Oakland >Food & Dining > Oliveto Cafe & Restaurant
5655 College Ave, Oakland, CA | Directions 9461837.843877 -122.251807
Open Monday, 7:00 am to 9:00 pm Tuesday through Thursday, 7:00 am to 10:00 pm Saturday, 8:00 am to 10:00 pm Sunday, 8:00 am to 9:00 pm Weekday , 7 to 11 am Weekend , 8 to 11 am from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm from 5:30 pm Monday
Favorite – Everytime I go back to my hometown, I eat at Oliveto. I visited last night and had a wonderful meal. The food is always good and well worth the price.
Will not go back – We have decided to try Oliveto, after all, it has been there for all these years. Overall the food was bad and way too expensive, the portions were very small (we are not big people), and unexciting. There are better values elsewhere. We will not go back to Oliveto and we do not recommend it. For years we have been sampling many Bay Area restaurants and don't mind paying a high price, but in this case, it's not at all justified. Two thumbs down.
Much better food elsewhere at these prices – Although the beet salad was excellent it was small and cost $14.00. The entrees were boring and very pricey. My wife had a New York steak that cost $38.00! It was big, bland and of poor quality. The waitress suggested having the meat cooked medium or well to make it tender! Should of realized at that moment they were trying to cover up the meat's poor quality. Service was excellent and the environment pleasant. Because there are so many restaurants in the Bay Area that offer much better food at these prices I don't think I'll be back. It's a shame, because I proposed to my wife there 16 years ago.
I was skeptical – We were looking for a new restaurant on this side of the Bay and I used CitySearch to find Oliveto. After reading the reviews on the site our party of 5 almost didn't choose this restaurant. We were pleasantly surprised! The salad with blue cheese, the beef, halibut, and pasta carbonara were excellent. The lamb was so so. Sarah was our server and she was one of the best we've ever encountered. Yes, the kitchen is slow and if you are in a hurry I don't recommend it, but if you want a nice leisurely dinner with friends it's great. Our table was by the kitchen so it was rather noisy but so were we!
Great Food, Great Service – My husband and I had a wonderful meal at Oliveto in the downstairs cafe. I had a delicious pasta al forno, and my husband had a braised pork dish with polenta.
Although the bill was steep, the excellent service and quality meal was worth the price.
I would recommend the cafe over the main dining room for those on a tight budget.
Upscale Cal-Italian cuisine, a roaring fireplace and a central Rockridge locale make this two-venue restaurant an East Bay fave. – The Scene
Oliveto is actually two restaurants in one: a casual cafe with much-coveted outdoor tables on the ground floor, and a more formal restaurant up a sweeping staircase on the second floor. The restaurant, located in the heart of Rockridge, has a pleasant Tuscan-villa feel, with a crackling fireplace and lush flower arrangements. Service is pleasant and knowledgeable.
The menu changes daily, but recent highlights have included succulent spit-roasted Niman Ranch beef, toothsome rabbit pâté, fresh mozzarella with baby artichokes and luscious squid-ink pasta with white shrimp and basil. Grass-green spinach ravioli, unadorned but for a dribble of olive oil, sometimes seems like it needs more than plain sheep's milk-ricotta filling. The downstairs cafe's menu is built around the wood-fired brick oven, with cold plates and salds side-by-side with pizzas and baked pastas.
Poor value – The meal was very disappointing. The entrees were very pricey. The portions were small and extremely fatty and greasy. We left the place very hungry.
Would Not Go Back – We had overpriced, tasteless, tiny morsels of food; example - a salad of wild arugula for about $13 consisted of about 8 tiny leaves of arugula, an eyedropper of balsamic vinegar, and 3 thin slices of avacado. I KNOW what very high grade balsamic vinegar costs, but this was an utter joke. The roasted pork loin was dry, cold, and tasteless. The service was nice, but the tab was outrageous. Afterwards I was told by friends that "no one goes there anymore." Too bad, it was once a good restaurant.
Good food; a bit pricey for what you get – I was seated immediately upon arrival. I had the melon wrapped in prosciutto; it was quite good. The melon wasn't soggy and it worked well with the prosciutto. I had the quail: the seasonings were wonderful, but I don't think I like the taste of quail (not my type of meat, perhaps). I liked the green beans; not mushy and slightly past crunchy. The dessert was outstanding: black berries in a creme anglaise sauce. Service was attentive and non-intrusive.
The tables are too close together in some areas of the place, but I had a great table near the window. The noise level increased as more dinners showed up. The prices are high for what it offers. You have to ask: What am I paying for? I didn't have wine and my bill was steep. The food was great/good; I just didn't think it was "WOW!"
Pricey Italian – complaints from friends and my terrible experience at the cafe kept me away from this restaurant. however the glowing reviews of the chef from so many publications and an expense account opportunity i finally decided to try it out. you can definitely see the chez panisse influences. very fresh and seasonal ingredients. professional and courteous service. nice and intimate atmosphere. the highlight of the meal was the dessert. ricotta ice cream with crepes and fresh strawberries. OMG, amazing, delicious. unfortunately, the rest of the meal was good but not spectacular. for the very high prices, i had expected more, more complexity to the flavors, better presentation? good thing for expense account meals, i would have felt cheated if i paid on my own.
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