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So far Bob Klein has created 171 blog entries.

Here’s to a joyous new year

wet paint 550

December 26 marks the end of Oliveto’s 28th year. The past few months have been a period of renewal and change, and they’ve been some of the most exciting for us here on College Avenue.

Oliveto is tremendously satisfying to Maggie and me and gives our lives great richness. We cherish the relationships we’ve formed with our staff, customers, and the farmers and purveyors we work with. We’re deeply grateful to all and send our best wishes for a joyous new year.

We’re Having A Party! And you’re not quite invited.

The official Oliveto Staff “whew!-the holidays-are-over” Party will take place on Monday, January 6th at 6pm at Oliveto Restaurant.

We thought it would be fun to ask if any of our customers (who might have a special attachment to the Oliveto family) would be game to switch roles with the staff and do some of the cooking, serving, and clean up. Sound fun?  It does?  Then read on.

We’ll have areas in which to prep and cook, and tasks like setting up, serving, and clearing. The work crew will have their own little “downstairs” happening.


Hopefully there will be a lot of you responding to this bizarre invitation, willing to sign up for certain tasks for two to three hour shifts (longer if you’re a workaholic). Scheduled work hours will likely be from 10 AM until 11 PM or so. The work will be almost entirely staffed by brave volunteers, Maggie, a guest chef honcho, and by a few non-Oliveto professionals.

If this is for you, please email me: Bob

[at]oliveto[dot]com.  Let me know the kind of tasks you’re up for, and the time of day you have for us.

How wacky is this idea? We’ll see.

2017-09-12T15:47:29-07:00December 27th, 2013|2013, Events, Happened already..., Olivetians|0 Comments

A Mighty Catch for This Week’s Oceanic Dinners: Updated Menu

Chefs Jonah and Luciano with a 52 pound sea bass

Chefs Jonah and Luciano with a 52 pound sea bass

Oliveto’s 12th Annual Oceanic Dinners
July 9 – 12, 2013
call 510-547-5356 or reserve online
We have an updated menu (including desserts) – view it here.
A few highlights:

Halibut cheeks: The treasured part of the fish, sweet, firm, delicious. Sweetened by corn and peppers, balanced by squash blossom-lemon verbena spumante.

Trout: Salted, three-times-smoked over fig wood; the cream picks up the smoke, making for a subtle, flavorful dish.

Cioppino: A San Francisco creation, perfected.  Rich broth with fish seared at order.

Octopus: Mediterranean, perfect 2.5 pound size, braised. Luciano’s preparation.
By the way, we have never had an Oceanic Dinner coincide with such an extraordinary Farmer’s Market.  You’ll find exquisite summer produce all over this menu.
call 510-547-5356 or reserve online
2017-09-12T15:47:40-07:00July 8th, 2013|2013, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Sunday Farmhouse Supper Menu for July 7, 2013


Sunday Farmhouse Supper
July 7, 2013

insalata alla greca: cucumber, tomato, red onion, cracked olives, oregano, white wine vinaigrette
pasta alla Norma: rigatoni with fried eggplant, fresh tomato, garlic, and olive oil
braised rabbit thighs with pancetta, Castelvetrano olives, and capers
fruit cobbler with whipped cream
Prix fixe $40.

Served family-style. For groups of one to twelve. Whole table must order prix fixe menu

A modest and appropriate regional wine will be available as perfect accompaniment to the meal.

(Please note that wine and gratuity are not included.)

call 510-547-5356 or reserve online

Larger parties: please let us know at the time of your reservation if your table will be ordering the Sunday Supper menu so that we can plan accordingly. Thanks!

2017-09-12T15:47:40-07:00July 3rd, 2013|2013, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

12th Annual Oceanic Dinners: The Menu

Oliveto’s 12th Annual
Oceanic Dinners Menu
July 9 – 12, 2013

mideiaval fishmonster

call 510-547-5356 or reserve online

**Updated July 10, 2013**

Having received a nearly finalized list of available fish from Monterey Fish Market’s* Tom Worthington, Chef Jonah has created a menu for our 12th Annual Oceanic Dinners. Basing each dish on the flavor and texture profiles of each sea creature, then adding only the most complementary components and sets, Chef Jonah’s menu will focus and distill the character of each fish or shellfish and better enable the diner to experience its essence.

Chef Jonah begins each dish with the fish or shellfish itself, then lists its accompaniments and cooking method. The menu is almost complete. There will be another e-mail to fill in the blanks and add one or two more fish as Tom gets word of availability.

Pastry Chef Kam Golightly will offer special summer desserts, with one or two playful dessert nods to our oceans. A carefully selected list of wines will provide perfect pairing for each dish. We hope you join us for this most exciting event.

all dishes priced à la carte

**Updated July 10, 2013**

Local king salmon/Banana Fingerling potato/crème fraîche/egg/caviar
Local halibut/lemon verbena/squash blossoms/zucchini
Yellowtail jack/lovage/Armenian cucumber/Santa Rosa plum/pistachio
Local hook-and-line-caught albacore/caper leaves/summer savory/cherry tomato
Sea scallop/Brentwood corn/basil/Pimentón de la Vera
Frutti di mare: oysters/little neck clams/Dungeness crab/Georgia white shrimp/salmoriglio/mignonette

Small plates
Soft shell crab/fritto/haricots verts/lemon/aïoli
Swordfish/house-smoked conserva/aïoli/crostini
Sea scallops/pan-roasted/romesco/zucchini fritti/huitlacoche sauce
Octopus/charcoal-grilled/fregola/eggplant/Senise pepper
Rouget/broiled/bone marrow/fines herbes
American sturgeon caviar/consommé/seaweed/shellfish
Garden lettuces vinaigrette

Santa Barbara sea urchin/pancetta/onion/black pepper/Pecorino cheese/SPAGHETTI
Local anchovies/tomato/hot pepper/oregano/CAVATELLI
Trout/house-smoked cream/haricots verts/preserved lemon/GNOCCHI
Dungeness crab/lemon/tarragon/white wine/TAJARIN
Prince Edward Island mussels/pine nuts/capers/oregano/hot pepper/CONCHILIE

Whole fish
Black sea bass (salt baked or fried — customer’s preference)
Maine lobster (butter-poached or charcoal grilled — customer’s preference)

Main courses
Halibut cheeks/corn/Lipstick peppers/zucchini/squash blossom spumante
Black cod/Japanese eggplant/Sweet 100 tomatoes/Yellow Romano beans/salmoriglio
Monkfish/scallop mousseline/pain de mie/sauce gribiche/haricots verts
White sea bass/Cranberry beans/summer squash/basil/tomato brodo
Cioppino: chilipepper rock cod/Georgia white shrimp/Dungeness crab/Prince Edward Island mussels/littleneck clams/Monterey Bay squid/tomato/hot pepper/aïoli/crostino

Contorni – vegetables of the day.


Black pearl sundae with caramelized white chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake, fudge glaze, and graham cracker
Albion strawberry tart with ricotta mousse and lemon verbena sorbetto
Butterscotch budino with vanilla shortbread, toffee pieces, pretzel pieces, and vanilla anglaise
Peach sorbetto
Chocolate-cherry biscotti

The à la carte menu’s pricing will be in line with our usual prices.

We suggest you look at Monterey Fish Market’s website, or visit the Lexicon of Sustainability, for more information on sustainable fish sources.

call 510-547-5356 or reserve online

2017-09-12T15:47:40-07:00July 1st, 2013|2013, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

This Sunday’s Farmhouse Supper: Bruschetta, Zucchini Risotto, Roast Pork Shoulder


Sunday Farmhouse Supper
June 30, 2013

Bruschetta – cannellini beans, green beans, tomato, red onion and herbs on grilled crostino

 Zucchini risotto

Roast pork shoulder with garlic, mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, and sautéed spinach
Blackberry and raspberry cobbler with whipped cream
Prix fixe $40.

Served family-style. For groups of one to twelve*. Whole table must order prix fixe menuA modest and appropriate regional wine will be available as perfect accompaniment to the meal.

call 510-547-5356 or reserve online

*Larger parties: please let us know at the time of your reservation that your table will be ordering the Sunday Supper menu so we can plan accordingly. Thanks!

2017-09-12T15:47:40-07:00June 26th, 2013|2013, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

This Just In: Magruder Lamb and Grass-Fed Beef


Due of Magruder lamb: spit-roasted loin and chop with coal-roasted eggplant purée, Serpentine cucumbers, and marinated cherry tomatoes

You’ll be hearing a lot about fish as we gear up for Oliveto’s 12th Annual Oceanic Dinners, but this season is not special only for the great surf — the turf is fabulous right now too, thanks to our friend Mac Magruder.

First, he’s supplied us with marvelous Suffolk cross-breed sheep again; these are big yearling animals with tender meat and great flavor. Tonight through the weekend, they’re on the menu as a due: spit-roasted loin, served alongside a good-sized pan-roasted chop (these were not small animals!), with coal-roasted eggplant purée.

Then we have Mac’s amazing grass-fed beef. Chef Jonah gets the entire animal delivered, dry-ages it in our meat locker, and cuts off sections as they reach their peak to ensure highest quality. Our current beef delivery has been dry-aged for three weeks — here’s what we’re expecting on the grill: flank tonight, tenderloin by Friday, and ribeye for the weekend.

Call (510) 547-5356 or reserve online

2017-09-12T15:47:41-07:00June 26th, 2013|2013, This Just In|0 Comments

Oliveto’s 12th Annual Oceanic Dinners

 Oliveto’s 12th Annual Oceanic Dinners
Tuesday, July 9, to Friday, July 12, 2013

call 510-547-5356 or reserve online

How do you make a special dinner … special?

Highlights of this year’s event will include a traditional raw bar and a bella vista in the dining room where guests may view and select whole fish to order, then specify their preferred method of preparation.

Our special dinners always begin with the source of the food we’re featuring. For the Oceanic Dinners, we’ve always depended on Tom Worthington of Monterey Fish Market: nonpareil fishmonger and ichthyologist, oceanographer, sustainable fisheries and catchment expert, and connection to hundreds of the world’s best fisherpersons. Through Tom, Chef Jonah Rhodehamel has access to the best, freshest, most interesting sustainably caught fish and shellfish there is around which to create his menu.

Having been at Oliveto for over two years now, and with the assistance of his well-evolved cooking staff, Chef Jonah has decided to take a more innovative path this year and create some exciting new dishes, basing each on the fish, rather than the other way around. (I.e., taking the flavor and texture profile of, say, a local sand dab, and deciding which cooking methods and set will best show its character instead of starting with a new barley bigoli, for example, an thinking about which fish would go well with it.) An example of that approach is a Chilled Caviar Consommé which will be on the menu. Further highlights will be coming to you in a few days, followed by the full menu when Jonah has his final availability list from Tom.

That menu will provide guests with an array of extraordinary seafood dishes in à la carte fashion, with cooked and raw appetizer options, pastas, a broad selection of courses from the grill, and seasonal dessert surprises from Oliveto’s imaginative Pastry Chef Kam Golightly. A list of exceptional wines will be offered for a perfect pairing with each dish.

 call 510-547-5356 or reserve online

2017-09-12T15:47:41-07:00June 25th, 2013|2013, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

This Just In: Tomato Season is Early; Tomato Pastas on the Menu

spaghettini with tomatoes

Spaghettini with Santa Barbara sea urchin, Full Belly Farm tomato, pancetta, and hot pepper

We’re surprised, to say the least. Tomatoes, already?

After two years of late seasons, what do we see? These beautiful spaghettini and paccheri pasta dishes, both featuring ripe tomatoes from Full Belly Farm. Just in time for the summer solstice.

It’s unusual to see tomatoes in June normally, but it’s even more startling to see tomatoes this good this early. It’s an exciting sign for us — the transition from a spring to summer menu has begun.

More updates to come as the season continues…and we work our way towards Tomato Dinners.

paccheripasta_with tomatoes
Paccheri with Full Belly Farm cherry tomatoes, eggplant, Calabrian chili, and smoked mozzarella

Call (510) 547-5356 or reserve online


Want to meet the woman behind the tomatoes and other amazing produce on the Oliveto menu?

Farmer Judith Redmond of Full Belly Farm will be here, with her husband and partner Andrew Brait, on Monday, June 24, for a special, intimate dinner in our Siena Room. A couple spots are still open: Join us and enjoy a prix fixe menu full of peak Full Belly produce, plus a chance for conversation with one of our great local farm institutions.

See the full menu, pricing, and more details here.

Call (510) 547-5356 for reservations. Please note there will be one seating at 6:30pm.


2017-09-12T15:47:41-07:00June 20th, 2013|Market Reports, Summer|0 Comments

This Sunday’s Farmhouse Supper: Lasagna alla Bolognese


Sunday Farmhouse Supper
June 23, 2013

Bruschetta: Roast red peppers, cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and basil on grilled crostino

 Passatelli: Parmesan and breadcrumb dumplings in a rich brodo

Lasagna alla bolognese
Albion strawberry tart with ricotta mousse and lemon verbena sorbetto

Prix fixe $40.
Served family-style. For groups of one to twelve*. Whole table must order prix fixe menuA modest and appropriate regional wine will be available as perfect accompaniment to the meal.

call 510-547-5356 or reserve online

*Larger parties: please let us know at the time of your reservation that your table will be ordering the Sunday Supper menu so we can plan accordingly. Thanks!

2017-09-12T15:47:41-07:00June 19th, 2013|2013, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments
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