Late Summer in the Rosticceria



Downstairs in the rosticceria, our cafe sous chef Jeanette Boone Ramirez has been concocting some insanely good things for our dinner menu, perfect for this warm spell.

Look for:

Stuffed eggplant with bell pepper, onion, goat cheese, and zhoug
Vegetarian cannelloni – with onions, corn, Maitake mushrooms, and Parmesan cheese
Chicken ghormeh-sabzi with celery leaves

Stay cool and come for a glass of rose and a light, righteous late summer meal. Or, order for takeout! We have a nifty online app that allows you to order – it’s 20% off your first online order through ChowNow.

Click Here to Order Takeout 

or, download our smartphone app: 

text “oliveto” to 33733

Dinner and Concert With Cellist Tessa Seymour



So long…for a while. 

Our wonderful young cellist friend, Tessa Seymour, will be offering us one last concert before she moves to London to begin her professional career. We look forward to what her career will become, and are grateful to be able to present her here again. She will play for a small group of us in the private dining room before and after dinner.

Tessa will be playing her favorite music–there’ll be a fair amount of Bach. It’s a weeknight, so we made the dinner a bit simpler.

Tessa Seymour, Cello 
Dinner and Concert 
Thursday, September 29th, 6:30 PM 


Burrata, black Mission fig, brown butter, hazelnut, honey, and house-made bread
Ravioli of house-made ricotta, basil pesto, prosciutto, and preserved Meyer lemon
Charcoal-grilled Piedmontese flat iron, porcini mushroom crema, grilled broccoli di ciccio, and salsa verde.

Exclusive of beverage, tax and service charge 

To Reserve:

Call 510.547.5356 or, reserve online  — be sure to make a note in the reservation comments that you are reserving for the Tessa Seymour dinner!

Prior to arriving in London in December, Tessa thought she’d make a little cross-country concert tour–30 cities, 30 concerts, 60 days.


September 21st, 2016|Coming up..., Commons, Events|Comments Off on Dinner and Concert With Cellist Tessa Seymour

Freedom, Progress, and the Dinner Table: Sophie Egan, author of Devoured

Sophie Egan, author of Devoured, in discussion with Paolo Lucchesi

Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 4:30 pm

4:30-5:30 – Conversation (with time for Q&A)
5:30-6:00 – Book signing & mingling downstairs

Why does McDonald’s have 107 items on its menu? Why are breakfast sandwiches, protein bars, and gluten-free anything so popular? Will bland, soulless meal replacements like Soylent revolutionize our definition of a meal?

In Devoured, food journalist Sophie Egan takes us on an eye-opening journey through the American food psyche, making connections between the values that define our national character—work, freedom, and progress—and our eating habits, the good and the bad.

“Breezy, irreverent, often quite funny, Devoured nonetheless has a serious message.” (Joe Queenan, Barron’s)

Sophie Egan is the director of programs and culinary nutrition for the Strategic Initiatives Group at The Culinary Institute of America. Based in San Francisco, Egan is a contributor to The New York Times‘ Well blog, and has written about food and health for KQED, Time, The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appétit,WIRED, and Sunset magazine, where she worked on The Sunset Cookbook and The One-Block Feast book. She holds a master of public health from the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on health and social behavior, and a bachelor of arts with honors in history from Stanford University. This summer, she was named one of the UC Global Food Initiative’s 30 Under 30.

Paolo Lucchesi is the editor of The San Francisco Chronicle Food & Wine team. Before coming to The Chronicle food section in 2010 as its Inside Scoop columnist, he served as the founding editor of Eater San Francisco, which launched in fall 2007, and later Eater National, which launched in fall 2009.

Free event; book signing to follow.
Feel free to stick around afterwards for dinner in the cafe or make a reservation for the dining room!

Get Your Ticket on Eventbrite
September 19th, 2016|Coming up..., Commons Past Events, Events|Comments Off on Freedom, Progress, and the Dinner Table: Sophie Egan, author of Devoured

The Menu for our 26th Annual Tomato Dinners


Tuesday through Friday, September 13-16, 2016

Antipasti:  smaller items, soup, salads
Beefsteak tomato “crudo” with Beldi olives
Sampling of year’s best tomatoes
Salad of tomatoes with opposing characteristics, olive oil, and Black Trifele tomato
Antipasto of Kushi oysters, tomato gelée, sea beans, and fines herbes
Tomato-braised honeycomb tripe with fresh Cannellini beans, hot pepper vinegar, and Parmesan cheese
Charcoal-grilled lamb’s heart with sun-dried tomato pesto, Japanese eggplant, and Pecorino cheese
Tomato and lobster “boudin rouge” with grilled Little Gem lettuce and tomato salsa
Charcoal-grilled pizzette with Eary Girl tomatoes, burrata, and spicy lamb coppa
Polenta-fried green tomatoes and sand dabs with fennel pollen aïoli
Granita of tomato water with razor clams, pickled Jalapeños, fresh coriander, and Sweet Gem tomatoes

Linguine rose with essence of tomato
Ravioli of burrata cheese with fresh tomato salsa, olive oil, and breadcrumbs
Acquerello Carnaroli risotto of concentrated tomatoes with cherry tomato “raisins” and ricotta salata
Spaghetti all’ amatriciana
Pappardelle verde with fresh tomato sugo
Saffron chitarra with tomato-braised sardines, garlic, and hot pepper
Whole grain bigoli with pancetta, spicy tomato ragù, and Borlotti beans

Secondi:  grills, sautés, roasts, and rotisserie
Due of Devil’s Gulch rabbit:  sun-dried tomato-basil-rabbit sausage, and pancetta-wrapped loin
Gratinata of concentrated tomato petals with ricotta salata, fresh Borlotti beans, and soft-herb salad
Roast pigeon with whole grain seeded crostone, Brentwood corn, and tomato mostarda
Tomato-braised beef short ribs with Community Grains yellow dent corn polenta, onion jam, and natural sugo
Spit-roasted tomato-glazed chicken with braised wax beans

Lemon-mascarpone tart with tomato marmalade

more to come . . .
September 12th, 2016|Coming up..., Events, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Tomato Dinners: What Inspires Us


26th Annual Tomato Dinners
Tuesday through Friday, September 13-16, 2016

We often hear that Tomato Dinners are the most cherished of our special dinners. After 25 years, we thought perhaps a retrospective might be in order – Oliveto’s Greatest Hits, the Tomato Edition.

We dug into our archives and found plenty of classics. Paul Bertolli’s iconic “12 ways of Looking at Tomatoes” from 2001 included:

… as essence
Timbale of tomatoes and green beans, gelatina of tomato water, herb salad
… as container
Dry Farmed Tomatoes with three stuffings
… as complement
Fresh corn cake with ‘Valencia’ tomato sauce 

It’s spectacular food that’s become part of the canon – and for good reason, too. But food has changed, and creativity remains our ruling ethic and driving force. Chef Jonah and the kitchen want to do things that are truly exciting and new.

So, in the end, these past menus are inspiring Jonah to move past traditional methods and employ more unusual ones. We’ll be:

  • roasting them to raisins for a concentrated tomato risotto;
  • sculpting them into petals for a gratinata; and
  • transmuting them to ice for a savory granita made from tomato water, accompanied by razor clams.

Craziness, right? There will still be plenty of pop gems – the classic spaghetti all’amatriciana will be one. Currently, Chef Jonah is putting the finishing touches on the full menu, which we will send to you very soon.

September 7th, 2016|Coming up..., Events|0 Comments

A Dinner for Aged Bruno Giacosa Wines



A rare opportunity to taste an array of truly great wines

Saturday, September 10, 2016 6:30 pm
Reserve by phone (510) 547-5356

When we opened Oliveto thirty years ago, among Italian winemakers, Bruno Giacosa was considered to be peerless: a traditionalist of Piemonte, and his stature remains. He possesses what seems to be an uncanny ability to create emotive wines that age into uncommon beauties. There are many extraordinary wines and winemakers from this area, but year after year, Bruno Giacosa wines are always at the very top. They are considered great wines, meaning in part, that they are meant to age. We were fortunate to have collected a few of these and keep them close, knowing they would only get better.

But there does come a time to open our cache — and you can only expect so much from a 50 year-old, even a Giacosa Barolo. So it is with great, long-restrained anticipation that we open our ’67, along with four other great vintage Giacosa wines, notably the 1979 Santo Stefano, on Saturday, September 10th, with a special dinner to match:

Bruno Giacosa Spumonte
1967 Barolo, Serralunga
1979 Santo Stefano, Barbaresco
2000 Asili di Barbaresco Riserva
2001 Asili di Barbaresco
2005 Asili di Barbaresco

House-cured 24-month prosciutti
Charcoal-grilled whole grain crostino of poultry liver pâté
Agnolotti dal plin
Grilled pigeon and cotechino with elephant heart plums
Blanco di Maggio onion agrodolce
Raspberry almond financier with fresh blackberries and nocinoice cream

225 plus tax and service charge
Very limited space

August 25th, 2016|Coming up..., Events, Uncategorized|0 Comments

26th annual tomato dinners to begin September 13

26th Annual Tomato Dinners
Tuesday through Friday, September 13-16, 2016

The late date for this year’s Tomato Dinners (we sometimes hold the event in August) is a result of 2016’s having been a bit cooler than normal.  Chef Jonah says that the same moderate weather that made for our best beef ever, has caused a slightly late ripening date for certain varieties of northern California’s tomatoes (not that we haven’t had fabulous dry-farmed Early Girls and terrific Sungolds and cherries already).

So mid-September bodes best for the over-all peak in ripe-tomato availability, and promises the best selection from our long-time friends at Dirty Girl, Riverdog, Full Belly, Blue Egg, et al.

Solanum lycopersicum – our beloved tomato, an edible nightshade berry which grows on a vine – has a long, complicated history. The subject of much debate since the Spanish found tomatoes being cultivated in southern Mexico (after having been brought from the Andes where they first grew, tiny and wild), it took the tomato centuries to be eaten widely in Europe as they were assumed to be poisonous.  But over the years the tomato has become ubiquitous in myriad cuisines, and now, oddly, the world’s greatest producer of tomatoes is, by far, China.

As Chef Jonah Rhodehamel finds out which tomatoes, specifically, will be among those he chooses for our event, we’ll post particulars about our menu offerings on the Oliveto website.

reserve online or call (510) 547-5356


August 15th, 2016|Coming up..., Kitchen Notes, This Just In|0 Comments

Crazy Good Lamb

Photo courtesy of Magruder Ranch.

We’re continuing to go through the two ethically-raised, grass-fed lamb that we received last week. Look for juicy, earthy roasts and sausages through the week and weekend! We look forward to seeing you for a glass of wine and a leisurely summer evening.

August 11th, 2016|Coming up..., Kitchen Notes, This Just In|0 Comments

Summer Hotties

The summer is allowing us to perform wonders.

  • Chef Jonah’s taking pigeon and baking it in salt, pairing it with farro, glossy roasted figs, Bianco di Maggio onions agrodolce, and poultry sugo.

Peppers are spiking the menu:

  • we’re serving a summer tortelloni of house-made ricotta with Brentwood corn, blistered Padrón peppers, and mint;
  • sweet Jimmy Nardellos are accompanying a salad of guanciale and and Charentais melon

We also have lamb! Magruder’s gracing us with two.

  • We’ll have leg of lamb this weekend, and chops the next week.

We hope to see you for a glass of rose, a contorno of garlic-roasted Padrón peppers, and a dish of succulent lamb.

This Just In: The First Killer Tomatoes

Sungold tomatoes are a deep orange and decidedly sweet!

We are so passionate about tomatoes that we try only to feature them when they’re seriously good, and so we’ve been impatiently waiting for them to stun us. We pounced when we found these, from Oya Organics, at last Tuesday’s South Berkeley market.

Oya Organics is a small farm out of Hollister owned by Marsha Habib. Its tomatoes are everything tomatoes should be — succulent and sweet but not too sweet. Sungolds do well at Oya, and they are gracing our crudo of local albacore, avocado, Cherry Bomb peppers, and basil.

Chef Jonah is really on a roll — there’s so much on the menu to bowl you over these days:

  • Salad of grilled Blossom Bluff stone fruit with house-cured guanciale, dill goat’s milk kefir, house-made Santa Rosa plum vinegar, and cured egg yolk
  • Tortelloni of house-made ricotta with Brentwood corn, fines herbes, cured egg yolk, and squash blossoms
  • Charcoal-grilled Paine Farm pigeon and boudin with braised radicchio, malted wheat berries, fig mostarda, and sugo

It’s a great time to come in.

Of course, with the first really good tomatoes, we’re thinking about our annual Tomato Dinners — dates coming soon.