In a six-page cover story in its current issue, Food & Wine magazine maintains Napa’s Oenotri “is unquestionably the most exciting new restaurant in Napa Valley, and arguably the best new Italian restaurant in the United States.”
Restaurant partners and chefs Curtis Di Fede and Tyler Rodde are profiled, along with several recipes, in a cover feature about the downtown Napa eatery, currently celebrating its second anniversary of feeding locals and valley visitors.
“Oenotri restaurant has incredible pasta, cured meats and pizzas, but it’s not in Naples — it’s in Napa,” food writer Daniel Duane points out in the piece, which focuses on the partners who “channel southern Italy in the heart of California wine country.”
The Food & Wine feature details how Rodde and Di Fedde met in the kitchen at Oakland’s Oliveto and how their love of great food inspired them to open their own restaurant.
It also reveals how the two young men engage in a daily ritual of tasting everything on the southern Italian-inspired menu, prepared by their line cooks, all at once.
“These daily tasting sessions aren’t just about making sure the line cooks correctly prepare the chefs’ signature dishes,” the article points out. “These guys don’t even have signature dishes. Instead, the ‘tasters’ give Di Fede and Rodde a chance to ensure that every dish is as delicious as they want it to be.”
In addition to singling out wine director Sur Lucero for his ideal wine pairings, the feature also includes several Oenotri recipes — Pizza with Garlic Cream and Nettles; Risotto-Style Ditalini with Mussels, Clams and Saffron; Fish Stock; Fried Haddock with Onion Fonduta, Panelle with Eggs and Bottarga; plus Warm Chocolate Budino.
The April edition of Food & Wine is currently on newsstands.