We all strapped in the car and set out from our little grey house in Bodega Bay to the luxurious valleys of Napa. We drove the historic Hwy. 1, driving past happy cows and through grapevine-filled valleys.
When we finally reached Napa, the sun was setting, and we were all hungry. I had heard good things about Ca'Momi -- famous for their authentic pizza and pastry. I checked out their menu online, and it says in big letters:
“NO CHANGES: Each of our dishes honors a traditional regional Italian recipe. Please trust our food and appreciate it for what it is…authentic Italian”
...these guys must know what they're doing.
Sadly, after wandering the streets of Napa, sticking our nose down every street and alley, past every gourmet eatery except Ca' Momi, our appetites got the best of us and we settled for a very good local eatery and munched on sandwiches, french fries, and a delicious onion dip.
Disinheartened that we couldn't find Ca'Momi -- when the waitress came by with the dessert menu, I quickel declined-- still determined to savor some of the famous patisserie at Ca'Momi. So we set out one last time to find the elusive Ca'Momi.
After wandeirng the streets of Napa a bit more, we finally found ourselves over the bridge at the Oxbow Market. Ca'Momi at last! They had one empty table left on the porch. This was it!
They handed us the big menu full of delicous, savory pizzas and primi, but I quickly traded mine for the little dessert menu. Of course, I ordered the bignes (Italian cream puffs). Dad ordered tiramisu in a jar per reccomendation of the waitress (she also knew what she was talking about!).
First, the waitress came over carrying two cappuccinos and a fruity dessert wine. We all drank in silence while savoring the skyline of Napa. When the waiter returned, my serene moment quickly came to a halt. On his plate were six little two-bite puffs -- each covered delicately in chocolate or drizzled in a glistening brittle. They looked almost too good to eat. Emphasis on the almost ;)
There were six different flavors: chocolate, milk and honey, pistachio, hazelnut, almond, and coffee. I started with the coffee one. The puff pastry is light and airy, without being overwhelmingly eggy -- which enhances the lusciousness of the delicately flavored custard beautifully. All of this is topped off with a crunchy, sweet brittle. These three sensations blend together for an unworldly coffee cream puff experience.
I bought one of their t-shirts to remember my twelve little bites of heaven. On the back it reads: "I can resist anything but temptation" This is probably true, if temptation includes those bignes. I hope to attempt to recreate Italian-style bignes at home, but in the meantime, check out my recipe for vanilla bean cream puffs.
Ca’ Momi, 610 First Street, Napa, CA www.camomienoteca.com