Miminashi Opens Today in Downtown Napa
Photography by Robert McClenahan
Miminashi, Napa Valley’s first and only “Izakaya-style” (Japanese pub) restaurant will open today at 821 Coombs St., between 2nd and 3rd Streets in downtown Napa.
Created by chef/owner and 4th generation Napan Curtis Di Fede, Miminashi will offer dishes such as rock cod karage (deep-fried) with chili-garlic crème frâiche and Tokyo negi, binchotan grilled porterhouse with uni-shiso butter and whole chicken with daikon, cayenne and dashi, yakitori skewers, and noodles, rice and ramen bowls, including its specialty “Miminashi Ramen,” house-made “little ear” udon noodles.
Miminashi will also offer Japanese soft cream (ice cream) in traditional flavors, along with Sightglass Coffee. House-brewed and regional craft beers, a local, regional and international wine list, and premium classic cocktails will complement the menu.
Miminashi will employ the same winning strategy that saw Di Fede’s previous restaurant, Oenotri, recognized as one of the best new restaurants in America by Food & Wine Magazine: a focus on careful sourcing of high quality sustainable ingredients, dedication to handcrafting traditional foods, and warm and welcoming guest service.
Di Fede is a graduate of both the London and Paris campuses of the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. With a cumulative fifteen years of experience in the Bay Area,including stints at Terra Napa Valley and Oliveto in Oakland, Chef Di Fede has developed close personal relationships with many of the region’s best farmers, fishermen, foragers, ranchers, and vintners whose products will be at the center of, and inspiration for, Miminashi’s menu.
Curtis brings a top team to Miminashi, including General Manager Octavio Barrera, whom he worked with at Oenotri, Wine Director Jessica Pinzon, formerly of the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group and Andrew Salazar who oversees the cocktail program.
The design of the restaurant is a close collaboration between owner Di Fede and designer Michael McDermott. The unique hand-carved “Mt. Fuji” entrance and door along with the simple neon kanji sign give way to the highly styled interior. The design makes use of natural and reclaimed woods typically found in the traditional Japanese izakaya. The 22’-long arrow-shaped bar anchors the center of the restaurant below two peaked ceilings representing Buddhist and Shinto temples. All bar and table tops are beveled five-inch thick solid wood slabs with hand wrought steel bases. The open binchotan grill provides background to the omakase counter seating while highly stylized booths emphasize privacy along one wall.
Miminashi will initially be open daily for dinner, Sunday – Thursday from 5 to 11pm, and Friday and Saturday from 5pm to midnight. Daily lunch service, plus a convenient take out window offering Japanese soft cream and Sightglass Coffee, will begin in June.Miminashi is located at 821 Coombs Street, Napa, CA 94558, 707.254.9464. For more information, please visit miminashi.com.