are the sit-down restaurants Ria, run by Bistro Don Giovanni’s chefs, and Taylor’s Automatic Refresher, the popular burger joint with branches in St. Helena and San Francisco.

Here’s an idea: Grab a baguette and some goat cheese, uncork a half-bottle of pinot noir, and picnic at a table on the veranda overlooking the river. (707) 226-6529, www.oxbowpublicmarket.com.

Photography by Sean Arbabi

This article was first published in November 2007. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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