Oceanic Dinners Announced Tuesday – Saturday, July 9th through 13th


Preparations in the kitchen have begun.


Oceanic Dinners Announced Tuesday – Saturday, July 9th through 13th

Our Oceanic Dinners will begin in a little less than a month, and because many of our customers—pescatarians and pescaphiles alike—make plans around these very special dinners, we’re announcing the dates now.

This event is the most exciting, and challenging, of our special dinners.  Working with Monterey Fish Market’s Tom Worthington, Chef Brian Griffith’s task is to narrow down Tom’s offerings (insofar as he can predict exactly what  will be available a month from now) from fisheries near and far, which include sustainably harvested fish and seaweeds, mollusks and crustaceans, and imagine dishes that display and bring out what is remarkable about each of these exquisitely fresh sea organisms.  A daunting task, but one that excites not just Brian but the whole kitchen.

Details and menu will follow.

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356


2019-06-23T16:47:48-07:00June 23rd, 2019|Coming up...|0 Comments

We Do Vegetables Too.

Photo by Jeff Kubina Flickr/Creative Commons

As chef Jonah is on a trip to Italy, our fantastic sous chef, Antoine Steele, is bringing some artful new lovelies onto the menu this week. His Torta pasqualina, a traditional Easter dish, is particularly special, made with Yellowfoot mushrooms, fava greens, and housemade ricotta with toasted hazelnut salsa and old aceto balsamico. Torta pasqualina is usually made with puff pastry — Antoine’s using phyllo instead, giving it a spanakopita-like twist.

Other goodies: we have a gorgeous cruda of Magruder beef with charred spring onion, green garlic, Castelvetrano olives, Calabrian chili aioli, and crostino; our ravioli of pork sugo with grilled octopus, Ceci beans, and pimentón is another winner.

Our menu is jumping with spring flavors — stop by for a bite and a glass of wine!

Reserve online or call 510-547-5356

2017-09-12T15:46:29-07:00March 31st, 2017|Coming up..., Events|0 Comments

This Just In: An Early Spring Menu

The warm weather has brought a surfeit of ripe, early strawberries. Yakira is serving them with crema di latticello (a smooth, eggless, buttermilk pudding),  old aceto balsamico, and peppercorn ice cream.  (We won't see the exquisite Albion, Seascape, and other later strawberry cultivars for a while).

The warm weather has brought a surfeit of ripe, early strawberries. Yakira is serving them with crema di latticello (a smooth, eggless, buttermilk pudding), old aceto balsamico, and peppercorn ice cream. (We won’t see the exquisite Albion, Seascape, and other later strawberry cultivars for a while).

Welcome, strawberries! Welcome, asparagus!

We’ve certainly got enough iconic representatives of spring on our menu for it to be, unequivocally, an early spring menu:

Pea tendrils have entwined themselves with spring onions in creamed gemelli pasta with Guinea hen sausage; multiple dishes are graced with an abundance of early asparagus; the distinctive perfume of green garlic mingles with the oceanic perfume of razor clams; fava leaves are here; beautiful wild-headed puntarelle have been tamed into a bright, refreshing salad; and artichoke crema lines the plate of a juicy pork porterhouse.

It’s EARLY spring, however, for in spite of earlier and earlier flowerings all over the world, this time of year still gives us citrus (some varieties are at their peak), Brussels sprouts, winter squash, all trying to compete for our attention with what we’re longing for: the flavors of spring.

This Just In: freaky spring produce!

We can’t believe we’re about to say this, but…asparagus. Artichokes. Radicchio!

Clockwise: treviso tardivo, rossa di verona, orchidea rossa, with variegata di chioggia in the center

Clockwise: treviso tardivo, rossa di verona, orchidea rossa, & variegata di chioggia in the center

Due to a record warm January, farmers just south of here in Monterey County are already offering produce we don’t usually see until well into March.

It’s disturbing but at the same time, we must admit, delicious. Martin Bournhonesque hooked us up with some of this unusually early produce that will be on the menu this week:

Roast pork belly with artichokes two ways and long-cooked onions

Salad of roast asparagus with little gem lettuces, radish, preserved lemon and herb crema

Poached farm egg with duck confit potato hash cake, black trumpet mushrooms, and asparagus

and in the Oliveto Cafe...

Tuscan-style sausage with Treviso radicchio, red flint corn polenta, and arugula


2017-09-12T15:47:26-07:00February 18th, 2014|Market Reports, Oliveto Cafe, This Just In, Winter|0 Comments

This Just In: Morels Update, Ramps, Fava Beans, Peas…

H. Krisp, via Wikimedia Commons

The morel season is just getting started, and within a week or two it will really explode. This will be a good year for morels — there have been plenty of forest fires, and if it doesn’t stay too dry we can probably expect to see them through July.

Currently, Chef Jonah has a limited amount of morels from the Mt. Shasta area: they are on the menu (as long as they last) in a dish of poached hen egg, potato hash cake, ramps, and asparagus. Keep an eye out for more in the next few weeks!

As far as spring goes, we are seeing our favorites all over the farmers’ markets, and subsequently, the Oliveto dinner menu. Favas, ramps, snow peas, asparagus…it’s a real springtime menu now, as shown with dishes like the antipasto of English peas, asparagus, and ramps with burrata and basil pesto.

burrata and basil peburrata and basil pesto
2017-09-12T15:47:45-07:00April 22nd, 2013|2013, Market Reports, Spring, This Just In|0 Comments

This Just In: Spring Lamb from McCormack Ranch

McCormack Ranch Lambs

McCormack Ranch Lambs

Last week, the Oliveto kitchen was excited to receive three 40-lb spring lambs from Jeannie McCormack of McCormack Ranch. They arrived wrapped in cheesecloth (the traditional manner) and have been hanging for almost a week, which has slightly dried and aged the meat for a lovely sear and excellent flavor. Tonight they are ready to be served. Sous Chef Vince describes them as “fabulous” and “the most beautifully treated animals” he’s seen.

Starting tonight and available until Saturday
(three nights only, or until we run out) the Oliveto dinner menu will feature
a combo-plate of three different lamb dishes,
served with Community Grains Red Flint Floriani Polenta:

McCormack Ranch Lamb Chop

Rolled Lamb Roast
Lamb loin and tenders, rolled with lamb fat, spit-roasted and sliced

Involtino di Cavolo
Lamb ragù, rice, and potatoes in a cabbage leaf “bun”

McCormack Ranch has been raising sheep and goats the right way since 1896. They are grass-fed, range free on their pastures along the Sacramento River, never given hormones or antibiotics, and humanely handled with low-stress methods. We are thrilled to work with such excellently raised animals.

Screen shot 2013-03-21 at 10.55.33 AM

2017-09-12T15:47:46-07:00March 21st, 2013|2013, This Just In|0 Comments

This Just In: Spring!

via Wikimedia Commons

Last year, heavy rainstorms and wet weather delayed the start of spring until late April for some farms. However, this year has proven warm and dry, and our friend/produce expert Bill Fuijmoto reports that farms all over California — especially in the Delta, Sacramento, the Capay Valley, and Salinas — are looking forward to a great season.

As the season continues to unfold (the equinox is in two days!), you’ll see a fundamental shift in the Oliveto menu as we transition from a hearty winter to a glorious produce-packed spring. Already we’re starting to welcome fresh familiar flavors like new asparagus, spring onions, and fava greens.

In the south, at our friend Martin Bournhonesque’s farm in Monterey, warm weather has already brought the season’s first asparagus and spring onions. You’ll find these tender signs of spring at Oliveto in dishes like Chef Jonah’s Hedgehog mushroom salad, conchiglie with smoked trout, and involtino of Swiss chard.

Also on the menu are fresh fava greens from Tairwa’-Knoll Farms in Brentwood. Chef Jonah has paired them with pan-roasted striped bass with onion crema, spring onions, asparagus, and black truffle-poultry sugo for a real taste of the burgeoning season.

Make reservations online for dinner, or call us at 510.547.5356.

2017-09-12T15:47:47-07:00March 18th, 2013|Market Reports, Spring|0 Comments

This Just In: Rosemary In Bloom


After a winter that was basically one long extended spring, many home gardeners in the Bay Area are finding their big, fluffy rosemary bushes now graced with beautiful purple blossoms.

Pastry Chef Jenny Raven, a home gardener herself, has seen it first hand in her own yard, and in honor of the season, rosemary will get the full-on-Raven-treatment on the dessert menu this weekend:

Rosemary crème caramel topped with fresh rosemary blossoms and pine nut pralines

Jenny will also add a drop or two of Mandy Aftel‘s Pine Needle essence to the pralines. Created specifically for chefs, this edible essential oil is not in any way Christmas-y but rather hints at the pine aroma of a forest floor crunched under foot, conjuring the warmer days to come.

2017-09-12T15:48:11-07:00March 1st, 2012|This Just In|0 Comments
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