Wednesday, September 23, 2015

To market, to market in Napa and Sonoma

Nadine Kam photos
A map at the center of The Shed in Healdsburg, Calif., shows the birthplace of produce and products carried at the marketplace.


CALIFORNIA — California’s wine country is paradise for nouveau frontiersman and homesteaders who have at their fingertips the riches of the land. Their markets are the envy of all who cook, bake and craft. Here’s a peek inside two of them:

25 North St., Healdsburg. Call (707) 431-7433. (Note: When I checked, the site worked on Firefox browser, but not Safari.)

The Shed was created as a celebration of farming and the pleasure of real food. It’s a beautiful space, part food market, part housewares celebrating the kitchen and D.I.Y. ethos, and part cafe with a fermentation bar for sampling house made kombucha, keffir water or shrubs, old-fashioned drinking vinegars that have made a comeback. Also on offer, area wines and beers, hard cider, honey mead and natural sodas.

After shopping, stay for a bite in the cafe, featuring such delectables as a frittata of zucchini, onion and fontina; roast pork meatballs with cinnamon vinegar, nectarine and poppy seeds; and cilantro-cured cod. Breakfast and weekend brunch is also offered.

Open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily except Tuesdays.

Produce at The Shed.

Knitters will know the name of the sheep who produced their wool. These skeins are from Lambert, Cupcake or Punch.

After ogling the beautiful produce, including these green and purple tomatillos and eggplants, you can get a bite to eat in The Shed’s Cafe Coffee and Fermentation Bar.

A salumi board offered in The Shed Cafe recently featured prosciutto, salumi and coppa.

A Shed cheese platter with bread, strawberries and Marcona almonds.

This pizza with fontina, jalapeños and roasted figs was fantastic.


Oxbow Public Market photo
Oxbow Public Market houses 22 vendors offering artisan edibles.

Oxbow Public Market
610 and 644 First St., Napa. Call (707) 226-6529.

Part of the market includes the rehabilitation of a 1930s tire store and garage, remodeled to accommodate 22 independent merchants within a 40,000 square-foot indoor marketplace featuring local and regional artisan edibles.

Products offered include local organic produce, artisan cheese, spices, chocolate, olive oil, baked goods and desserts, wine and spirits, and housewares.

If you get hungry following a drive from San Francisco or surrounding areas, restaurants on site include Kitchen Door, Hog Island Oyster Bar, Three Twins Ice Cream, Gott’s Roadside, Ca’ Momi enoteca, and The Fatted Calf.

Open 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Note, some vendors may open between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Visit the website for specifics.

Some of the cheese selections at Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant.

Shrubs, drinking vinegars infused with fruit juice, are big throughout the region. These are from Napastäk.

A selection of spices from Whole Spice.

Bitters for sampling at the Napa Valley Distllery Tasting Salon within Oxbow Public Market.

Above and below, beef any way you want it.

Manila clam steamers and crispy anchovies from Hog Island Oyster Co., and below, the namesake shellfish on a platter.

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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