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So far Phoebe Plank has created 51 blog entries.

Keeping us safe–Oliveto’s Comprehensive Sanitizing Procedures

Keeping Us Safe – Oliveto’s Sanitizing Procedures

When we took on the responsibility of restaurant ownership, it was to offer our neighbors and community a place of respite, with exceptional traditional food, a lovely environment, and a space  conducive to laughter, good conversation, and a sense of convivial well-being. More than that, however, we took on the commitment to do the best, most conscientious job we could, to be transparent, and to hold the welfare of customers and staff uppermost.  The Covid-19 virus crisis presents by far the greatest challenge we’ve ever come against, and we are dealing with it head on.

Last week we implemented the CDC Guidelines at Oliveto, focusing first on staff monitoring, not letting anyone at risk to come to work.

This week we’re doing much more:
We’ve implemented a comprehensive sanitizing program in all public areas:
Handrails, backs of chairs, door handles and door push-plates, counters and table tops, bathroom surfaces and handles—all are on a frequent wipe-down schedule.
Menus will be used once only.  Pens, wine lists, check presenters will be sanitized regularly.

Personal distance:  By removing some tables, we’ve created a one meter space between tables.  In appropriate weather, our doors and windows will be open.

And, of utmost importance, we will make available hand sanitizer at the host stand and various places around the dining room for convenient, frequent use by staff and customers.  We encourage customers to use them whenever they want to.  We researched the hand-cleaning solutions that contain the percentage of alcohol necessary for Covid-19 virus kill.  Bear with us on this.  Those products are on order (we’ve gone to numerous stores and outlets, and have had difficulty obtaining them as they are on high demand).  Until they arrive, we are using an effective, well-vetted vodka/aloe gel mixture.

In the next week, we’ll be implementing new pick-up and delivery service, with menu items appropriate for informal, family meals at home.  The dishes are soulful and comforting.  They’ll be added to the Cafe fare available now by going to the App store and downloading the Oliveto app.  You’ll find a menu for pick-up after 5:30.  Soon, we’ll offer delivery, and earlier pick-up and delivery times.

These are difficult times for us all.  We must do the best we can, and take care of one another—our friends and families, our communities of farmers, fishermen, staffs–and our culture.

                                                                              —Bob and Maggie Klein

 

Oliveto Named #11 in 50 Best Italian Restaurants in the United States

50 Best Italian Restaurants in the United States

The Daily Meal released its Best Italian Restaurants in America list.

In our 33 years, we’ve had more than our fair share of accolades.  But in recent years, the press has become highly fragmented, struggling to find an audience and we don’t see these things as often.  We just put our heads down and try to do a good job.  But this piece is particularly satisfying to us–there are alot of very good restaurants on it.  That we’re placed so high, after 33 years, makes us smile.

#11 Oliveto (Oakland, California)

“At Oliveto, chef Brian Griffith’s menu is vibrant and soulful. The menu changes daily and always features unexpected local fare like linguine with Dungeness crab, tomato, pickled avocado and preserved Meyer lemon. At Oliveto you’ll try dishes and flavor combinations that you’ve never experienced before that are at once familiar and completely unusual, and you’ll be very glad that you did.”

“““““

#50 Broders’ Pasta Bar (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

#49 Al di Là (Brooklyn, New York)

#48 Carbone (New York, New York)

#47 Apizza Scholls (Portland, Oregon)

#46 Trattoria Lucca (Charleston, South Carolina)

#45 Giovanni’s (Detroit, Michigan)

#44 Patsy’s Pizzeria (New York City, New York)

#43 Motorino (New York City, New York)

#42 Trattoria Marcella (St. Louis, Missouri)

#41 Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen (Memphis, Tennessee)

#40 Flour + Water (San Francisco, California)

#39 Fiola (Washington, D.C.)

#38 Totonno’s (Brooklyn, New York)

#37 Osteria (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

#36 Il Posto (Denver, Colorado)

#35 Di Fara (Brooklyn, New York)

#34 Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix, Arizona)

#33 Nico Osteria (Chicago, Illinois)

#32 Cafe Juanita (Kirkland, Washington)

#31 Delfina (San Francisco, California)

#30 Roberta’s (Brooklyn, New York)

#29 Al Forno (Providence, Rhode Island)

#28 Vincenti Ristorante (Los Angeles, California)

#27 Monteverde (Chicago)

#26 Bistro don Giovanni (Napa, California)

#25 ll Buco Alimentari & Vineria (New York, New York)

#24 City House (Nashville, Tennessee)

#23 Valter’s Osteria (Salt Lake City, Utah)

#22 Vincenzo’s (Louisville, Kentucky)

#21 Razza (Jersey City, New Jersey)

#20 Macchialina (Miami Beach, Florida)

#19 Sally’s Apizza (New Haven, Connecticut)

#18 Bottega (Birmingham, Alabama)

#17 Arancino di Mare (Honolulu, Hawaii)

#16 Marea (New York, New York)

#15 Domenica (New Orleans, Louisiana)

#14 Costa di Mare (Las Vegas, Nevada)

#13 Cotogna (San Francisco, California)

#12 Frank Pepe (New Haven, Connecticut)

#11 Oliveto (Oakland, California)

#10 Ristorante Bartolotta (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin)

#9 Chi Spacca (Los Angeles, California)

#8 Scampo (Boston, Massachusetts)

#7 Frasca Food & Wine (Boulder, Colorado)

#6 Osteria Mozza (Los Angeles, California)

#5 Del Posto (New York, New York)

#4 Bestia (Los Angeles, California)

#3 Spiaggia (Chicago, Illinois)

#2 Vetri Cucina (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

#1 Quince (San Francisco, California)

Reserve online now, or call 510-547-5356

Methodology
To assemble this ranking, we looked at our lists of the 101 best restaurants in America as well as the 101 best casual restaurants in America, which we release early every year. To build those rankings we recruited a panel of judges that included some of the country’s top food writers, critics and bloggers to take a survey and vote for the best of the best restaurants from across the country. The final rankings included a significant number of Italian restaurants, and this ranking took those restaurants into account as well as ones included in recent roundups of the best Italian restaurant in every state, the best pasta dish in every state and the best pizza in every state.
All of these restaurants fit a certain criteria: impeccable, un-snooty service; high-quality food sourced from the finest purveyors; creative-yet-classic preparation and craftsmanship; and an overall experience that leaves you happy and content in the fact that you just ate a world-class meal.

Love is in the Air: Valentine’s Day Menu 2020

Valentine’s Day Menu 2020

Stuzzichino:  Yellowfoot mushroom beignets

**

Antipasti

Endive salad with watercress vinaigrette, Gorgonzola cheese, Gala apple,

and fried shallots

~or~

Oysters with prosciutto, spinach, and hollandaise sauce

**

Pastas

Cappelletti of caramelized pear and sunchoke with Caprino cheese fonduta

~or~

Burrata ravioli with Dungeness crab

**

Entrees

Bigeye tuna with Borlotti beans, California sweet rice, avocado-lime

vinaigrette , and romesco sauce

~or~

Pork tenderloin with persimmon-lime crema, roasted sweet potato,

and harissa verde

**

Dolci—tba

~

~ 85 per person ~

A  20% pre-tax service charge will be added 

Oliveto New Year’s Eve 2019 Menu

New Year’s Eve 2019

We’re hopeful — and we’re certainly going to celebrate.

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Chef Brian’s New Year’s Eve Menu

Gnocco fritto with lonza and truffle vinaigrette

Stuzzichino (choose one)
Oyster with beet and horseradish crema
~or~
Asian pear with fennel and lime

Antipasto (choose one)
Water buffalo tartara with pickled celery root, Satsuma mandarin-nettle oli, and cracker
~or~
Crab salad with endive, citruses, Caprino cheese, grapefruit vinaigrette, and squid ink brioche

Primo (choose one)
Lobster risotto with Chanterelle mushrooms, sweet potato, and black truffle
~or~
Paprika vodka gnocchi with egg mimosa, Ossetra caviar, and horseradish broth
~or~
Chestnut rigatoni with Black Trumpet mushrooms, orange, pickled red onion, and Pecorino cheese

Secondo (choose one)
Seared scallops with California sweet rice, crab broth, grapefruit crisp and juice, sorrel, and celery salsa

Dolce
To be announced

~$135 per person ~ Wine pairing: $76 per person~
A service charge of 20% will be added ~ $25 corkage

Reserve online now, or call 510-547-5356

 

Truffle Dinner Menu – November 19th through the 23rd!

Our Annual Truffle Dinners dates are set — reserve now for November 19th through the 23rd! 

Truffle Dinner Menu 

DINNER FOR TRUFFLES (white and black) & Autumn Mushrooms 2019

Italian white truffles shaved and slathered tableside. 

Antipasti and salads

Crudo of scallops with artichoke and Black Trumpet mushroom caponata, truffle vinaigrette, and crispy artichoke

Soup: vellutata of celery with lemon, sorrel, and fried capers

Crab salad with cauliflower, walnuts, and brown butter-strawberry jus

Tartara of Magruder beef with lardo and Maggie’s salted plums

Uni with sunflower seed porridge, pancetta, and fried shallots

Mushroom crudo with Brussels sprouts, bagna cauda, Parmesan cheese, and cured yolk

Celery root crocchette with Black Trumpet mushroom crema and Robiola cheese fonduta

Salad of mortadella with Mission figs, pomegranate, mâche, and truffle vinaigrette

Garden lettuces vinaigrette 

 

Primi 
Tajarin al burro 

Chestnut conchiglie with prosciutto, Castelmagno cheese, and candied walnuts 

Cannelloni of King Trumpet mushrooms and cauliflower with braised cabbage crema 

Cappellacci with Dungeness crab, pickled avocado, grapefruit, and mint 

Agnolotti dal plin with escarole

Pici with chicken liver ragu and Squaquerone cheese fonduta 

Magruder ribeye with Madeira sugo, smashed potatoes, Swiss chard, and fried salsify

Braised pork with whole wheat crespelle, black garlic, celery heart, and prosciutto sauce

Scallops with rutabaga, potatoes, truffled merguez Hollandaise sauce, and Hedgehog mushrooms

Chicken with chestnuts, pancetta, Brussels sprouts, and sauce soubise

Cauliflower sformatino with Black Trumpet mushrooms, lemon, and Ossetra caviar 

Menu is a la carte 

Reserve online now, or call 510-547-5356

 

 


					

It’s been 32 Years

It’s been 32 YearsStill committed to:

HONEST INGREDIENTS • COOKING with SKILL and DEDICATION • FRESH THINKING.

Come by on Sunday December 16th, say hello and have a toast with us for Oliveto’s Anniversary.

Bob & Maggie

New Year’s Eve 2018

You’ll find one of Chef Jonah’s brilliant prix fixe menus, this year will include:

– Chanterelle mushroom soup with Perigord black truffles
– Pancetta wrapped venison loin
– a crab salad

Early seating 5:00-6:30 — $90
Later seating 7:45 to 9:15 — $135

Full menu next week.

Consider giving an Oliveto Gift Certificate – they make wonderful gifts.

Maggie during Oliveto’s construction

RESERVE NOW

Online or Call 510.547.5356

2018-12-05T17:11:12-08:00December 5th, 2018|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Buffalo is Outstanding — More through the weekend

The Buffalo is Outstanding

More through the weekend

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Maggie and I joined Mac Magruder, his daughter Grace and son-in-law Kyle for the buffalo dinner last night. It was also Mac’s first taste of the buffalo, as he’s just started raising them hoping to sell to restaurants. We were all very pleased. We had:
The buffalo crudo alongside Mac’s beef crudo: both delicious,
buffalo is milder and sweeter.

The pasta—Malloreddus with whey-braised Magruder
bison short ribs: Also great.

and the true test…

Bone-in Magruder bison rib chop with Chanterelle mushrooms, D’Anjou pear, sunchoke crema, and saba: By all accounts (every diner in the restaurant) the rib chops were sweet, tender, delicious and perfectly grilled.

Conversation was also first rate, though Mac has plenty to worry about.

They were afraid that they could loose the whole herd to pneumonia due to the Paradise fire smoke. Cattle and particularly sheep are susceptible.

And then for major long term angst, we learned about the Potter Valley Water Project. A portion of the Eel River is diverted to headwaters of the Russian River in Potter Valley via a scheme known as the Potter Valley Project. The Sonoma County Water Agency draws drinking water from the Russian River for sale to several hundred thousand residents of Sonoma, Mendocino, and northern Marin counties. Santa Rosa’s Laguna Wastewater Treatment Plant treats sewage from several communities to tertiary standards and returns some of it to the river by way of the Laguna de Santa Rosa. This entire water system is up for sale—a deal that could not only devastate Mac’s Potter Valley, but also impact Mendocino, Sonoma and Northern Marin Counties. It’s a very big problem.  https://www.pottervalleywater.org

Despite impending calamities, we had a great night.  

A few of these chops left tonight. We’ll then be moving into New York steak cuts of the Buffalo.

Mac Magruder demonstrates proper technique

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2018-11-29T17:28:00-08:00November 29th, 2018|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Magruder Ranch Buffalo

Magruder Ranch Buffalo

On the menu this Wednesday 11/28 through the weekend

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We won’t know the specific cut of meat available until each night.

This Wednesday and through the weekend, we’ll have Mac Magruder’s Buffalo on the menu. Mac has a few of these animals, and is experimenting to see whether people like them, and if they will work out for restaurants. Reports are that the meat is a bit sweeter than beef, and healthier. We’ll have several items on the menu to judge it with:

Crudo of buffalo top round with parsnip, black garlic and juniper

Pappardelle with whey braised short rib and and ricotta salata cheese

Wood fire grilled cut of buffalo

Mac and family will join us for dinner on Wednesday, so come by and say hello.

RESERVE NOW

Online or Call 510.547.5356

2018-11-27T17:13:39-08:00November 27th, 2018|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Tales from the Truffle Trade – Chapter 4

Tales from the Truffle Trade – Chapter 4

Dinners NEXT WEEK November 13 to 17, 2018

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Back in 2010 we had an exceptional year—big beautiful truffles in abundance, and at a good price. On the Sunday before our dinners, I was still near Sienna, happy with the haul I’d be taking home tomorrow. Then I got a call from Denise Sacchini, Giorgio’s daughter, saying that there was one more truffle I needed to buy. It was a huge 604 gram truffle. I’d seen giant truffles on display at truffle fairs, but never anything this size. It’s the size that a Hong Kong restaurant owner would buy for tens of thousands of dollars to get his picture in the paper. I declined, respectfully. Denise persisted. I thought I had all I needed, and it didn’t have that kind of value to Oliveto, though it was offered at a very reasonable price. I called Maggie, and she thought I was nuts to pass on it, so I agreed. When it came in from the field, it was beautiful, though not particularly fragrant.

Here it is, our 604 gram truffle. Found in the south of Tuscany, near Chiusi, with Denise Sacchini.

Our truffle had been missed by two hunters earlier that day, but was found deep underground by a young dog named Jeny. To my great honor, Jeny was the daughter of a truffle dog named Bob, and Bob was named after me 12 years earlier. He is the 6 week old puppy in my pocket in this video of Giorgio. And while Bob was lazy and proved disappointing as a truffle dog he had good genes. His mother, Jeny Sr., also in the video, was a prize winner. It took over an hour for the truffle hunter to dig this truffle out. Giorgio and his family had become very good friends of ours, and they thought I should have this truffle.

I could have driven to Alba, sold the truffle and made enough to buy a car, but Sunday night I drove to my regular pre-flight hotel in Milan. I became well known there for all the smells. In a marble bathroom, I’d clean the truffles all night, 12 pounds, so they’d pass Agricultural inspection at SFO when I arrived on Monday. By Tuesday night, our 604 gram truffle had bloomed with an extraordinary fragrance. It took an exceptional dog to find this adolescent so deep in the ground.

We want Truffle Dinners at Oliveto to be fun. Truffle Dinners aren’t exactly fun at $25 per gram in a stuffy dining room. We find that at $7-$8 per gram you can still have some fun. Once we have our truffles in hand on Monday we’ll put out the final menu and report on their condition and price.

In case you missed them: Truffle Tales #1Truffle Tales #2Truffle Tales #3, & the preliminary Truffle Menu

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2018-11-09T17:11:46-08:00November 9th, 2018|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

This Just In: Truffle Menu 2018

Announcing: The Truffle Dinners Menu

November 13 to 17, 2018

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Tentatively – possibly – maybe – our truffles will be inexpensive, in the $7-8 per gram range. White truffles are shaved fresh by request and would be delicious on most of the dishes below. Also available is the ultimate experience of white truffles mortared in new olive oil and slathered on meat. Black truffles and wild mushrooms are integrated into the menu, as they are best served cooked.

Chef Jonah with white truffles from an earlier year

Dinners For Truffles & Wild Mushrooms 2018

Antipasti:  smaller items, soup, salads
Cold
Parfait of Hudson Valley duck liver, pistachios, black truffles, and huckleberries
Crudo of Magruder beef with capers
Salad of shaved Brussels sprouts with bagna cauda, lemon, and Grana
Padano cheese
Garden lettuces vinaigretteWarm
Sformatino of Chanterelle mushrooms with ricotta salata fonduta
Braised leek and Pecorino cheese tart with persimmon-truffle vinaigrette
Croque monsieur” of house-cured culatello and Fontina Val d’Aosta cheese with frisée
and egg yolk
Soup:  vellutata of sunchoke, chestnut, and apple with Calvados-black truffle crema

Primi
Tajarin al burro
Raviolo of house-made ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and farm egg yolk with brown
butter, sage, and old aceto balsamico
Tortelloni of Caseificio Tosi Gorgonzola cheese with Pink Lady apples and spiced
hazelnuts
Agnolotti dal plin
Potato gnocchi with wild mushroom ragù
Maltagliata with chicken liver and Madeira ragù

Secondi:  grills, sautés, roasts, and rotisserie
Spit-roasted porchetta stuffed with figs and wild mushrooms, with Floriani red flint
corn polenta and braised radicchio
Charcoal-grilled Magruder beef with braised Savoy cabbage, wheat berries,
and Gorgonzola crema
Liberty Farms duck breast with black Futsu squash, chestnuts, pomegranate, and
Brussels sprouts; old aceto balsamico
Pan-roasted black cod with Black Trumpet mushrooms, Lacinato kale, and celeriac
 crema; truffle salsa
Roast Black Futsu squash with wild mushroom and root vegetable medley, fonduta 
    Val d’Aostana, and cured egg yolk

Menu is à la carte – pricing is comparable to our daily menu

RESERVE NOW

Online or Call 510.547.5356

2018-11-06T16:22:21-08:00November 5th, 2018|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments