By Jennifer Kaiser
The August 2014 earthquake in Napa shook up a lot, including restaurant locations. On a recent visit to the Oxbow Public Market I spotted what I thought was a newcomer: Carpe Diem, located near the front door. According to Jim Foster, the affable general manager, the earthquake damaged their downtown wine bar and restaurant at 1001 2nd Street. That business is closed now, but plans to reopen in just a few short months.
In the meantime, they are serving lunch and dinner in the Oxbow spot recently vacated by Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen (the Venezuelan eatery has returned to its spiritual home at 401 Valencia Street in San Francisco’s Mission District). Carpe Diem looks forward to reopening its doors downtown and, depending on the success of the Oxbow spot, may stay there as well. In the meantime, you can enjoy their vinegary short ribs on brioche buns (pictured, $4.75), fresh field green salads, steamed bun pork “tacos” ($4.75) and indulge in their famous harissa ($6) or black truffle French fries ($8).
Carpe Diem Wine Bar at the Oxbow Public Market, 610 First Street, Napa. Mon.-Sat. 11a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Happy hour daily, 4-6 p.m. For an update on Carpe Diem and its stylish new location on 2nd Street in Napa, please see Jennifer Kaiser’s report here.