The Ox Bow Incident

Okay, so I stole the title.  This isn’t about the book by Walter von Tilburg Clark, or the movie with Henry Fonda.  It’s about a food market in Napa.  But the market is named the Ox Bow Market, so I have at least a little credibility.

This isn’t a market in the Safeway sense–it’s a collection of specialty shops, offering both food to take home and food to eat on-site.  Everything is the top of the line–if you want a can of Del Monte beans, this ain’t the place to find it.  $8.00/pound hand made pasta, yes.

I’ve been hearing about the Ox Bow Market for over a year from my friends, but this was the first time I have managed to get there.  It’s just wonderful–a large, high-ceilinged space next to the disused Copia on First Street in Napa, filled with a foodies delight of obscure and arcane ingredients.

My favorite is the Fatted Calf (in an adjunct building slightly one door to the west), but that’s because I love their pate maison beyond all reason or measure.

This is Napa, so there is plenty of very fancy wine available, along with a shop that sells only spices, a shop that sell only olive produces, a tea shop, two coffee shops, etc, etc..

Prices here tend to be pretty steep–you can make your credit card cry in a big hurry, but that’s what happens when you are shopping for the very finest products available.  Everything is hand made, artisanal and organic.  The staff all seem to love their jobs and know their products in intimate and excruciating detail, making it a joy to do your shopping rather than a chore.

Napa used to be a sleepy little burg most noted for the state home for the insane.  No more. There are world class restaurants here in the epicenter of the wine industry, and now there is a place to buy high class comestibles to equal the wine.  You definitely want to give this place a try


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