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“We had one very good dinner and one disappointing one”

Oliveto Cafe and Restaurant
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Ranked #29 of 1,295 Restaurants in Oakland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: Italian, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Shafter
Transit: Rockridge BART stop is across the street
Reviewed August 14, 2014

The first time we went, we had a delicious meal and our server, Anne, was exceptionally good. We shared everything, as usual. We ordered a Scurati Nero d’Avola Terre Siciliane 2012, Azienda Agricola Ceuso, Trapani, Italy ($37) and liked it. The bread that was brought was very good. We started with the Yellowtail crudo ($13) and thought it was tasty and appropriately spiced. The next appetizer we had was the sardines ($14) that were marinated in house described as follows: “Marinated Monterey Bay sardines with fire-roasted peppers, fried shallots, and French Breakfast radishes.” Yum! For our entrée, we had the Charcoal-grilled pigeon with Chanterelle mushrooms, crispy riso nero, Fontina cheese, and rosemary ($32). It was excellent but we couldn’t finish it! The crispy riso nero was an unique ball of a rice and cheese mixture that was made crispy somehow. We loved the dish. We couldn’t eat any dessert we were so full. We spent $104.64 plus tip. The second time we went to Oliveto, we went for their special “Oceana” menu and were very unhappy with the quality and the quantity of the dishes.

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Thank aledm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (212)
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110 - 114 of 212 reviews

Reviewed August 12, 2014

Sit outside, order a glass of wine and their polenta service and enjoy. I go for lunch often and always come away feeling like something special just happened. Great environment, friendly service and incredible food. Worth a trip.

Thank ray94611
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2014

After not eating here for several years, we had dinner recently with friends. It was disappointing, to say the least. The pigeon was tough and bony, and while my fish dish as OK, it was nothing out of the ordinary for $36. To top it off, my friend, who is on a special diet, was charged the same entrée price of $36 for her dish of steamed vegetables - completely outrageous even for a special order. Will not be returning as there are many other restaurants in the East Bay that offer better food at a much more reasonable price.

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1  Thank Janet B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2014

Friends from Berkeley turned us on to this place. Dinner was magnificent in every respect. The service was impeccable and every dish, first-rate. Ask about the polenta, which they will bring up from downstairs.

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Thank opti-wan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2014 via mobile

Superb food, superbly prepared and superbly served! Service is always exceptional with very knowledgeable staff who recommend without being pushy; attentive without being annoying. This time my boyfriend and I enjoyed the cheese tortelloni with crispy artichoke chips in butter sauce to start. Perfectly cooked! Tender but not mushy. You should always try a pasta fish here! Then he had the ribeye with mashed potatoes and puréed spinach - beautifully prepared. I had the pancetta wrapped rabbit with English peas and wheat berries. So juicy and tender! Then we finished by sharing the strawberry shortcake sundae. Orange and vanilla ice cream with strawberries, shortcake crumbs and toasted almonds. So perfectly sweet and tasty. A deconstructed strawberry shortcake event of sorts. Just impressive! We also had a "flight" of 3 of their house made liqueurs. The bar manager makes them (and happened to be our waiter that night) and there were almost a dozen flavors to choose from. We tried a bitter orange and vanilla one with a rosé wine base; a zabaglione one with brandy and a blackberry one with spices that tasted like a nice mulled wine. They were so nice and smooth. The entire experience was amazing! Portions run a little small, but they're really perfectly sized such that you truly can enjoy an appetizer, a main course and a dessert, and leave comfortably full, but not miserably stuffed. In addition to all of the above my boyfriend also had a beer. All in, we spent $150. So not inexpensive; but worth every penny! Highly recommend this place to everyone!

Thank Mgmecu99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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