We’re Taking the Leap – Reopening for Outdoor Dining

We’re Taking the Leap – Reopening for Outdoor Dining

We’re excited, and a little nervous–because in some ways
we’re opening a new restaurant.

Dinner service begins this Friday, June 19

The plan: At tables moved from the Cafe to the sidewalk, we’ll be serving, al fresco, a short but superb menu of dishes from the upstairs restaurant. (We expect some bumps here. But the experiment is encouraged and permitted by the City, and mitigated by heaters, deco, goodwill, the newness of it all.) Our à la carte dinner will offer selections from the Antipasti, Pastas, Entrées, and Desserts sections of our menu. We’ll be expanding the limited menu within days, as soon as we get our sea legs. (Not that we’ll be serving sea legs. They’re not a thing.)

We want to make Oliveto as safe as it can possibly be. Problem: people are coming to the restaurant to reconnect, enjoy delicious food, have fun, and NOT feel as if they are in the middle of a great pandemic.* What to do? Scrub. Wash wash wash. Wear masks. Observe social distancing. Post and strictly enforce the Alameda County Health Department’s Covid-19 Site-Specific Protection Plan. (You’ll be wearing a mask when not at your table, for example.) And…serve a really, really (really) good dinner, offer wine, spirits, and spirit, and introduce a street-worthy PIANO, which we invite anyone who wants to step up and play! (It’s our new–to us–Baldwin spinet we’ve named Matthias.) All fresh and fun.

*Note to our loyal customers who would rather continue to shelter in place until the numbers get better: we fully support your decision, and miss you, and look forward to seeing you on the other side of the pandemic.

Reserve by phone only
510-547-5356

À LA CARTE MENU

Antipasti

Insalata mista
11.

Crudo of Magruder beef with niçoise olives,
shallots, and crostini
18.

Gazpacho of strawberries and cucumber
12.

Pastas

Spaghetti neri: squid ink pasta with Gulf white
shrimp, tomato, chili, and lemon
26.

Tagliatelle al cavolo: pasta with napa cabbage,
garlic, lemon, and Jack Rabbit frantoio EV olive oil
20.

Main courses

Tagliata of Magruder skirt steak with panzanella
salad of bread, stone fruit, fried eggplant, red onion,
lettuces, and pancetta-balsamic vinaigrette
38.

Pan-seared black cod with morel mushrooms,
roasted asparagus and new potatoes, and morel Spumante
36.

Desserts

Strawberry torta della nonna with coriander ice cream
10.

Corn spongecake with blueberry compote and rose geranium cream
10.

Flan with roasted apricots and noyaux whipped cream
10.

Fig leaf peach crip with roasted peaches, brown butter, and mascarpone ice cream
10.

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.

Reserve Now

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

 

 


					

Annual Truffle Dinners!

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

It’s good to have the past few weeks of apprehension and sadness behind us.  The comforting, delicious, and sometimes celebratory foods of fall are on our menu now:  a Tuscan white bean soup, sweet potato gnocchi with duck sausage, a Chanterelle mushroom ragù mingling with trompetti pasta, all of which are, not coincidentally, prelims for our main autumnal event.

Our annual Truffle Dinners always take place the week before Thanksgiving.  This year’s will be Oliveto’s 24th truffle and mushroom event. Perhaps the most evocative of our dinners, it is set in the darkness of a dining room approaching winter solstice, in an atmosphere created by aromas from the kitchen and the wood-fired grill/rotisserie, intermingled with that indescribable scent of the treasured, mystical, white truffle (actually, to put it in the most unpoetic of terms, “the fruiting body of a subterranean asomycete fungus, one of the many species of the genus Tuber”).

Over the years, we’ve gotten good at it.  We source the very best truffles, price them well so they can be consumed in appropriate excess, and serve with exquisitely and carefully made, traditional Italian soul-satisfying food.

Here’s what we know about this year’s truffle season:  until a few days ago, the season has been mixed. (In recent years, it has been arriving 3 to 5 weeks later than normal.) But thanks to good rainfall in recent days and much cooler nights in the low 40s, the truffles harvested now are of good quality.  Those are the conditions we need for excellent truffles by the time of our event, which starts November 19th.

Reserve online now, or call 510-547-5356
Menus and updates to follow.

2019-11-05T12:52:14-08:00November 5th, 2019|Coming up..., Events|0 Comments

Tomato Dinners 2019, September 10-14

Tomato Dinners 2019

September 10-14

Reserve now on line  or call: 510 547-5356

Think of it as a party, with plenty of old friends:

Cherokee Purple, Marvel Stripe, Black Pineapple, Early Girl, German Red, Brandywine.
We’re expecting some new friends too:
Chocolate Sprinkles, Red “Tommy Toe,” maybe even Atomic Fusion–from an array of farms, north and south.  

Bay Area farmers have been busy these past 29 years and more, improving their soils, creating new growing methods, making their tomatoes amazing.

29th Annual Tomato Dinners  2019

MENU

Antipasti:  salads, soup, smaller items

Tomato sampling:   German Red, Marvel Stripe, Brandy-
wine, Cherokee Purple, and Black Pineapple

Heirloom tomato caprese salad with burrata cheese

Oysters on the half shell with strawberries, Sweet 100s, horseradish, and lemon

Scallop crudo, tomatoes three ways, and candied walnuts

Salad of cucumbers, mixed cherry tomatoes, parsley, Butter
beans, yogurt, and lentils

Lonza with cress, marinated heirloom tomatoes, Castelmagno cheese, and old aceto balsamico

Garden lettuces vinaigrette

Soup:  tomato soup alla Campbell with fried green tomato and provolone bun

Pork belly with watermelon and oyster-tomatillo salsa

Fried green tomatoes with peaches, sherry/tomato aïoli, and herbs
 
Primi
Garganelli with Brandywine tomatoes, vodka, and mint

Linguine verdi with tomato-braised short rib and Castelmagno cheese

Tomato gnocchi with razor clams, summer squash, and mixed cherry tomatoes

Rosa Bianca eggplant cappelletti with spicy tomato sauce and caprino fonduta

Spaghetti all’amatriciana

Chanterelle mushrooms, sweet corn, and ricotta cannelloni with
Early Girl tomato 
mostarda and sherry-brown butter

Orecchiette with sand dabs, tomato-raisins, and squash blossoms
 
Secondi
Braised beef brisket with Acquerello Carnaroli risotto, Green
Zebra tomatoes, 
and giardiniera

Brown butter-aged pork loin with green chili, salsa fresca, and
cured yolk

Peperonata-stuffed tomato with Gorgonzola fondutapangrattato,
and 
harissa verde

Chicken and lobster sausage with pickled green tomatoes and
parsnip 
crema

Charcoal-grilled bigeye tuna with Castelvetrano olives, pole beans, fried red onions, vinegar potatoes, Early Girl tomatoes,
and tomato 
aioli
 
Dolci
Ricotta zeppole with Early Girl tomato curd, basil ice cream, and candied lemon peel

Corn milk cake with honey-roasted tomatoes and blackberries, rosemary blossoms, and whipped mascarpone

Flourless bittersweet chocolate cake with tomato caramel and whipped cream

Tartlet of green tomatoes, apples, walnut frangipane, tomato leaf whipped cream, saba, and candied walnuts

Menu is a la carte, and subject to minor changes

Reserve now on line  or call: 510 547-5356

Oliveto.com

2019-09-10T17:26:00-07:00September 10th, 2019|Coming up...|0 Comments

Top New York Chef to Visit Oliveto – Menu Update for Tuesday, August 20th Dinner

Menu Update

Top NY Chef to Visit Oliveto

for a one-night-only dinner

Tuesday, August 20th

See mega-bonus below


In a pre-visit conversation between New York’s Chef Justin Smillie (Upland Restaurant) and Oliveto’s Chef Brian Griffith, a brief preliminary menu was laid out to give prospective diners a general idea of the prix fixe dinner to be served August 20th.  Brian gave Justin a picture of which produce stands out in this, the peak of our summer season, from some of the best of our local farmers.  Justin chose general items that excited him, and the two chefs sketched out the menu that follows:

Local chicories, anchovy, crispy bread, and hard cheese

Caramelized sweet rice (possibly with seafood)

Roasted heirloom tomatoes and herbs

And…Justin’s famous duck, wood-fired, probably breast and sausage, with nectarines

Favas, sprouted lentils, charred red onions, summer squash

Dessert tbd

$70 prix fixe

This menu will be offered alongside our regular à la carte menu, but we’ll ask that those ordering Justin’s prix fixe meal make it an order for the whole table.  We will provide substitutions for vegetarians.

          Mega Bonus—Randall Grahm

In the spirit of properly presenting California, we asked Randall Grahm, Bonny Doon Winery, for something really special for the dinner on the 20th.  For several years he’s been pursuing a true California wine, not imitative of European wines.  This is immensely complicated, but that’s Randall.  His extraordinary effort is well described in this New Yorker article from last year.  So for our dinner, we’ll serve his 2017 Grenache Blanc/Gris from Popelouchum, which Randall thinks “is pretty exemplary,” and is in very limited supply.  As a 13-year-old first-time visitor from Boston yelled out my sun roof as we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, “This is historical!”  Randall is also finding us his most dramatic Cigare Volant, his exceptional Rhône, to complement the dinner.

This is one night only, reservations still available after 8 PM

Reserve now on line  or call: 510 547-5356

Oliveto.com

2019-08-13T17:57:49-07:00August 13th, 2019|Coming up...|0 Comments

Oliveto and Community Grains Pizza Party – Sunday, August 18th, 6-9 pm

Oliveto and Community Grains Pizza Party—

Sunday, August 18th, 6-9 pm

Justin Smillie, Upland Restaurant, NYC

Community Grains has been coming up with some terrific flour, and chefs and bakers on both coasts have been making exciting food with it.  For example, our guest chef, Justin Smillie’s whole-grain pizza at Upland in New York is extraordinary.  So as part of his visit with us, he suggested a pizza party.

It’ll be in the café.
There will be live music

by Trio Sin Lio
It’ll be big fun.

We’ll serve Justin’s pizza and some of our own.  Plus lots of other food.

For the past decade, Community Grains has been working to develop a better complete grain system.  Based on the values of nutrient-rich soil, advanced whole milling, and radical transparency in our supply chain, we’ve developed whole grain wheat flours that are different from anything else that’s commercially available.  By testing and improving over several years, we’ve arrived at the point where our Patwin variety x-fine wheat flour can compete head on with white flour for texture and mouth-feel, with enormous upsides in nutrition and taste, while at the some time growing a better, soil-based local grain economy.

Tickets are $35, with a no-host full bar.
Buy tickets here

2019-08-13T17:59:18-07:00August 13th, 2019|Coming up...|0 Comments