Tomato Dinners 2019, September 10-14

Tomato Dinners 2019

September 10-14

Reserve now on line  or call: 510 547-5356

Think of it as a party, with plenty of old friends:

Cherokee Purple, Marvel Stripe, Black Pineapple, Early Girl, German Red, Brandywine.
We’re expecting some new friends too:
Chocolate Sprinkles, Red “Tommy Toe,” maybe even Atomic Fusion–from an array of farms, north and south.  

Bay Area farmers have been busy these past 29 years and more, improving their soils, creating new growing methods, making their tomatoes amazing.

29th Annual Tomato Dinners  2019


Antipasti:  salads, soup, smaller items

Tomato sampling:   German Red, Marvel Stripe, Brandy-
wine, Cherokee Purple, and Black Pineapple

Heirloom tomato caprese salad with burrata cheese

Oysters on the half shell with strawberries, Sweet 100s, horseradish, and lemon

Scallop crudo, tomatoes three ways, and candied walnuts

Salad of cucumbers, mixed cherry tomatoes, parsley, Butter
beans, yogurt, and lentils

Lonza with cress, marinated heirloom tomatoes, Castelmagno cheese, and old aceto balsamico

Garden lettuces vinaigrette

Soup:  tomato soup alla Campbell with fried green tomato and provolone bun

Pork belly with watermelon and oyster-tomatillo salsa

Fried green tomatoes with peaches, sherry/tomato aïoli, and herbs
Garganelli with Brandywine tomatoes, vodka, and mint

Linguine verdi with tomato-braised short rib and Castelmagno cheese

Tomato gnocchi with razor clams, summer squash, and mixed cherry tomatoes

Rosa Bianca eggplant cappelletti with spicy tomato sauce and caprino fonduta

Spaghetti all’amatriciana

Chanterelle mushrooms, sweet corn, and ricotta cannelloni with
Early Girl tomato 
mostarda and sherry-brown butter

Orecchiette with sand dabs, tomato-raisins, and squash blossoms
Braised beef brisket with Acquerello Carnaroli risotto, Green
Zebra tomatoes, 
and giardiniera

Brown butter-aged pork loin with green chili, salsa fresca, and
cured yolk

Peperonata-stuffed tomato with Gorgonzola fondutapangrattato,
harissa verde

Chicken and lobster sausage with pickled green tomatoes and

Charcoal-grilled bigeye tuna with Castelvetrano olives, pole beans, fried red onions, vinegar potatoes, Early Girl tomatoes,
and tomato 
Ricotta zeppole with Early Girl tomato curd, basil ice cream, and candied lemon peel

Corn milk cake with honey-roasted tomatoes and blackberries, rosemary blossoms, and whipped mascarpone

Flourless bittersweet chocolate cake with tomato caramel and whipped cream

Tartlet of green tomatoes, apples, walnut frangipane, tomato leaf whipped cream, saba, and candied walnuts

Menu is a la carte, and subject to minor changes

Reserve now on line  or call: 510 547-5356

2019-09-10T17:26:00-07:00September 10th, 2019|Coming up...|0 Comments

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

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


2017-09-12T15:46:27-07:00September 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


2017-09-12T15:46:27-07:00September 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

2017-09-12T15:46:27-07:00August 30th, 2017|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments
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