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Oventi Releases Microbrews, Adds Full Bar and Wine

The former Marie Callender's in north Napa is a very different place now, with microbrewed beers and a full bar augmenting the Mediterranean-inspired menu. And wine lovers: There's no corkage fee to bring your own to the table.

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.

Related reporting:

  • 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

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Scott Yeager January 28, 2013 at 02:28 PM
Word travels fast everywhere now. The internet has changed all that. This site is a perfect example.
Anita D'Groin January 28, 2013 at 06:58 PM
Unfiltered Steve, Now that's REALLY funny - but then I'm easily amused. I didn't consider the possible connection between the anonymous "Steve S." and you until after I had made my previous post.
MICHAEL P WILSON "Independent Kid" January 29, 2013 at 04:34 AM
Wow Yelp has no love for this place.
Abby Lane January 29, 2013 at 07:53 PM
I agree that it's definitely over-priced for the food that is served. I can't imagine them charging for a basket of bread! Who does that?? They do seem to have a lot of balls in the air; a micro-brewery, bakery AND "fancy" restaurant complete with bar. They should focus on fixing their current issues and then expanding to include other aspects, if that's what they want to do.
DJ Lipton Weide January 30, 2013 at 12:45 AM
We did enjoy our meal there, and I think we were there in December. It did not seem overpriced to us, and everything was tasty AND the service was just fine - attentive and not too long a wait. I hope we enjoy it as much the next time. I do think it's not quite up to the standards of some of the more expensive restaurants, but it's fine for what it is - a decent neighborhood place.

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