Congratulations to the team at Carpe Diem for reopening their beautiful wine bar in downtown Napa. The building, located on the corner of 2nd and Brown Street, was badly damaged in the August 2014 earthquake. Exterior scaffolding reminds visitors that the work to rebuild Napa continues. While the wine bar was closed for repairs, Carpe Diem opened a pop-up in the nearby Oxbow Market. That spot has now closed.
Chef/owner Scott Kendall, Chef de Cuisine Andrew Martin, and general manager Jim Foster have created an inviting space for Napa visitors. Two separate rooms are open to the public, and a third room offers an inviting space for overflow crowds, cocktail lounge, or private parties.
Carpe Diem’s menu offers a nice range of options. You can have nibbles with your glass of vino before heading off to a different Napa eatery, or have your entire meal there. Ahi tuna tartare ($13) and Roasted Wild Mushroom Flatbreads ($14) from the brick oven are great starters. Small plates, such as Crab Stuffed Squash Blossoms ($16) with fresh corn polenta and lavender honey or White Wine Mussels ($15) work well, or you can order a full entrée, such as an Ostrich Burger ($21) with brie and caramelized onions, or Harissa Claypot ($22) with lamb tenderloin and sumac-lemon yogurt.