Early-Season Tomatoes Are Getting Good


And just in the nick of time! With our Early-Season Tomato Dinners coming up next week, we were starting to get a bit nervous, but apparently the tomato fairy is looking out for us. In recent days we’ve seen some fine examples of early ripening varieties such as: Cherokee Purples, Pineapples, and San Marzanos from Brookside Farm in Brentwood; Lemon Boys, Green and Red Zebras, and Black Princes from Riverdog Farm in Guinda; and Early Girls and Green Zebras from Tairwa’-Knoll Farm also in Brentwood.

Chef Jonah is working on the menu & has already confirmed a few things:

Chilled brodetto of tomatoes with poached white shrimp, lemon verbena and Sun Gold tomatoes

Burrata cheese with Early Girl tomato marmellata, arugula, and grilled crostino

Sformatino of ricotta with marinated Julienne tomato and fino verde basil

Soup: vellutata of Principe Borghese tomatoes with Cabot cheddar panino

Toasted Durum wheat papardelle with tomato braised beef, hot pepper and oregano

Tortelli of sheep with tomato brodo


The complete menu will be emailed to our mailing list this weekend. If you’d like to receive such updates, sign up here.

2017-09-12T15:48:17-07:00August 17th, 2011|2011, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

This Week’s Oceanic Dinners Spark A Debate…


Oliveto Oceanic Dinners: Mid-Atlantic Coast
Tuesday, July 19 – Friday, July 22

Innocently enough, we split up this year’s Oceanic Dinners so we could spend equal time on two important fisheries: our local California coast and our friends back there on the Atlantic. What we neglected to foresee is that East Coasters, who spend half the year under piles of snow, have a freakish particularity rooted in childhood nostalgia when it comes to all things affiliated with summer be it “frappes”, baseball, Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee, salt water taffy, or seafood.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that we have already received a number of comments from East Coast expats on their high expectations for this week’s Oceanic Dinners menu. We’ll be serving many classic and beloved East Coast seafood dishes including steamer clams, soft shell crabs, blueberry pie, and blue fish. But perhaps the most contentious of all is the lobster roll.

Butter vs. mayo, Wonder Bread vs. brioche, celery and onion vs. no celery and onion, Maine vs. Boston, top-split bun vs. side split bun, warm vs. cold, side of chips vs. side of fries, lettuce, lemon wedges — what else are we forgetting? Old Bay Seasoning…is that a thing? Chef Jonah’s already made some key decisions about how he intends to construct his lobster roll, but he’s open to suggestions.

So here’s your chance to tell us…what makes a wicked good lobster roll wicked good?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box about lobster rolls, roasted bluefish, soft shell crabs, tartar sauce, the Citco sign, Whitey Bulger, or whateva…and oh yeah…Go Sox!

2017-09-12T15:48:18-07:00July 18th, 2011|2011, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Oceanic Dinners 2011 – MENU – Mid-Atlantic


Second of two Oceanic Dinners, 2011: Mid-Atlantic Coast

Tuesday, July 19 – Friday, July 22

~Marin Miyagi Oyster Shooters~
St. George Spirits kombu seaweed eau de vie, pickled cucumber, nori

A special selection of wines from Bonny Doon

To Start

Crudo of fluke (New Jersey, fixed gillnets) with roasted Gypsy peppers, fried shallots and Piccolo Fino basil
Lobster roll (Maine, trap caught) on house-made brioche
Terrina of razor clams (Cape Cod, hand raked) and Viking Village scallops (NJ, dredged)
Cold-smoked salt-cured striped bass (MA, hook and line) with horseradish crema, oil-poached Yellow Finn potatoes and arugula
Frutti di mare: oysters (Wellfleet, farmed), little neck clams (MA, hand raked), green sea urchin (ME, diver), razor clams (Cape Cod, hand raked); green coriander mignonette
Garden lettuces vinaigrette

Fritto misto of oysters (Wellfleet, farmed) and steamer clams (Cape Cod, hand raked) with sauce gribiche
Charcoal-grilled green eel (Rhode Island, trapped) with Kadota fig mostarda, pancetta and frisée
Garlic-roasted periwinkles (ME, by-product of lobster trapping) with bread crumbs, parsley and lemon
Fritto of softshell crab (Maryland, trapped) with Calabrian chili aïoli

Quahog clam (MA, hand raked, AND hand shucked) chowder with guanciale and new potatoes

Tajarin with butter poached razor clams
Conchiglie with scungil (ME, by-product of lobster trapping) al diavalo
Durum radiatore with tomato-braised squid (RI, jig caught) and hot pepper
Ricotta maloreddus with poached scallops (NJ, dredged), squash blossoms and lemon verbena
Lumache with house-smoked green eel and summer savory crema
White winter wheat penne alla bolognese
Durum spaghetti with tomato, basil and Parmesan cheese

Grills, sautés, rotisserie:
Spit-roasted bluefish (MA, rod and reel) with creamed corn and crab stuffing
Roast haddock (Chatham, hook and line) with young garlic crema, Romano beans and lobster bordelaise
Steamed black bass (RI, trapped) with ratatouille and basil pesto
Charcoal-grilled striped bass (MA, rod and reel) with fregola, sea beans and clam brodetto
Red flint corn polenta-crusted Atlantic cod (MA, hook and line) with crisp potatoes and remoulade
Roast hen rolata with potato gratinata, sautéed pole beans and hen sugo
Involtino of Swiss chard and farro with zucchini and Parmesan fonduta

“Italian” (East Coast) shaved ice: Raspberry, lemon, blueberry, or trio
Vanilla ice cream and plum compote in pizzelle “oysters”
Blueberry pie with mascarpone ice cream
Amaretto crème caramel with sour cherry compote
Sweet Georgia white shrimp fried ravioli with apricot preserves
Oliveto bittersweet chocolate cake

2017-09-12T15:48:18-07:00July 14th, 2011|2011, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Desserts for Oceanic Dinners 2011


West Coast:
July 12 – 15

Santa rosa plum sorbetto and brachetto sgroppino

Peach ice cream sandwiches with boysenberry sauce

Warm fig and raspberry tart with fig leaf ice cream

Amaretti-stuffed, roasted apricots with marsala zabaglione

Georgia white shrimp crema fritta with California bay leaf creme anglaise

Oliveto chocolate cake



East coast:
July 19 – 22

“Italian” (east coast) shaved ice: Raspberry, lemon, blueberry, or trio

Vanilla ice cream and plum compote in pizzelle “oysters”

Blueberry pie with mascarpone ice cream

Amaretto creme caramel with sour cherry compote

Sweet Georgia white shrimp fried ravioli with apricot preserves

Oliveto chocolate cake


2017-09-12T15:48:19-07:00July 11th, 2011|2011, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Oceanic Dinners 2011 – MENU – California Coast


After years of strict management, West Coast fisheries are coming back strong.

First of two Oceanic Dinners, 2011: CALIFORNIA COAST

Tuesday through Friday, July 12 – 15

All fish for this event will be caught in California coastal waters between Santa Barbara and Fort Bragg
by small-boat fisherman using sustainable methods from healthy fisheries.

~Oyster Shooters~
featuring Kombu seaweed eau de vie from St. Georges Spirits


Salt-cured local king salmon (caught by Larry Collins, troll method) with marinated fennel and its pollen, Chioggia beets and crème fraîche
Crudo of Golden Gate halibut (caught by Ed Tavasieff just outside SF Bay, hand jig) with Castelvetrano olives, pine nuts and basil; lemon agrumato
Panna cotta of Fort Bragg sea urchin (diver caught) with grilled crostino, olive oil and vanilla sea salt
Involtino of Monterey Bay abalone (farmed) with cucumber and Gypsy pepper peperonata

Fritto misto of Half Moon Bay smelt (Kirk Lombard, caught by A-frame dip net) and Tomales Bay shellfish (farmed) with lemon verbena maionese
Charcoal-grilled Santa Barbara octopus (trap caught) with warm farro and cherry tomato salad
Local sand dabs (caught by Steve Fitz on the Mr. Morgan using a Scottish seine) with green tomato and bread stuffing; salad of marinated pole beans
Brodetto of local rockfish (Steve Fitz/Mr. Morgan/Scottish seine) with saffron aïoli and crostino

Durum wheat spaghetti with tomato, fried anchovies (Mike McHenry/purse seine/SF Bay) and hot pepper
Tortelloni of Fort Bragg sea urchin (diver) and potato with rapini and fried bread crumbs
Santa Barbara spot shrimp (trap) in una coperta with lemon verbena
Toasted Durum wheat trompetti with garlic sausage, New Zealand sea spinach and Tomales Bay Manila clams

Slow-roasted local king salmon with cranberry beans, braised escarole and pancetta vinaigrette
Steamed petrale sole (Steve Fitz/Mr. Morgan/Scottish seine) with summer squash purée, crisp new potatoes and squash blossom spumante sauce
Grilled Monterey Bay mackerel (purse seine) with fregola, fried eggplant and Calabrian chili
Roast Bolinas black cod (Josh Churchman/vertical hook and line/Bolinas) with shellfish aïoli and pole bean salad

Next week (July 19-22): Mid-Atlantic Oceanic Dinners

Desserts for Oceanic Dinners

2017-09-12T15:48:19-07:00July 6th, 2011|2011, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

2011 Oceanic Dinners

California Coast (see menu)
July 12 – July 15

Mid-Atlantic (see menu)
July 19 – July 22


This year’s Oceanic Dinners are just a few weeks away and Chef Jonah Rhodehamel and Tom Worthington of Monterey Fish Company are working to finalize the menu. Fish Dinners are always tricky in this respect because we can never be absolutely sure what the boats will bring in on any given day. But here’s what we can say for certain:

We thought we’d focus on two healthy fisheries, our own and the Mid-Atlantic east coast. Two menus, two opportunities for diners to experience seafood at the height of the season. These will be smaller, more focused menus that will be available alongside our regular dinner menu. The Oceanic Dinner offerings will be à la carte.

We consider sustainability when selecting what to serve and we have a long and trusted relationship with Monterey Fish to help inform us. Their newly re-designed website is a wealth of excellent information. We aim to represent the smaller fisherman who are using low impact methods and who fish with respect and knowledge. And as always, we will feature only what is particularly fresh and delicious.

Some of the items we are excited about this year are the Chilipepper rockfish caught by the famed Mr. Morgan boat, local grass shrimp, sand dabs, little octopus, smelt from Kirk Lombard, a variety of crustacean from both coasts, and the first strong salmon run in many years which corresponds perfectly, as the local King Salmon season will start up again at the beginning of July.

Call 510-547-5356 or reserve online

2017-09-12T15:48:20-07:00June 28th, 2011|2011, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

It’s Beef Season

UPDATE: See the revised schedule

It is late spring and this is the time to be eating beef. The steers have been eating plentiful amounts of green grass (from our plentiful rains) and several important ranchers have presented us with offers too good to turn down.

First, Mac Magruder’s 8-month-old veal came in a couple of weeks ago. Then, the huge and delicious 4-year-old steer from Jack Monroe in Covelo. And next week Moira Burke, of Agricola: flora et fauna in Dixon, CA, will send us half of a 22-month Angus. These are all grass fed and grass finished animals.

Three Angus animals: 8-mos, 22-mos., 48-mos. We are first to admit, that’s a lot of meat! But we thought we could do some pretty neat things with them. The animals will all be hanging in our meat locker, aging, and at the appropriate time, Chef Jonah will prepare them for the menu over the next month. Here’s a schedule of these extraordinary (seriously though, this is some exceptionally tasty beef) offerings and events over the next few weeks:

Friday, June 17
Short Ribs
We wanted to get into these without too much aging. Such a fatty cut doesn’t benefit from a lot of age and can end up tasting a bit stale. We are salting these for twelve hours before braising them.

Friday, June 24
Flank Steak & Carne Crudo/Carpaccio — three animals
This will be a rare opportunity to taste the same cut/preparation of three similarly raised and fed animals from the same breed, but different in age. This should be an interesting demonstration on what characteristics are associated with the age of an animal.

Sunday, June 26
22- and 48-mos.
Osso Bucco
Our first of two classics from Milan. With three animals, we’ve got quit a few shanks on hand. These will be cut and braised in the classic preparation.

Wednesday, June 29
Our second dish from Milan. Tender ribeyes pounded paper-thin, breaded, then fried.

Thursday, June 30
New York Top Loin

Friday, July 1
This is THE way to eat mature beef in Italy. All the cuts you’ve been wondering about, in one bowl.

Saturday, July 2
Because a good thing deserves repeating

Thursday, July 7
Rib Eye
No explanation required.

Saturday, July 9
48 mos.
Prime Rib
The 48-month steer has a huge rib section. We’ll take the rack and slow roast it (12 hours) and carve prime rib in the dining room, for as long is it lasts.

We’ve got lots of other cuts, so you’ll be seeing corned beef, beef braises, meat balls, pepperoni and other cured meats. We expect you’ll do you’re part.

Jonah and Fred team up for Outstanding In The Field

Baia Niche2

On Sunday, June 26th, Chef Jonah will join Fred Hempel at his farm in Sunol, CA to take part in the 2011 Outstanding in the Field tour.

This should be a blast for the obvious reasons: awesome food, breathtaking location, and great company. But it will also be a unique presentation of a close and truly collaborative relationship between a chef and a farmer.

Jonah’s allegiance to Fred’s produce was made immediately clear when he arrived at Oliveto in November 2010 and soon after flooded the restaurant with Fred’s spectacular winter squashes. Over the last six months Fred has become an invaluable resource to both Oliveto and Community Grains. His passion and extensive plant biology knowledge has made seed selection and plant breeding an exciting adventure, and only deepened our knowledge of the food we serve.

With both Chef Jonah Rhodehamel and Fred Hempel on hand, this event will be a great way to kick off the beginning of summer. See you there!

Scallop-stuffed squash blossoms with summer
squash purée and basil

What is spicy, affordable, and goes well with hot weather? Puglian Wine!


Featured glass wine for our Puglia Dinners will range from $9 – $11

A consistently hot and dry region, the grapes of Puglia are most often very ripe and high in alcohol. And while Puglia is not one of the prized wine-producing regions of Italy, like much of southern Italy viticulture, it has more recently begun to evolve in interesting ways.

For Puglia, the grape of the moment is Primitivo, genetically related to American Zinfandel. Primitivo is juicy and soft, with low acid and tannin and lots of spice. We will be pouring 2008 Primitivo di Manduria produced by Vita during the Martina Franca and Il Frantoio dinners. Also gaining popularity in the region is Salice Salentino, a blend of Negroamaro and Malvasia nera. We will pour 2006 Salice Salentino Riserva made by Leone de Castris, the oldest Puglian winery in operation. Personally, I prefer Uva di Troia, a grape native to the region that is a bit lighter and more aromatic. Uva di Troia is grown further north where it is not quite as hot. We will pour Torre Quarto’s Uva di Troia, 2008 during the Polignano a Mare and Martina Franca dinners. Generally, in Puglia, wine is meant to highlight the flavors of the food on the table. Uva di Troia compliments Puglian food, possessing moderate acid, medium body, slight tannin, with some nice fruit and spice.

Puglia produces very little white wines, so we will pour a delicious fish friendly white from Campania during the Poligniano a Mare dinners. La Sibilla’s Falanghina is grown in sandy volcanic soil, producing a light, crisp wine with distinct minerality.

In lieu of white white, Puglia produces some extra delicious Rosato, which is commonly consumed along the coast as well as inland. Most of the rosé in Puglia is deeply colored and slightly spicy like the reds, and can stand up to thick fish stews without being overpowering. We will be pouring Torre Quarto “Guappo” throughout the Puglia dinners. A blend of Uva di Troia and Primitivo with lots of red berry fruit flavor and a peppery finish, this wine will pair extremely well with the food as well as the recent warm weather.

2017-09-12T15:48:24-07:00May 5th, 2011|2011, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments
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