Diners who panned the service at Oventi Restaurant & Bakery when it first opened last October may want to consider giving the place a second chance: Owner Cyrus Mousavi says his early personnel problems are a thing of the past, with a stable and competent group of employees now working all parts of the house.
Oventi now also has a full liquor license, wine and beer — including its own pilsener and lager, which have been readying for months in two tanks at the front of the bakery.
Mousavi said the beers would be released to customers this weekend, but only after he approves the flavors.
"I'm picky. I have to taste everything myself," Mousavi said.
Wine lovers dining at Oventi can bring their own bottles without a corkage fee.
In the dining room, decor-induced echos of Marie Callender's — longtime former occupant of the building before it closed abruptly in 2011 — fade with a glance at the Oventi menu.
In the kitchen, founding chef Jose Paulo Sousa Carvalho is turning out savory Mediterranean dishes like paella and moussaka, along with international specialties including lamb korma and osso bucco — but that's just part of the extensive Oventi menu, which Mousavi says is all made without prepared formulas.
Lunch specials offer a panorama of sandwiches, desserts are Euro-American (tiramisu, créme brulée, cheesecake) and breakfast, which Mousavi first envisioned as a daily affair, has been reined back to Saturdays, with a Sunday brunch buffet ($13.95).
Among other breads and pastries, the bakery produces an airy, fresh focaccia and a Portuguese custard tart.
Expect more changes at Oventi as Mousavi continues to develop what he plans to become the first of a chain of 10 restaurants in California; he has previously opened four eateries in Spain, he said.
Located at 1990 Trower Ave., adjacent to the Napa Winery Inn, Oventi is open daily. Call (707)637-4468 for hours.
Editor's note: Mousavi and manager Sam Neine invited Napa Valley Patch to sample the food and service with them on a recent Friday evening. We offered to pay, but they insisted we were guests of the house. Our attentive waitress was Nicole. We made sure to tip her even though no bill was presented.
Paying customers may have differing experiences. We'd like to know about yours: Please tell us in the comments section.
- Marie Callender's Closes Doors in Napa
- Napa Diners Lament Restaurant Closure
- New Restaurant-Bakery Planned for Former Marie Callender's in North Napa
- Pies to Return at North Napa Bakery-Restaurant
- Oventi Restaurant Opens in Napa
Stay Patched in! Follow Napa Valley Patch on Twitter | Like Napa Valley Patch on Facebook | Sign up for the daily email with links to the latest news | Got something to say? Start a blog and share your views.