This week's news of chef Curtis Di Fede's (Oenotri) upcoming Napa izakaya, Miminashi, is certainly music to the ears of wine country denizens in search of Asian flavors. However, the restaurant is also bringing a new sweet treats destination with it, in the form of an adjacent "soft cream" window.
According to Di Fede, soft serve ice cream (which is known as "soft cream" in Japan) is a traditional dessert at many izakayas. Naturally he wanted to include it in his menu, but decided to take it a step further by opening a dedicated ice cream window attached to the restaurant.
"I feel like desserts in casual places are overlooked," said Di Fede. "So, I wanted to take a different approach to it. And, Napa needs more ice cream options." Flavors like persimmon leaf, rice and baby coconut are on the horizon, with the possibility of a quick dip in white chocolate or miso and served in a waffle or sugar cone. The miniature 150-square-foot space will serve ice cream all day, and offer coffee in the mornings (partially as a sympathetic gesture to the poor souls lining up for jury duty at the courthouse across the street).
The soft serve window will open alongside the restaurant, which is expected to open in late 2015. Right now the final permits are being secured, after which will come a full build out. Napa artist Michael McDermott and L.A.-based artist Eddy Sykes will help to transform the former pool hall and hair salon into a casual, izakaya setting alongside architect Juan Carlos Fernandez. Stay tuned for more updates on the menu and space.