With the help of an illustrious panel of judges The Daily Meal has just named Oliveto one of America’s 20 Best Italian Restaurants. Huzzah! We are so proud to be recognized among such an impressive group of talented chefs and influential establishments.
Dan Meyer writes about Oliveto:
With acclaimed chef Paul Bertolli at the helm, Oliveto was considered by many to be the best Italian restaurant in the United States for many years before he left to start Fra Mani in 2005 and the restaurant began to coast. But all that changed in 2010, when Jonah Rhodehamel took over. The menu he introduced was vibrant and soulful, and since then Oliveto has returned to be a major player in the scene. The menu changes daily, but always features unexpected local fare like pan-roasted Monterey Bay sardines (with fregola) and Santa Barbara sea urchin (with spaghetti in tomato sauce), and purveyors are always listed on the menu. At Oliveto you’ll try dishes and flavor combinations that you’ve never experienced before that are at once familiar and completely unique, and you’ll be very glad that you did.
A heartfelt congratulations to Chef Rhodehamel, whose vision and integrity have created some of the most creative and innovative food this kitchen has ever turned out, as well as General Manager Shane Walker, Chef de Cuisine Luciano Duco, Sous Chef Vince Sanchez, Pastry Chef Kam Golightly, Assistant Manager Jessica Prince, Wine Buyer Jerad Ruhl, and the whole Oliveto team. You are remarkable.
Executive Chef Jonah Rhodehamel has been at the helm of the Oliveto kitchen since November 2010. It is amazing to us how much has changed at Oliveto over these last six months. First off, Chef Rhodehamel (and all of his crew) has been working like crazy. Basically, the level of energy and focus has been turned up to eleven.
But most important, we are extremely proud of the food we are serving. Our salumi has never been better. Same goes for our pizza. The whole-animal program is expanding into new relationships with ranchers raising goat and sheep. We’ve been introduced to farmers Jonah has relationships with, including our new BFF Fred Hempel, who is growing some amazing things on his farm in Sunol, CA.
There is a seriousness, and a precision that Chef Jonah brings to Oliveto but there is also a sly sense of humor, a wry wit, and the skills of a true leader. Anyway, that’s a long way of saying we’re happy to see that all of this was apparent to Michael Bauer on his most recent visit. It was so very nice for our kitchen to be acknowledged for all the hard work that they do.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Katy McLaughlin attempts to forecast fine-dining trends of the future, and gives a nod to the Oliveto Community Journal:
THE FUTURE? Mr. Chang predicts that in the future, more fine-dining chefs will replace waiters and serve the food themselves, as they do at his Momofuku Ko in New York. D’Amico Kitchen in Minneapolis splashes a live streamed video of the action inside its kitchen on an outside wall. Several restaurants, from Oliveto in Oakland, Calif., to L20 in Chicago, publish elaborate blogs about their ingredients and cooking.
We come in peace.
From someone we greatly respect, we just received some gratifying praise:
This was published last week in The Daily Beast, Tina Brown’s entry into the web-news-commentary business. (She is a long-standing rival of Ariana Huffington.)
Marcella Hazan and her husband Victor usually stop by for dinner when they visit the Bay Area, so we are thrilled that she included Oliveto as one of her Fresh Picks.