Our beloved pigeons

Our beloved pigeons are finding their way back.

On the menu tonight, through the weekend.

Soon after our good friend Roger Paine sold his pigeon farm to local farmer William Henpenn, the horrendous Sonoma County fires struck. The Paine Farm escaped the flames, but it made pigeon farming very difficult and production suffered. William is committed to maintaining the high quality of the birds, and it’s been challenging to keep us supplied consistently. At least for now, they’re back. These are exceptional, meaty, great flavored birds. We’re glad they’re back.

This weekend is also Rockridge Out & About

Sunday, September 16th, 12pm – 6pm

We’ll be featuring our Rosticceria with:
Roasted Pork with Calabrese Sauce & Polenta*
Roasted Vegetable Ragù & Polenta*
Lasagne alla Bolognese
Pipe Rigate* with Pesto (cold pasta salad)Sangria
Lemonade & Iced Tea

*Community Grains
Come have a taste!


Online or Call 510.547.5356

2018-09-13T10:53:25-07:00September 12th, 2018|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Tomato Dinners – Menu Highlights

Tomato Dinners – Menu Highlights

Tomorrow August 21st to Saturday the 25th

Last Year’s Menu

The Tomato Dinners menu was released last week, and here are some highlights. These dinners start tomorrow night, Tuesday through Saturday:

Some are dishes we know and love, with upgrades–

Fried green tomatoes made with our red flint corn polenta, with shrimp and lobster rémoulade

Salad of heirloom tomato with compressed melon, mint, red onion, and Beldi olives

Confit of hook-and-line-caught albacore with tomato “aïoli,” marinated sweet peppers, and basil

Along with hardcore favorites—

Spaghetti all’amatriciana

Sampling of this year’s best tomatoes

Tomato-braised beef short rib with Costato Romanesco squash crema, brown rice, and tomato jam

Tomato-braised honeycomb tripe with hot pepper, oregano, and fiore sardo Pecorino cheese


The whole menu is a knock out.


Online or Call 510.547.5356

2018-08-20T16:13:51-07:00August 20th, 2018|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

2018 Tomato Dinners Menu Released

2018 Tomato Dinners Menu

Next Tuesday August 21st to Saturday the 25th

Here is the first draft of the menu for next week. Some observations: We think the menu is particularly summery, and it is really all about tomatoes. We’ve named fewer of the varieties we’re going to be using here because we won’t make the final decisions until we get tomatoes in from our sources on Monday. Pastry Chef Andrew Chaney has also been working on several tomato desserts–more than we’ve had for a while.

Antipasti:  smaller items, soup, salads
Confit of hook-and-line-caught albacore with tomato “aïoli,” marinated sweet peppers, and basil
Sampling of this year’s best tomatoes –varieties to be determined Monday
Salad of compressed melon and heirloom tomato with mint, red onion, and Beldi olives
Antipasto of marinated peppers, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber with eggplantcrema and pine nuts
Red flint corn polenta, fried green tomatoes, and shrimp with lobster rémoulade
Charcoal-grilled flat bread with Early Girl tomatoes, burrata, and basil
Tomato-braised honeycomb tripe with hot pepper, oregano, and fiore sardo Pecorino cheese
Soup:  due of gazpachos—German Red and Marvel Stripe tomatoes with opposingsalsas

Spaghetti all’amatriciana
Whole grain bigoli with ragù of Early Girl tomatoes, guanciale, Cranberry beans, and Calabrian chili
Ravioli of burrata cheese with tomato crema
Squid ink risotto with Tuscan sausage, concentrated cherry tomatoes, and fennel pollen
Listada di Gandia eggplant tortelli with Early Girl tomatoes, garlic, and basil
Saffron chitarra with smoked trout, cherry tomatoes, squash blossoms, and lemon verbena

Secondi:  grills, sautés, roasts, and rotisserie
Charcoal-grilled California swordfish with stewed tomatoes, mussels, and fennel;harissa verde
Charcoal-grilled pigeon with tomato mostarda, seeded crostone, purslane, and liver mousse (while available)
Braised Walla Walla onion with farrotto stuffing, garlic-studded Early Girl tomato, and pickled Chanterelle mushrooms
Tomato-braised beef short rib with Costato Romanesco squash crema, brown rice, and tomato jam
Chicken and lobster boudin blanc with sun-dried tomato pesto, peperonata, and Cranberry beans

Sorbetto of heirloom tomato
Red Zebra Stripe tomato jam ice cream
Mascarpone cheesecake with cookie crust of Edison whole wheat flour, toasted hazelnuts, and cocoa nibs
Tomato and black pepper jam, candied cherry tomatoes, and blackberry sorbetto
Bittersweet chocolate cake with tomato sauce, crème fraîche sherbet, and chocolate-pecan dentelle
Sungold tomato and raspberry cobbler with Edison whole wheat and oat crumble; vanilla ice cream

Menu will be à la carte. You won’t want to miss it.


Online or Call 510.547.5356

2018-08-20T15:27:39-07:00August 17th, 2018|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

2018 Tomato Dinners Announced, August 21st to 25th

2018 Tomato Dinners Announced

Tuesday August 21st to Saturday August 25th

We’ve been throwing tomato parties for 28 years—joyful exercises in balancing what works and what’s new, creating menus of tradition and innovation. The tomatoes have continually gotten better, as farmers advance their growing skills, develop their soils, and plant the ever-growing number of tomato types.

We used to try to time our dinners to when the most tomatoes were at their peak, but now farmers routinely do multiple plantings, taking advantage of a longer and longer season.  As we know, things are getting hotter—good for tomatoes, anyway.

We’ll have the greatest tomatoes from our favorite farmers from different microclimates around northern California. Menus will soon follow, they will be à la carte.

So join us for Oliveto’s 28th (gulp) Annual Tomato Dinners.


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


2017-09-29T17:28:01-07:00September 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


2017-09-12T15:46:26-07:00September 11th, 2017|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

2013 Tomato Season: Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

Dirty Girl Produce at South Berkeley Farmers' Market 9/10/13

Dirty Girl Produce at South Berkeley Farmers’ Market 9/10/13

This really has been a record year for tomatoes. Here we are well into September, the Tomato Dinners having ended almost three weeks ago, and the farmers’ markets are still overflowing with delicious tomatoes. This year’s peak is actually more of a plateau, where there are amazing dead ripe tomatoes available for weeks on end, due in most part to the steady heat we’ve had. Of particular note are those incredible dry-farmed Early Girls from Dirty Girl Produce. We know we’ve mentioned these before but this year’s crop is exceptional.

We dropped by the Berkeley farmers’ market yesterday to chat with Sales Manager, Stella Araiza about why this year’s tomatoes are just so darn good.

Turns out two waves of tomatoes were planted this year on a newer plot of land in Watsonville that has super rich soil. Because the soil is so rich, the plants continue to flower and flower, producing more and more tomatoes! Because tomato plants really need to be stressed to get that intense flavor, in Stella’s words the soil may actually be ‘too good’.

The first wave peaked right in time for the 2013 Tomato Dinners at Oliveto. The second wave of plantings is just now coming to harvest and the tomatoes are pretty big…bigger than what you normally would expect from an Early Girl. Stella said the first tomatoes in a wave are always a little on the big side, but again, because the soil is so good these big Early Girls are even bigger than usual. They still taste a whole lot better than your average tomato, but they don’t have that super condensed vibrancy the smaller Early Girls are known for. By the end of this week the second wave should be in full swing and there will be less size variation…

First of the second wave...Dirty Girl Produce 9/10/13

First of the second wave…Dirty Girl Produce 9/10/13

but there are still A LOT OF TOMATOES. So many in fact that Dirty Girl will host its first ever Tomato U-Pick at their farm in Watsonville coming up on September 29th. Check their Facebook page for updates. In the meantime, Early Girls continue to grace the current Oliveto menu and probably will be showing up here and there well into October. On the menu this week:

Salad of heirloom and dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes with avocado, fresh Cayenne pepper, Armenian cucumber, and Parmesan cheese

Charcoal-grilled flatbread with dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes, house-made ricotta, Genovese basil, and Frantoio di Campagna olive oil

2017-09-12T15:47:36-07:00September 11th, 2013|Market Reports, Summer|0 Comments