Permanently Closed - Contrasto

4.5
93 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. Contrasto is located near Lake Merritt in the Adams Point neighborhood in Oakland, CA. The menu will change seasonally.

Contrasto will be a contrast between color, taste, visual experience and feelings!

Contrasto “La Cena” will be an experience that provides the rare opportunity to be invited into a private Italian home and learn the key elements that go into creating a traditional, home-cooked Italian meal how grandma and mom taught us as children, simplicity will be the key of contrasto's concept and perfection will be the motto.

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ: OUTSIDE SEATING is in front of the restaurant along the sidewalk we unfortunately do not have a patio.

Please also include any allergy or dietary restrictions in the reservation notes. We can also accommodate gluten, vegetarian and vegan dietary restrictions. Please also note if any children will be part of the reservation, as well as if you are attending a show nearby.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation
Happy Hour
Wed–Sat 3:00 pm–5:00 pm
Brunch
Wed–Sat 3:00 pm–5:00 pm
Dinner
Wed, Thu, Sun 5:30 pm–9:30 pm
Fri, Sat 5:30 pm–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(510) 918-3205
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Alessandro Campitelli
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Catering
We offer catering option through ezCater.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Perkins
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Parking details
Parking available on Grand and around the restaurant. Please note parking is free after 6:00pm.
Additional
Beer, Chef's Table, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 93 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.3
service
4.1
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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P
San Francisco
33 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

They closed, maybe permanently, March 31. The owner was nice enough to call and leave me a message.

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EP
1 review
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are really sad that this authentic and delicious place is losing its lease! I hope they find another place to land here in Oakland

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LE
San Francisco
43 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

Forgotten and neglected! We were sooo looking forward to this meal at Contrasto as they are losing their lease and closing soon and we were soooo disappointed!! Had a 7:30 reservation and it took a few minutes to seat us because they were packed. No worries! Sat down and ordered quickly - we were there for amazing Roman-style pasta...Had a couple of appetizers and date night is going really well and then....watched not one, not two, but THREE tables that were seated after us get their entrees. At this point, we start to worry - been seated for 90 minutes- but Alessandro, the owner, assured us ‘your pasta will be ready soon’. We wait. 20 more minutes...now I’m seriously starting to wonder...gee, we have been here many times...hey, we are kind of regulars and tip well and have even recommended this place to friends who also visit regularly ...we are trying to be mellow about the situation but WTH?! The Alessandro brings us a charcuterie plate with his apologies about 15 minutes later. Seriously!?! You couldn’t have made that pasta in the time it took to prep that plate of meat I don’t want?!? Now it is 2 hours later and I am DONE. Sorry, but I just don’t want to eat pasta at almost 10 pm...yes, they were apologetic but seeing 3 tables served before us and the 2 hour wait...thank you, NEXT...

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o
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 4ambience 2

The food was very good. It was so damn loud in there we all ended up feeling drained. Can't hear each other, can't hear server. All surfaces are hard, the place needs some sound buffering somewhere.

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L
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great food, service, atmosphere. Just a little loud.

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r
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

I absolutely loved it. Sop sad they're closing on March 31.

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R
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This is my second visit, and the food, service, customer care/attention and overall dining experience were excellent. The only downside was the noise level. It was much higher than my first visit, and my friend and I ended up having to shout to hear each other. But this would definitely not stop me from going back. Unfortunately, the restaurant will be closing, with its last day on 3/31. So sad to lose such a neighborhood gem.

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K
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Staff was fantastic, including a guest sommelier. Looks like they lost their lease - too bad

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ordered the carbonara, gnocchi, and ribeye. Ribeye was a little on the fatty side, but it happens with ribeyes. The pasta was phenomenal, perfect degree of firmness for my tastes. Carbonara was wonderfully cheesy and the pink gnocchi sauce was subtly flavorful.

Owner is very friendly and hands-on, he both seated and served our party, and was managing the kitchen too the entire time. I was saddened to learn the restaurant will be closing at the end of March due to their landlord having sold the building, but I will definitely be on the lookout when this place reopens elsewhere!

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S
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service, delicious food and an overall wonderful experience every time!

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RF
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food, wine and service were excellent! Although this location is closing, it didn't feel like the Alessandro and his team were just going through the motions. I look forward to seeing what Alessandro does next.

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ED
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Contrasto is my crush. I get so exitced to eat there. Every time I go I bring a new friend or family to try it. What I love most is the causal atmosphere with fine dining quality Italian cuisine. It brings be back to Italy. Alessandro, the owner works the room and makes you feel at home. I love you Contrasto!!!!♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

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A
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Apparently, Contrast is slated to close by the end of March 2019. I guess the building was sold. So, I advise you to go NOW. The upside: amazing contemporary Italian cooking of the highest order and smart wine list. The downside: on the night we went, the wait was exceptionally long. We were told that due to the upcoming closing they have lost some staff. Still, the food was exceptional enough to warrant a visit. Don't miss this one. But maybe bring a pocketful of crackers to tide you over.

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NN
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It was a double date and we shared everything so we could try different things. The food was amazing, and the fact that the chef came to every table to talk to each guest was a very nice touch. Our server, sommelier- everyone was truly lovely. We were hoping to come back but was shocked to hear that they could not extend their lease and so it was closing at the end of the month. It is hard to understand what is going on in Oakland right now. Very sad...

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AN
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Sorry but the service was slow and bad. They never came and asked us if everything was ok.
And there was no option no tip less than 18%
Wish was a lot for the service we got.
Plates were very very small too....
Not coming back for sure

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m
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The brussel sprouts were to die for as was the ribeye steak!

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JM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every dish was beautifully presented and delicious. Service was attentive yet allowed us to enjoy the courses at our own pace.

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GA
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful and inspired menu and food - know we will be coming back again and again.

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OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service were excellent, and it was a great value. The wine was also excellent!!

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MA
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

All of the food was delicious. It was my husband’s birthday and he has been learning Italian cooking, so the chef came by and gave us cooking tips and even a sneak peek of how he makes our pasta in the kitchen. We had a fabulous time!

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MP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

I wish that Italian restaurants would stop making the pasta dishes excessively rich to make it seem like they are worth the high price tag. This is a good restaurant and many dishes were delicious, but the HUGE amounts of butter and oil detracted from some of them. Worth a visit, service was great, but if it had been a busy night, the noise level would have been horrible.

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L
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I am heartbroken to learn that Contrasto has lost its lease and will probably be closing sometime in March. They serve up some of the best southern Italian cuisine and Tuscan wines in the Bay Area, and the owner and staff are delightful.

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ED
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Roman Italian cuisine in the Bay Area. High quality food, personal customer service, warm atmosphere.
Great place for a date, a dinner alone or a special event. They also have brunch! You must try at least one pasta and a few of the appetizers. Fantastic wine list. Owner is chef and works the room all night. Really great guy! Loved all staff as well. :)

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AC
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Mu favorite restaurant in Oakland did not disappoint for my birthday dinner! If you haven't been yet, go! So delicious.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

I found out about Contrasto from a friend. He loved it so much I decided to make a reservation for no reason at all. It was amazing! The pasta was seriously the best I’ve ever had. Wait staff was profesh , wasn’t too pricey, side dishes were on point. Really nothing bad to say. My friend was w right.

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JH
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I'll keep this short. This is the best Italian food we've had outside of Italy, and compares favorably with some we had there. Alessandro is a gifted chef, and we are so sorry to learn that the restaurant will be closing. So go soon, while you still can!

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MR
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

The pasta was cold, the prosecco pours were short, the temperature was drafty and the servers were too eager to clear plates that were still being eaten. Your money would be better spent elsewhere.

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R
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food in a great place. We went for restaurant week and the menu was a steal! The pasta is fresh, flavourful and of a great quality. All the staff were incredibly attentive and friendly too.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Loved it! Super fresh and authentic, lovely flavors and unique small plates.

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SG
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it-We will be back. Jay and Mona gave us a gift certificate as a wedding Gift. I must say it was the best gift we got.

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KJ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

They must have been understaffed because there was one server for all of the tables. Had a reservation for 4 at 09:00pm and didn't get the main entrees until about 10:30pm. The food was exceptional and I am not so unreasonable to give them a low rating based on one experience that might potentially be a one-off. The food was absolutely delectable so I will definitely be coming back to try the entire menu. I have a feeling the slow service was because it was a Restaurant Week weekend and/or someone must have called in sick. Other than that, the server was very apologetic and the food was delicious. In the very least, I would recommend a try!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

Not great! Food is good, but service was questionable.

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EG
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

I walked in. No one assisted me for 7-10 minutes. Finally, someone came told me to wait another few minutes. Again finally after 7 more mins and after they helped others who came in after me. Once I was finally seated no one came to ask me what i wanted. After 15 mins I got up and walked out.

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NK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We tried it for Oakland Restaurant Week and it did not disappoint. The ossobuco starter and housemade daily pasta with shrimp were outstanding. The apple pound cake dessert was alright, though not as memorable as the first two courses.

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JB
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Limited menu of great Italian food. Friendly service by the very small staff. While the decor is rather cold, there is plenty of spacing between tables.

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E
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was excellent, very cozy atmosphere and good service. Would recommend for anyone for just about any occasion.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What an amazing meal! We were a party of four and had a few small plates and a few large plates and it was the perfect amount. The food was so beautiful, almost too good to eat, but we did and it was so delicious. The owner was very helpful with any questions we had including what wine paired best with our meal. The items on the menu were very unique and not something you always see in this area which was exciting. We definitely will be going back!

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RV
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We (6 of us) were at Comtrasto on January 3, a Thursday evening, so it was not too busy. The pasta here is all homemade and is delicious. We met the chef who is delightful and who helped us with our selection.
For small plates, we had to the octopus and the cheee selection which were both delicious. The five of us ordered different entrees all of which were very good. I would definitely recommend Contrasto.

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TQ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this place! And we keep coming back and love it more!

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best Brussels sprouts I’ve ever had. Amazing pasta and great dessert. We’ll be back.

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