Oliveto Café & Restaurant

4.4
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3108 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Oliveto Café & Restaurant offers seasonal cuisine in the Northern Italian tradition, including wild game, fresh pastas, wood-fired pizzas and authentic vegetable and poultry dishes.

All reservations are for the upstairs restaurant. The cafe is open all day 7 days a week for walk ins. We look forward to seeing you soon.
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Private Dining

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What 3108 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Quiet
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OC
San Francisco
57 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience5

We eat here all the time. Tonight was VERY busy for a Friday. But our waiter Jack took it all in stride. We started with some savory Zeppole (donuts), followed by a sweet potato gnocchi with an unbelievable sauce! Our mains were tasty enough, but they both arrived overcooked to medium (duck breast and swordfish). No biggie, we had a wonderful experience - everyone has an off moment or two in a kitchen!?

Get in here!

1
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience4

We were celebrating a birthday with the family, one of whom had severe allergies. I had called before making the reservation to make sure this person could be accommodated and was assured she could. However when ordering we saw there were a lot of sides but none that were ok fo her. We asked the waiter if he had plain rice or vegetable and he told us no, they didn’t have anything like that and they couldn’t add that to the plain swordfish she had ordered. So she would have to just have the swordfish alone. Seemed like he couldn’t get away from the table fast enough. When he returned I asked him if he would please ask the chef directly if he could prepare a plain unseasoned side? He returned to say they would have to get some broccolini at the store but he would do it. Turns out the swordfish and broccolini were perfect. Can’t say the same about the octopus the waiter pushed, talking about how long it was cooked so it would be soft and tender. It probably was the worst octopus I had ever had. Hard, extremely chewy, very difficult to even eat. The chicken was delicious. The steak was ok. The tagliatelle with duck was pretty bland. Dessert was good. I have eaten there before - sometimes great, sometimes not. this experience was not very good

VI
San Francisco
40 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

This restaurant knows how to do it. Service is polite, not overly friendly, yet impeccable.
The restaurant is very nicely decorated and the tables are not right on top of one another making conversation easy.
The menu was hard to decipher, I couldn't imagine what I would be eating from the description.
There weren't a lot of gluten free options, two of the people in our party were gluten allergic, one severely.
The food was good, not rave worthy and for the price I thought we were going to taste some great things. Only one person remarked how delicious their plate was.
They have a good wine list .
In summary, good restaurant with very nice wine list and impeccable service. The food left me unimpressed and for the price I expected more.

T
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Just lively enough to be friendly, but quiet enough for conversation. Great location. The crab linguine was crabsolutely delicious.

Y
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I took two quite sophisticated friends here, who were visiting from the Netherlands. They were both impressed by the delicious food and the excellent wine we chose. There was one thing that I found regrettable. One of us has very poor hearing and we had asked for a table as quiet as possible. It was a weekday evening and not crowded. A table was found in a corner with many empty tables near us. After about half an hour, with many tables still unoccupied, four people were seated right next to us rather than at one of the empty tables further away. This somewhat diminished our pleasure. I don't understand why this is done as there seems no logical reason to put people in clumps, especially when they have asked for a quiet spot. The restaurant never did fill up that night.

OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall4food3service3ambience5

The sound is blissfully quiet due to their special acoustics. Your scale is not appropriate. Don’t like loud where you can’t talk! Oliveto food - strange choices, difficult to choose, especially if you can’t eat gluten((ie pasta).

FS
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food at Oliveto just gets more and more amazing. We had pasta dishes and both were exceptional, and really different from each other. The service was also excellent. A fantastic place for a special occasion.

EW
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Oliveto is one of my favorite spots in the East Bay, so it was a natural choice for the special dinner out my partner and I chose to enjoy in lieu of Christmas gifts to each other.

As ever, the food was truly excellent: everything was fresh, perfectly prepared, creative, and uniquely delicious.

But we were so disappointed by the service. It took our server more than 7 minutes to even acknowledge us and approach our table, and if there were any specials or recommendations, she didn't tell us about them. She also never checked back after our courses were delivered or at all during the meal (until we were ready for dessert), so if we'd needed anything, we would've had to go find her and flag her down. The restaurant wasn't super busy when we were there, and we were intentionally seated in a spot that felt out of the way (seemingly to balance the loads of the various servers working that night?), so overall we just felt ignored and not especially well cared for, which is never how we've felt at Oliveto before. It's normally such a warm and welcoming spot.

And though these are pretty minor things, we had empty plates sit on our table for upwards of 5 minutes between courses, and the people who delivered our food put my partner's food in front of me and mine in front of his with both courses—not deal breakers by any means, but slip-ups that I don't expect from somewhere as excellent as this place.

I hope what we experienced was just an off night service-wise, because we truly love this place. But man, we definitely felt under-appreciated and kind of snubbed, which definitely took some of the shine off of what we hoped would be a really special meal.

w
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food5service1ambience5

Food was excellent as it was prepared for a full course menu for New Years Eve.
Beautiful setting that I have been to for a few decades well over a hundred of great dinners there both upstairs and downstairs. Chef is fantastic.
Wine pairing was good as well, but the pour was very scant.
Service was under way par. Usually very good service though.
In fact, we sat there for 29 minutes after being seated and not one word from anyone. No drink, no bread , nothing. Not even a hello. When we asked who our waiter was he responded gruffly and was sooo impolite.
I also got a very disappointing pour on the wine side by said individual . Not even a quarter glass for a very expensive wine pairing. Once again a rude response and challenge when asking him why so little . He acted like he owned the place and no he didn't as the owner happens to be a real gentleman and has fine restaurant.

K
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

New Years Eve. However, you are pricing yourselves out of the market!!!!

C
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Food was excellent, service was a bit slow but it was New Year’s Eve and the restaurant was fully booked, so understandable. Would definitely recommend for a higher end, paced, meal over a few hours.

KV
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food; impeccable service; amazing wine list - perfect for a special event.

MT
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Food was good but we had to send one dish back. Service was a tad slow. Not as attentive as it should be at this price point. Lovely decor and ambiance, as always.

JV
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Every time my parents are visiting from New York, they want to bring the whole family to Oliveto, which has never let us down. The excellent service and stellar food always make it feel like a special occasion. The pacing is leisurely, which was hard for my children when they were younger, but is fine now that they are teenagers and can participate more in the conversation. They have always been able to find pasta dishes that they liked on the menu, even when they were little. We feel fortunate to have such a gem of a restaurant that really works for all three generations, whether it’s lunch after a graduation or a holiday week dinner.

OA
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Always excellent food , wine, service and ambience.
Thought the wine by the glass is a short pour, but when my friend said as much to the waiter, they said it was the correct amount, 5 oz., but came back with the bottle and added a bit. I commend them for doing this. Not a big deal, and certainly wouldn’t keep me from coming back as I have for years, but shows the classiness of this place

DP
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

The wait person never offered us a wine list after she asked us if we wanted a cocktail. She was not familiar with the cocktails on the menu and very inattentive. She brought our entree while we were still eating our appetizers. She overall needs some training. Food was wonderful as always. Hostess was fabulous, very informative in a large crowd of people waiting for dinner and quick on her feet. Happy New Year

LE
San Francisco
59 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Overpriced menu and service was marginal particularly since bill included an automatic 18% "service charge". The salad was over the top vinegar, pasta was over-seasoned and meat was a bit tough. We skipped the dessert. Service shoulda been better but I would imagine there is no incentive to provide service when assured a tip. Not going back.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

When we arrived for my husband's birthday dinner the hostess tried to seat us in the middle of the restaurant, even though there were several tables for two at the window and next to the wall, which were more private. When I asked to be moved she gave us a hard time. She said that they were very booked that night, but she would check with the manager. After standing around for several minutes, she came back and said that we could sit at table of our choice. Sure enough, no one was seated in the middle table for the two hours that we were at the restaurant and several tables were left open. Our server was knowledgeable, but aloof and never asked us if we wanted another drink. As for the food, the ribeye was flavorful and tasty, but quite tough and hard to cut and chew. The soup, ravioli, and flourless chocolate cake were all quite tasty. The Pinot Noir was good, but not worth $18 a glass.
Overall, although the food was mostly good, the restaurant has a pretentious vibe, the service is mediocre, and it's too expensive for the quality and portions. We won't be rushing back there.

DH
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Excellent restaurant, but no dairy free or vegetarian entrees or pastas.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely amazing. The food was impeccable and the service was next level. Our server Kay was an absolute joy and I can’t wait to go back!

j
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Our table by the window was very cold. We left our coats on. The waiter immediately told us he hadn't had a day off in 2 weeks and was rushed. The Mortadella/fig salad had figs that tasted like rubber. My partners entree was bland and boring (linguine w/ crab). In the middle of eating our dessert and having tea the waiter brought our check! The 18% tip was included in our bill, or we would've left far less. Won't return.

w
San Francisco
125 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience2

We were assigned to a table in the very middle of the room, despite our request for a quiet table. After my wife made a fuss, we were moved to a side table, but there were a lot of nicer tables already occupied. No one had actually thought about our placement. The service was perfunctory throughout the meal. The white wine was served lukewarm and despite my observation, no ice bucket was provided. The entrees were absolutely delicious, the sword fish cooked perfectly, the ragu was great. The bill was expensive, and we left only the mandatory 18% surcharge.

H
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

I had a problem with the menu. There were about fifteen appetizers and entrees. There were none that did not need to be explained to me, and most contained something that did not add to the dish. If I am in another country, and the menu is written in their language, I expect to need some explanation. Here I should be able to read the menu and know what I am getting.

EG
San Francisco
133 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience3

I have not been to Oliveto in years, and I was excited about coming back. Sadly, my experience was so poor, I probably won't return. I met a colleague for lunch. I liked one of the salads on the menu, but it had no protein. I asked if they could add protein. He told me there are two salads with protein and I could order either of those. I did not like those salads and he said he could order one of the salads with the protein and then ask for the "set up" of the salad I wanted. I think it was his polite way of saying I would be charged extra for protein, but this was never an issue.

We ordered and it took a long time for our food to come. When our food finally arrived, I was given the salad I did not want (I can not stand blue cheese, which is why I did not order that salad). But our waiter ran off and never came back. Since we were time pressed, i had no choice but to eat what was served. I still had to flag down the waiter to get the check 5 minutes after my colleague had to leave for another meeting.

The salad I got not only had components I don't care for, the chicken was fatty. Just a terrible all around experience. Not the Oliveto's I fondly remembered.

b
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Oliveto has so many things going for it...great ambiance, great location, great parking, inspired menu. Unfortunately, we found the reality of the menu lacking. The ideas are great but the food overwhelmingly lacked any wow factor. Pasta with crab, pickled avocado, grapefruit seemed like a great idea....avocado was hard to find and seemed shockingly not pickled. In fact the entire dish was bland. Our mortadella and fig salad described by waiter as "mortadella in the form of a sausage" was just a green salad with two slivers of old fashioned mortadella (let's face it, bologna) and a couple of tiny mission figs. Dressing was lovely. Our rib eye steak was under cooked, over-fatty and not at all worth the $35 price tag (although the mash and greens were AMAZING) . Finally, the addition of an 18% "service charge" was perplexing on a party of 2. There was no mention of the service charge so we assumed this was in lieu of a tip. We later discovered that the service charge does not necessarily belong to the server so we felt confident that we had stiffed her, despite leaving a few extra bucks. As a restaurant with a reputation of great chefs, and as a couple who frequents great restaurants, Oliveto fell flat for us. Not sure we'd come back with so many choices out there.

TA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

This was the first time we had eaten since they have changed chefs. We enjoyed every dish but as a starter we individually commented on how tasty the bread was which turns out to be from the Community Grains project that Oliveto owners have started. We ordered and shared the steak and the pork loin but the steak was particularly memorable and perfectly cooked.
This restaurant is the perfect place to share a conversation because it is so quiet. It is a great special occasion place.

R
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 10, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Wonderful evening with nothing to complain about.

TO
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of our favorite restaurants. Fabulous holiday ambiance and delicious food! Thank you!

l
San Francisco
57 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

We received a warm welcome and had excellent service, but the food was not stellar. The swordfish was overcooked and didn't have much flavor and the Piedmontese ribeye was very fatty and not properly cooked - it had to be sent back.

We had just been in NYC and the prices are comparable, if not higher here at Oliveto, and the food not nearly as good as some of the wonderful places we ate in New York.

Our meal for two was over $250 and it included three alcoholic drinks, one soup and one salad, one pasta and one meat entree plus 1 dessert. They included 18% service charge. Way too high for the food we were served.
Not likely to return.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent dinner in every respect

OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

One of the best restaurant in Berkeley-Oakland no doubt.

TS
San Francisco
151 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It had been awhile since we visited Oliveto’s and we were delighted to experience a very innovative menu with delectable flavors. Our waitress was very knowledgeable about every item offered and enthusiastically offered recommendations. I really loved the raw scallop appetizer and the pasta with Oregon Dungeness crab. Friends had the pork chops, ravioli, and steak and raved about how fresh and delicious everything was. Oliveto’s was packed yet we could enjoy a conversation. Definitely an excellent restaurant that stands the test of time and dedication to excellent preparation and execution.

F
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience5

I have enjoyed many memorable meals @Olivetos . Dinner
Was say very mediocre. Nothing was spot on as is normal. Perhaps new folks in the kitchen not sure but it’s only a first world complaint

SE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The beet salad was delightful. I wish I could replicate. The fish was perfectly prepared with a firm glazed finish and a light and tasty center. The dining room is handsome and comfortable. Really a lovely lunch!

M
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved everything except it was cold! Cold air whooshed upstairs from the front door.

DN
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal and a lovely space. One in our party cannot eat dairy, and the server and chef went out of their way to identify all the items on the menu that person could eat. We'll be back.

n
Dublin
7 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The menu is innovative, but still approachable. The food is prepared well: nothing is over- or under-seasoned or over-or under-cooked. The Community Grains bread and pasta is the best in the Bay Area. This is one of my favorite places to eat in the country, let alone in Oakland.

MB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Upon entering the upstairs restaurant we were greeted by friendly staff. We were celebrating a couple of birthdays and would recommend Olivetto for any special any special occasion. The Sommelier was very helpful with our wine selections. The food was delicious and was so excited to enjoy some shaved white truffles on my pasta. Will be returning real soon!

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

The food was just ok, on the greasy side. There seemed to have too much sauce on the pasta, and man, the portion was extremely small.

RR
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Great restaurant to meet an old friend of 50 years, on the day before Thanksgiving. It was very quiet at first, after arriving at 11:30 for lunch. Our waiter was very attentive and helpful, kind and cheerful, as he accurately described the menu items and anwered our questions with patience and thoroughness. As the restaurant became more filled, the noise level rose, but it wasn't too bad for our aging hearing, for we were next to the front windows. Our waiter of course became busier, and checked in with us less frequently, but that was understandable, especially since we also no longer had questions. The best thing was that we were not urged to leave, so we had a long-planned visit of two hours, both of us meeting in Berekely after travelling from afar. We kept our eyes on how full the reaturant was as the two hours passed by, and when we left there were stilll a couple of open tables. The lunch menu was suberb with sseveral fine offerings and delicious as always whenwecome to viti Berkeley. Thank you for being open on this very busy day before Thanksgiving.

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