C Casa Es Su Casa

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cbistro.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

At last, at long last, C Casa has opened in the Oxbow Public Market in the place formerly occupied by Rotisario.  The rotisserie remains, but the space is otherwise transformed into a warm, contemporary tapas bar feel, with absolutely killer patio seating.  Dark wood, silver hardware, sleek leather seating, and well-placed accent mirrors create an inviting lounge space looking east toward the Copia building and the hills of Alta Heights.  Finally, someone putting the Oxbow's shaded terraces to good use!

Local foodie entrepreneur Catherine Bergen, who founded Made In Napa Valley®, collaborated with chef brothers Pablo and Erasto Jacinto on the delightfully original menu, which features fresh and healthy wine country twists on authentically flavored Mexican small plates.  Picture the glorious rabbit tostada from Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen in soft taco and salad form...except different.  

clambtaco.jpgThe stupidly delicious lamb taco features slices of marinated, spiced lamb grilled to a perfect medium rare, topped with goat cheese, fresh mint, slivers of jalapeno, avocado-tomatillo salsa, and micro greens.  The buffalo taco involves ground seasoned buffalo topped with black beans, avocado, greens, goat cheese, and chipotle aioli.  If red meat's not your thing, try the grilled mahi mahi, the garlic citrus shrimp, or the vegetarian white bean versions.  These tacos are a serious business, each made to order, generously loaded with the goods, and needing only a little side dish or salad to make a superbly satisfying meal.  

Your seasonal side dish options abound, but currently include: mixed field greens with oranges, avocado, and blue cheese, lightly dressed in an  orange-cumin vinaigrette; black beans spiked with chorizo and goat cheese; corn edamame salad with zucchini, red bell peppers, Meyer lemon olive oil, and cotija cheese; grilled shrimp cocktail with spicy tomato cucumber relish and avocado; roasted fingerling potatoes with jalapenos and cippolini onions; broccoli cabbage slaw with carrots, apples, green onions, and a serrano chile-lime vinaigrette (Catherine's favorite); and the refreshing "tres frutas"--fat spears of jicama, ripe mango, and cucumber seasoned with chile arbol, sea salt, and lime juice.

The C Casa Chicken dishes harness the magic of the legacy rotisserie, which roasts the chile-rubbed chicken to a perfect, luscious, juicy, can't-stop-eating-it state that will haunt you until you return for more.  Take the whole bird, or a half, or torture yourself with a few teasing pieces in a C Casa Chicken taco.  

cbeer.jpgThere are few things more satisfying on a summer day than sitting outside with a cold beer, eating freshly prepared street food, and not needing to worry about what's in there.  I will be moving in to the outdoor lounge this summer.

C Casa: An Innovative Taqueria
644 1st Street (in the Oxbow Building), Napa, 707.226.7700

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