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“Great evening, great location!” 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 #34 of 1,128 Restaurants in Oakland
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: Italian, Californian, Contemporary
More restaurant details
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
Benicia, California
Top Contributor
185 reviews 185 reviews
148 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 79 cities Reviews in 79 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Great evening, great location!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

We recently met some friends near BART before going to a movie nearby. This was the great location - convenient, just across from BART, easy access, and some outside seating! We did not have reservations, but there was a perfect corner table for the four of us - and we were immediately seated. Please note that there are only two tables outside - and it is crowded and you are right next to a noisy, busy street. But the four of us enjoyed the location of the table and were willing to be crowded for our quick dinner in the Cafe portion of the restaurant. Besides, watching all the people go by is part of the ambiance of this place.

We ordered three appetizers (flatbread with ciccioli, salumi platter, almonds & marinated olives) and a bottle of a tasty Italian wine. The wine was great, and the appetizers were quite delicious, but small. They were probably meant to be shared by two people rather than four. That being said, we felt they were a bit pricey for the amount of food.

We also ordered the following entrees: penne alla bolognese, roast rock cod (2X), roast hen with Cannellini beans. All of us enjoyed our food and our service from our nice waiter with the accent!

We liked this restaurant and would return. But there are so many other great eateries on this street and nearby, we might try a different one before returning to this one. A good stop. Glad we went there for dinner. Total cost for the food listed above, plus tip: $180 for four.

  • Visited April 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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119 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    54
    38
    15
    6
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Godalming, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Great bistro meal”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

Just discovered this area of Oakland - lots of interesting looking restaurants. We sat at the bar and watched the chef cook the meals using the pizza oven. The menu was short and simple and the food freshly cooked. We enjoyed the atmosphere and food and would return and would recommend this place, but would probably try one of the other interesting restaurants in the area first.

  • Visited April 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emeryville, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Creative and authentic Italian cuisine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

We have always admired Oliveto's combination of creative cuisine and its attention to the traditions of Italian cooking. Chef Jonah Rhodehamel is bringing the kitchen to new heights. (We ran into him and co-owner Maggie Klein while visiting Masseria Il Frantoio in Puglia - they guys are serious students of Italian traditions.) If you're interested in something more casual, their downstairs cafe has superb hand-made pizzas and other casual fare. The wait staff are exceptionally articulate in describing the various dishes and are happy to make recommendations; they have tasted everything on offer. We also appreciate their attention to the sources of their ingredients; family farmers, sustainably-harvested fish, pasture-raised meats. Definitely great for special occasions, but we have gone through long periods of eating there every week.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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.

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