• Ca’ Momi, 610 First Street, Napa, CA www.camomienoteca.com

Before going to Ca’ Momi, enoteca (winery), pizzeria and pasticceria located in The Oxbow Market, I check their website. A big note stands in the middle of the Menu page: “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”.

I already like the guys, but taste is the only measure. The pastries display seems like the perfect starting point. As soon as I reach the glass I feel at home. Seven out of fourteen items are bignés, puff-filled sweets, so beloved that I have a favorite flavor in every Italian city.

Bitter Almond Filling

At Ca’ Momi the almond one looks fantastic. “One of this, please.” A scattering of nut flakes is framed in a glistening brittle that covers the top. While sinking my teeth into it, I encounter the frothy, delicate filling cream.

My mouth is still full, but an uncontrollable impulse drives a few words out of it: “Can I have another one?” Only one adjective swims in my head: “moving”. The lightness of the puff paste enhances the sensational lusciousness of the custard. The bitter almond taste embraces the sweetness of the burnt sugar in a blaze of flavor. Three different sensations blend together in a heavenly mixture. These pastries are truly filled with emotion.

 It would have been better if… I had had room to eat some more.