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“GASP! Real Italian Food in California?!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Oliveto Cafe and Restaurant

Oliveto Cafe and Restaurant
5655 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618-1583
510-547-5356
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Ranked #32 of 1,131 Restaurants in Oakland
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: Italian, Californian, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Shafter
Transit: Rockridge BART stop is across the street
California
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“GASP! Real Italian Food in California?!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

The menu changes with the season, (something I believe more restaurants should do) using fresh ingredients and dishes that are extremely flavorful. Of course my favorite time of year to go to Oliveto's is during truffle season, while expensive, its worth every penny. I have now been here about 6 times and I have to say we have yet to be disappointed. We recently had the roast hen rolata, the fig tortelloni and spit roasted rabbit wrapped in pancetta. The location is charming, and you can stroll down the street afterwards to walk off the pasta and poke your head into the new/used bookstore that stays open later than the other stores in the area. Also below the restaurant they have their cafe portion, however, I have not sampled anything on their menu (guessing it must be different). Good wine selection, but have not been bowled over by dessert options. I also recommend making advance reservations, otherwise, you may not get in on a walk-in basis if its a weekend evening.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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120 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    55
    38
    15
    6
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Berkeley
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Authentic Italian Food and Great Wine List”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

I have had some of the best meals of my life in this restaurant. The food is based on Umbrian cuisine, and if you haven't been to Umbria this is your chance to taste some of the best Italian food there is. Everything is excellent: Food, wine, service and atmosphere.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonora, California
Top Contributor
152 reviews 152 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
“Probably the best Italian in Oakland”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

First, you have the choice of the cafe downstairs and the restaurant upstairs. Being there for the first time, we opted to do both - a progressive dinner within the same building! Downstairs we focused on the pizza -- delicious, crisp, wonderful toppings! Upstairs we opted for gnocchi in an uni sauce - obviously a bit more upscale and refined. It was an incredible dish, sublime gnocchi in a sauce that was velvety and of the sea but not particularly strong uni flavor - in fact I would not have guessed it had I not ordered it. But delicious! Wines by the glass that rock. Bring your big boy wallet for upstairs, downstairs you will make it through a little cheaper.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Disappointing entrees”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Eight of us had dinner at Oliveto Cafe and Restaurant and we were basically disappointed. While the duck liver panna cotta and quail shined the stuffed rolled rabbit was very dry and under sauced. The swordfish was grossly overcooked and the accompanying tomato olive fregola was gummy. We dined here about a year ago and shared numerous pasta dishes which were outstanding. Maybe we just didn't order enough pasta?

  • Visited January 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Porkfest”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

They do an annual pork dinner where every course has an element of pork in it including dessert - one of the best meals I've had.

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