Rocabella: Rock Me On! Mediterranean food with Italian undertones

Recently stopped in on Rocabella, a fairly new Mediterranean restaurant at 1st and Main Streets, a 10 minute casual walk from The Inn On First, a romantic Bed and Breakfast Inn in Napa.  With all dishes under $14 we decided to invite some friends to dinner and enjoy the experience with them and to order as much as we could together.

The food: we loved it.  We started with housemade pita and tahini, this luscious yogurt mixture with olive oil.  It was difficult to stop eating it.  It was addictive.  We followed this up with a tomato and melon salad with feta.  The combination of flavors was perfect.

For the main courses: Lamb tenderloin in a brandy sauce.  Chicken marsala that was just delicious.  Pork loin perfectly sautéed and browned with a beautiful wine sauce.  Grilled octopus that was so tender you could cut it with your bread knife.  The grilled bread, lightly salted, and very warm, that they brought to table was the perfect accompaniment to dipping into all the sauce on your plate.  Yes we licked them all clean!  We also ordered the spinach with our meal, lightly sautéed, barely cooked, still tender, and perfectly seasoned.

Chef Bledi entertained us with stories of his food, a bit of his history, and how he loves to ensure his guests enjoy the experience.  I wasn’t sure if he did this because we were in hospitality, but we saw him greet guests at all the tables over the course of our three hour meal.

The dining room is so comfortable, with lovely padded chairs, candlelight, and white drapery all around.  It is understated in many ways, yet carries a hint of the elegance that Chef Bledi brings to the food.  We all thought this was a great value meal for Napa, considering some of the higher priced restaurants in the area.  Fun flavor, food to be shared, with an intimate and romantic interior.

Wine selection is limited but the pairing he suggested was just perfect.  This is a fun and  interesting restaurant to visit, and is a lovely place to enjoy great Mediterranean cuisine.