Whole Hog Dinner, dates set: March 13-17

A well-wallowed, Red Wallow sow with her piglet
Photo credit: Heritage Foods USA


Oliveto’s 19th Annual Whole Hog Dinners
are coming…soon.

Our curing room is packed with salumi, and our sauerkraut is underway. Long-time Olivetians anticipate revisiting some of Italy’s greatest traditional pork dishes; the new cooks in our kitchen are eagerly anticipating all things pig for the first time in a seasoned, traditional, whole-animal-based kitchen under the tutelage of our expert chef Jonah Rhodehamel. And Brian Griffith—our new, talented sous chef—is eager to contribute additions to an old tradition:

Whole Hog Dinners at Oliveto, March 13-17

Reserve Now

Menu à la carte

Plenty of non-pork items on the menu

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

2018-03-02T17:27:39+00:00 February 26th, 2018|Coming up..., Events, Uncategorized|0 Comments

This Just In: The Season’s Frist Asparagus

The First of the Spring Asparagus is in the Kitchen

A quick note to herald in the changing of seasons. The asparagus this early spring are particularly sweet and delicious. They’re grown in the Salinas Valley, supplied to us by long trusted farmer Martin Bournhonesque. The season came 10 days early this year. Martin thinks that the proximity to the sea is in part responsible for their flavor.

“Sparrow Grass”, as it was commonly called in England, has been eaten by humans for centuries. Originally found growing wild, there are records of it from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Highly nutritious and low in calories, these perennial spears were cultivated for their gastronomic, medicinal, and even aphrodisiacal virtues.

We’re serving them simply, blanched and sautéed with olive oil.

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

2018-02-21T12:52:40+00:00 February 21st, 2018|Coming up...|0 Comments

Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu 2018

Valentine’s Day Dinner 2018

We googled Saint Valentine to see if there was
anything worth writing about. Turns out there really
isn’t, but we think you’ll like this menu.

Kushi oyster with blood orange gelée and shiso


Parfait of Dungeness crab, winter citrus, and avocado
Soup:  vellutata of wild mushrooms with Perigord truffle crema


Tortelli di zucca with crumbled Amaretti cookies, brown butter,
and sage
Acquerello Carnaroli risotto of Maine lobster with fines herbes and
Pecorino Romano cheese



Butter-poached Maine lobster with celeriac crema, Black Trumpet
mushrooms, and smoked trout roe spumante


Due of Liberty Farms duck:  breast and sausage with rainbow chard
and Seville orange mostarda


Choice of desserts.  tba


Prix Fixe Menu

95. per person

A 20% pre-tax Service Charge will be added.


Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

2018-02-01T17:07:05+00:00 February 1st, 2018|Coming up...|0 Comments

New Year’s Eve Dinner 2017

New Year’s Eve Ball in Time’s Square

New Year’s Eve Dinner 2017

We’re ready for a new year, the menu is complete,
come join us on Sunday December 31st to celebrate.


Prix Fixe Menu
First seating (5:00 – 6:15), four courses $95
Second seating (7:45 – 9:15), five courses $130


Stuzzichino  Smoked salmon-stuffed gougères


Antipasto  (choose one)
Dungeness crab and winter citrus salad with watercress and avocado
Salad of roast winter vegetables with töcco di noci, fried garlic, and lemon


Primo (choose one)
Acquerello Carnaroli risotto with Perigord truffle
Tortelloni of Fontina Val d’Aosta with truffle honey and candied walnuts


First Seating:

Secondi (choose one)

Pan-roasted salmon with soubise, candied carrots, and caviar spumante


Due of Liberty duck:  pan-roasted breast and sausage with sunchoke crema and saba


Roast Piedmontese ribeye of beef with long-cooked onions, barley, and truffle sugo


Second Seating:

Secondi di Pesce (choose one)

Pan-roasted salmon with soubise, candied carrots, and caviar spumante


Pan-roasted truffle-studded scallop with salsify purée, fingerling potatoes, and old aceto balsamico


Secondi di Carne (choose one)

Due of Liberty duck:  pan-roasted breast and sausage with sunchoke crema and saba


Roast Piedmontese ribeye of beef with long-cooked onions, barley, and truffle sugo



Choice between two special desserts.  tba


Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

2017-12-14T14:12:51+00:00 December 12th, 2017|Coming up...|0 Comments

Four Ways to Truffle at our Dinner

Tuber magnatum pico and Tuber aestivum

Truffle Dinners Start Next Tuesday

November 14th – 18th, 2017

Four Ways to Truffle at our Dinner

  1. Shaving Whites: We all know about shaving – classic and exquisite, shaving is a fine way to go. There’s nothing like white truffles shaved on our tajarin (hand cut noodles, 32 egg yolks per kilo of flour). White truffles (Tuber magnatum pico) will be shaved at the table.
  2. Mortar & Slather: A truffle hunter’s favorite. White truffles mortared in fresh pressed oil and then slathered on a meat – excellent with beef or pork. We’ll have a Olio Nuovo pressed the day before that will be super peppery.
  3. Black Truffles: Burgundian Truffles (Tuber aestivum) are common during white truffle season in Tuscany and have a simple but really delicious flavor. Usually Burgundian truffles are prepared in the dish so the heat of cooking releases the flavor. Black Périgord truffles (Tuber melanosporum) come later in the season
  4. Truffles for the Table: During the dinners, people will be given a chance to buy a white truffle for the table, to be used for the dinner. You may also buy more than you need to take home.


We’ve always tried to make it a fun evening, and make it as inexpensive as possible. This year the truffles are expensive, and we’ll do everything we can to bring people the best truffles at the best price.

View Chef Jonah’s menu here.

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

Dinners for Truffles 2017

The niece of our favorite truffle hunter Georgio from earlier days

Dinners for the Italian White Truffle:
Tuber Magnatum Pico über alles

November 14th – 18th, 2017

The week before Thanksgiving, we will celebrate, as we have done for the past twenty-two years, perhaps the most evocative event in our series of dinners: that for truffles and wild mushrooms. The darkness of the dining room as we approach winter solstice, the aromas from the kitchen and wood-fired grill and rotisserie, not to mention that indescribable scent of the most expensive food of them all (a simple tree-root parasite which looks like a small, troubled potato) characterize fall at Oliveto.

Chef Jonah Rhodehamel has devised this year’s à la carte menu:

 Cold: Antipasto of roast autumn fruits and vegetables with malted barley
and black truffle vinaigrette

Salad of shaved Brussels sprouts with bagna cauda, lemon, and white truffle

Crudo of local halibut and artichokes with fried Black Trumpet mushrooms with
celery leaf pesto, and truffled egg yolk

Dungeness crab salad with Hachiya persimmon, fennel, and orange

Warm: Poached farm egg with crispy potato-duck confit hash and truffled hollandaise

Roast octopus with Tuscan sausage, Butter beans, and black truffle

Soup:  tba

Acquerello Carnaroli risotto of Black Trumpet mushrooms and Castelmagno cheese

Stinging nettle gnocchi with Chanterelle mushrooms and ricotta salata

Tortelloni of Fontina Val d’Aosta cheese with brown butter, sage, and candied walnuts

Tajarin al burro

Farm egg raviolo with house-made ricotta and duck sugo

Cappelletti of bone marrow with black truffle and fried shallots

Whole grain pasta with wild mushrooms Vallesana

Pan-roasted Liberty duck breast with Kabocha squash, Lacinato kale, and spiced sugo

Sformatino of Lobster mushrooms with chestnuts, ricotta salata cheese, and Delicata squash

Fontina-stuffed chicken breast with wilted radicchio, parsnip crema, and Morel mushroomsugo

Black sea bass with cardoons, salsify, roast sunchoke crema, and Barolo spumante

Beef tournedo alla Rossini with Hudson Valley foie gras, Swiss chard, Yellow Finn potatoes, and black truffle sugo

Truffled boudin blanc with celeriac crema, escarole, and hazelnut salsa

Dolci (tba)

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

We’re in the Hunt for Truffles!

It’s Almost Time for Truffles!

2017 Truffle Dinners
Tuesday November 14th – Saturday the 18th

À la carte menu showcasing wild mushrooms and
white and black truffles

We are on the hunt for good truffles and as always will bring you the best available at the best price. Updates to come on the menu and whether we’ll have any extra truffles to sell.

Be sure to reserve a table in advance. We’ve seen some really nice black truffles so far, as well as wild mushrooms, and the menu will be exciting!

There are just a few spots left for the Brunello Dinner next Saturday November 4th. It is a prix fixe dinner in the private dining room so please call to reserve. See the wine list and take a peek at the menu here.

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

Dinner for Well-Aged Brunellos

Canaliccio di Sopra Vineyard below Montalcino

Dinner for Well-Aged Brunellos

Saturday November 4th at 6:30pm

Prix Fixe Menu in Private Dining Room

In preparation for our Brunello dinner next month, we paid a visit to our offsite wine storage area. The 1982 Pertimali Brunello Reserva by the Sassetti family has been our focus. We had 5 bottles, we opened one to see what it would be like for the dinner. I don’t know whether you can say it’s exciting, to wait for a 35-year-old wine to open up after pulling the cork, but after letting it breathe for two hours, when the wine comes alive, it’s pretty neat. Even with ’82 being a great year, Pertimali being a great producer, you just can’t know what a 35-year-old wine is going to be like, but we think you’ll be happy.

We’ll also be breaking into more current vintages that are just coming into their prime from another one of our favorite estates, Canaliccio di Sopra (featured above). This is a small family estate, started by Primo Pacenti, who was a sharecropper, essentially a serf, in the Montalcino region. Historically, Brunello has been associated with very wealthy wine families but in the 50’s Primo was enabled to buy an estate due to the abject poverty of the area and government programs that sought to revitalize it. He was able to acquire the property, which he knew to be good land, and started a Brunello winery.

Possibly the greatness of any wine resides in the integrity of the producer. Brunellos especially have been victim to large producers and scandal*. The Sassetti and Pacenti families make truly excellent wine despite simple beginnings because they focus on their land and vineyards. Hear from Primo’s grandson in the video below.

We’ll also be pouring a really fine Sangiovese from Chianti (just north of the Montalcino region in Tuscany). 1985 San Guisto Retennano, another great vintage. We came across this winery back when Maggie was researching olive oil and we ended up staying with the Cigala family. Big muscly sons, big muscly wines.

*In 2002 the Italian government took a look at the amount of Brunello being sold, looked at the acreage growing it, and realized that there was a lot of Brunello being sold that wasn’t truly Brunello. It was a big scandal and they confiscated vintages from a number of wineries. Ever since there has been a level of mistrust around all Brunellos.

Wine included:Brunello di Montalcino, Pertimali, 1982

Brunello di Montalcino, Canalicchio di Sopra, 2004

Brunello di Montalcino, Canalicchio di Sopra, 2006

Chianti Classico Riserva, San Giusto a Rentennano, 1985

Rosso di Montalcino, Caprili, 2014

Chef Jonah’s meal will include:
Antipasto of Winter Vegetables, Fruits, and Grains
with Gorgonzola DolceTajarin with Paine Farms Pigeon Ragu

Wood-Fired Grilled Magruder Beef with Brown Butter Squash Crema,
Bianco di Maggio Onions, and Brunello Beef Sugo

Prix Fixe Dinner with Wine – $195
(Tax and service charge not included)
Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

Community Grains Bread and Unique Flours at Oliveto

 Community Grains Bread and Unique Flours

…will have you re-thinking any aversion to whole grain


As many of you know, Oliveto has gotten really deep into grains. We’ve started a company called Community Grains, and it’s getting really really interesting. While we’re putting products in stores, we’re also always bringing things into the restaurant.

All of it is true whole grain, grown in nutrient rich California soil, often by the farmers that we’re proud to buy our vegetables from. We’ve found that they’re producing wheat that’s superior in flavor and functionality to commodity wheats. We also use an advanced mill that gives us true whole grain flour.

We’re really proud of a bread that we’re bringing into the market place and Oliveto Restaurant is one of the first places where we’re offering it. It’s on the menu every night and it’s getting a great reception. It has a nutty wheat flavor; a moist, soft crumb; great crust; and most people would never know it was 100% whole grain, unless you told them.

Chef Jonah has been devising pastas with our whole grain flours for some time, with successful results. Pastry Chef Andrew Chaney is excited about a wheat variety called Edison, grown by Full Belly Farms, and this weekend he’s offering a delicious Apple Pear Crostada with this flour.

These are flours with great flavor, and while they’re whole grain, they’re producing breads, pastries, and pastas unlike any you’ve experienced.

Andrew’s Apple and Pear Crostata with Whole Grain Edison Flour

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356


2017-09-29T17:28:01+00:00 September 29th, 2017|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Annual Tomato Dinners 2017 Start Tomorrow!

Running Tuesday through Saturday

The kitchen is in full gear preparing, there are hundreds of pounds of tomatoes coming in, and we’re expecting a full house most nights.

There are still a few good spots left though, so reserve a table now for the annual end of summer dinner. See the menu here.

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

AND to get you in the mood, here’s a (somewhat funky) old clip of Joe Schirmer of Dirty Girl Produce in Santa Cruz telling us about his famously delectable Dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes.


More on Dry Farming from Dirty Girl from Oliveto Community on Vimeo.

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356


2017-09-12T15:46:26+00:00 September 11th, 2017|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments