Updates when the kitchen receives something extraordinary from a farmer, fisherman, rancher, or forager that will appear on the current menu.

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

Tomato Dinners 2017 – Lamb on the menu!

Oliveto’s Annual Tomato Dinners 2017

Beginning next Tuesday September 12th through Saturday the 16th

While the Tomato Dinners have always been a vegetarian’s delight, we’re also proud to pair tomatoes with BN Ranch’s exceptional lamb on this year’s menu:

Roast lamb with marinated tomatoes, yellow Romano beans, and

Bill Niman’s latest endeavor, BN ranch, is renown for their holistic approach to animal husbandry and land stewardship—and delicious meat. Flocks of sheep and herds of cattle are rotated in patterns that mimic ancient and pre-historic herbivores to improve soil fertility and water holding capacity. Well managed grazing is an essential part of a bio-regenerative food system as the animal activity ultimately reduces soil erosion and increases carbon sequestration.

Above, shepherds in the valleys of Contra Costa Country in Northern California tend the herds 24/7, along with the help of their border-collies. Lambs are bred to make tender, delicious meat: Rambouillet ewes crossed with bucks that are a mix of Suffolk, Hampshire and Texel. Lambs are fed only mother’s milk and the grass and legumes on which they naturally graze.

We hope you can join us.

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356


2017-09-12T15:46:27+00:00 September 8th, 2017|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Tomato Dinner Menu near complete. Starts next week. Reserve now!

MENU for Tomato Dinners 2017

September 12 through 16


Tasting of best-of-season tomatoes

Salad of tomato, Cherry Bomb peppers, and melon with Serpentine cucumber gelée

Crudo of dry-aged Magruder beef with sun-dried tomatoes, green coriander, and ricotta salata cheese

Cruda of bigeye tuna and tomato with squash blossom pesto and anise hyssop

Soup:  tomato and strawberry gazpacho with roast pepper salsa


Fried green tomatoes with yogurt, peaches, summer truffle vinaigrette, and fresh herbs

Wood-grilled flatbread with burrata cheese, Early Girl tomato, and basil

Roman-style tomato-braised tripe with Pecorino cheese


Spaghetti all’amatriciana

Cappelletti of house-made ricotta and basil in tomato consommé

Brentwood corn gnocchetti with cherry tomatoes, roast corn, and lemon verbena

Pappardelle with tomato leaf pesto, concentrated tomatoes, and ricotta salata

Acquerello Carnarolli risotto with green tomato, bay scallops, and fennel pollen

Rigatoni with spicy polpettiniarrabbiata, and Pecorino cheese


Roast lamb with marinated tomatoes, yellow Romano beans, and mint salsa verde

Chicken and lobster sausage with Brentwood corn, celeriac, and green tomato salsa

Tomato-braised beef short rib with Swiss chard, barley, and tomato mostarda

Rosa Bianca eggplant sformatino with roast summer squash, Gypsy peppers, and tomato sugo

Roast-tomato brodetto with hook-and-line caught snapper, Oregon bay shrimp, octopus, and grilled crostone

The menu is à la carte

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356


2017-09-12T15:46:27+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Oliveto’s 27th annual tomato dinners to begin September 12

September 12-16, 2017, Tuesday through Saturday
Reserve online or call 510.547.5356

We began our celebratory tomato dinners 27 years ago, when heirloom tomatoes grown by local family farmers were first becoming widely available (Oliveto hosted an afternoon tasting of 100 varieties — our dining room carpet was never the same), and when ‘Flavr Savr,’ the first GMO version of a commodity crop, was being released on an experimental basis. (We managed to obtain one for our panel discussion on GMO foods.)  The GMO tomato was a flop, not surprisingly, but the cornucopia of heirloom tomatoes expanded wildly, much to everyone’s—including every home gardener we know—delight. (The photo is of tomatoes from Bob and Maggie’s yard in Oakland.)

Oliveto’s tomato dinners demonstrate just how versatile the tomato is. Over the years, we’ve served refreshing tomato gelées, tomatoes distilled by dry-farming and long, slow cooking, tomatoes in sauces, tomatoes stuffed and in stuffing, variously colored and sized and shaped tomatoes cut and sliced and paired with fennel pollen, sea salt, and stellar olive oils, tiny peeled tomatoes chilled in a vinaigrette, fresh-squeezed tomato juice cocktails, caramelized tomatoes in desserts—all conspiring to make for a broad and diverse–and joyful—experience.

This year’s crop is all over the map, because local farms and climates are all over the map.  Up in Capay Valley, Riverdog’s first June crop suffered severely from two weeks of 100+ degree days, which fried the pollen of their heirloom blooms and ruined the yield of their usually hugely diverse first-of-the-season heirloom offering. This week, another severe heatwave will produce its effects. Nevertheless, Riverdog is replete with Marvels, Black Pineapples, delicious Brandywines, and, less plentiful, White Pineapples.

Farms in Santa Cruz, Watsonville, and up in Sonoma are going to have fared differently. We will be emailing you a preliminary menu in a few days, to give you an idea with which inventions Tomato Dinners–2017 will entertain your palate.

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

2017-09-12T15:46:27+00:00 August 30th, 2017|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Oceanic Dinners 2017 Have Begun !

Tuesday June 27 through Friday June 30
Reserve online or call 510.547.5356

Our annual Oceanic Dinner series began last night, and the whole menu is just exceptional — a treasure chest of delicious things. Chef Jonah and the team have truly outdone themselves. Here is the completed menu.

Crudi (raw)
CRUDO of bigeye tuna (Hawaii, troll) with hazelnut milk, harissa verde, and pickled apple
Lightly torched king salmon (Monterey Bay, troll) with white peaches, green almonds, and Jalapeño pepper
CARPACCIO of house-smoked swordfish (Southern California, long line) with Sicilian pine nut salsa, new potatoes, and mint

Cold   Salad of Little Gem lettuces with bagna cauda, marinated
white anchovies (San Francisco Bay, purse seine), and Parmesan cheese
Salad of Dungeness crab (Half Moon Bay, trap) with braised kombu, yuzu-melon vinaigrette, and baby fennel
Savory CANNOLI of king salmon (Monterey Bay, troll) with mascarpone, salmon roe, and lemon verbena
Sardines (incidental catch from Monterey Bay, purse seine) in saor with Chanterelle mushrooms, marinated pole beans, and thyme
Salad of new potatoes, tuna (Hawaii, troll) ‘nduja, and mussels (Prince Edward Ilsand, farmed) with pickled ramp aïoli, green garlic, and mint
Soup:  ajo blanco–white gazpacho of almonds and garlic with
pickled mackerel (Boston, trap) and spring onions
Warm   Crochetta of baccalà (Spain, hook and line) and fried grass shrimp (San francisco Bay, skim net) with Calabrian chili aïoli, candied Meyer lemon, and basil
BRASATO of cod tripe (Spain, hook and line) and Cannellini beans with artichoke and hot pepper

PARISIAN GNOCCHI with smoked trout (Idaho, farmed) and its roe, kefir, dill, and arugula pesto
ACQUERELLO CARNAROLI RISOTTO with squid ink, razor clams (Cape Cod, hand dug), and ricotta salata
LINGUINE with Dungeness crab (Half Moon Bay, trap), Meyer lemon, and Genovese basil
TORTELLI of lobster (Maine, trap) with Brentwood corn, mascarpone, and fines herbes
SPAGHETTI with sea urchin (Alaska, diver) carbonara
ORECHIETTE with sand dabs (Half Moon Bay, Scottish seine), garlic, Sicilian chili, and fennel pollen

Fig leaf-grilled petrale sole (Ft. Bragg, trawl) with Costata Romanesco squash crema, Brent-wood corn, and squash blossom spumante
Olive-oil poached Alaskan sand halibut (long line) with Japanese eggplant purée, haricots verts, and cherry tomatoes
Charcoal-grilled octopus (Spain, trap) with black-eyed peas, peperonata, and salmoriglio
CIOPPINO of rock cod (Ft. Bragg, hook and line), clams (Washington, farmed), mussels (PEI, farmed), and squid (Monterey, purse seine) with saffron aïoli and grilled crostino
Charcoal-grilled California white sea bass (San Pedro, hook and line) alla livornese with roast fennel and Bianco di Maggio onions
Charcoal grilled lobster (Maine, trap) and chicken SAUSAGE with celeriac crema, golden Romano beans, and salsa verde

 Dessert (featured)
Geléefish: crème fraîche panna cotta with apricot-orange gelée, meringue sea creatures, and dried seaweed

The menu is offered à la carte.
We hope you’ll join us.

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

2017-09-12T15:46:27+00:00 June 28th, 2017|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments