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“GASP! Real Italian Food in California?!”

Oliveto Cafe and Restaurant
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Ranked #30 of 1,261 Restaurants in Oakland
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: Italian, American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Shafter
Transit: Rockridge BART stop is across the street
Level Contributor
143 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“GASP! Real Italian Food in California?!”
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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank travelinfull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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202 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
24 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Authentic Italian Food and Great Wine List”
Reviewed March 13, 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
1 Thank Karen N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonora, California
Level Contributor
468 reviews
328 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
“Probably the best Italian in Oakland”
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
Thank William F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Disappointing entrees”
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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Cindy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
95 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
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.

Thank MJWSanFrancisco_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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