Our Valentine dinner was disappointing. We were given a corner table next to a thoroughfare populated by kitchen and service personnel. We were not able to enjoy the floral centerpiece, just a side arrangement.
We waited a full fifteen minutes before the waiter's appearance when I placed an order of two martinis. After learning that the bar does not stock Plymouth gin, I requested Hendricks, and the waiter cheerfully acknowledged, "Yes, Tanqueray!" After we corrected the brand, he again assured us in a friendly manner, "and with tonic!" How can Oliveto impose a 20% charge with service like this?
Food highlights for me were the risotto and the duck sausage. The Kushi oyster is nothing special, and the accompanying shiso seems like a part of a tired twig. The cake dessert was dry and unappealing.
Altogether it was a rather uninspired and unromantic dining experience.
Fabulous meal! Lovely menu. My only complaint was that the crab salad had numerous shells. Other than that, the meal was excellent. And a lovely wine flight.
For Valentine’s day, my love and I enjoyed the prix fixe menu and the wine pairings that accompanied it. Each course was delicious. Fresh Maine lobster was featured. It was delicious. The crab parfait was also a highlight. From the fresh oysters to the chocolate mousse, what a brilliant dinner. The flower arrangements upstairs were so beautiful.
An absolute joy. My wife and I came here for Valentine’s Day. It was the kind of meal where you slow down just to savor the combinations of flavors and textures. The ambience was wonderful, the service excellent, and the food just outstanding.
Olivetto's is one of my favorite places for ambience and having a quiet romantic dinner. In terms of this it never disappoints. For a pre-Valentines meal the night before, though my partner was thrilled with his meat dishes, my pasta, which was the only vegetarian option, was pretty disappointing. It was supposted to have a wild mushroom ragu -- there was little evidence of mushrooms, but the main issue was over salting. It was like eating a salt block.
But everyone is off from time to time -- I'd recommend that they put a little more effort into the vegetarian options though.
We went to celebrate our Valentines day at Oliveto, we decided to go there cause in previous occasions the service and food was good, actually we were thinking this restaurant was the best in College Ave, however that night the service was really poor, our waitress was completely in Lalaland and lacking all kind of personality, the sparkling water was completely flat! and some of the food we requested you were out of it, like the pate, then they got us some entries that we didn't order and when we were looking at it almost ready to eat that they came and retired the plates without even saying sorry. The pork chop was very bad and cold so the fat felt terrible in my mouth I had to exchange plate with my BF and ended up trying to chew a very rubbery octopus. It really was a bad night. Now the young fella in a suit he was really moving, he was covering for our sad waitress and that was the only good thing about our dinner experience. Too bad I didn't get his name to give him my thanks for his service.
After all this I don't think we can recommend this place anymore and it is for sure that we are not going back any time soon. =(
While the ambience was warm, the food was not worth the price. $20 crab salad had one piece of crab, about 1 inch long, nestled in greens. The pasta was delicious, but, again small serving with a tiny piece of crab in a dish labeled as crab pasta. My steelhead was delicious, but my husband's pork was tough and he couldn't cut it with the unsharpened knives he was offered. It was a lovely setting and relaxed service, but sadly the food wasn't what we expected.
A bit pricey but very good food & very good service.
It has had better days. Comically poor service and a menu that is dated and stale. Hard to cobble together a decent meal. Unfortunate.
Excellent service and attention to detail, as always, and the cuisine is stellar. Our attendant was well-informed about each dish, as well as the wine selection. I chose a chicken liver pate to start and followed with a canderli with chicken roulade, which was outstanding! I was unfamiliar with canderli and our server explained the preparation step by step, which impressed me. My wife had the stem garlic soup with oysters (which we both applauded) and followed with the dungeness crab salad, which pleased her (i did not try it because I was too busy with the roulade). The nebbiolo recommended by our server was perfect for my meal. I keep expecting Oliveto to get tired or unfocused, like so many restaurants, but they surprise me each time -- they're still on top of their game.
Always good food and pleasant staff!
We’ve been going to Oliveto’s since the Paul Bertoli days. Fab at first; not so later in; then good again. Ate there for my birthday a few years back and loved it. Ate there again last night for my bday this year...Oy! The pork chop was so tough as to be inedible—carelessly plopped down on a mess of white beans and something else. Wife had chicken roulades with dumplings that were surreally salty. Also inedible. We complained and got the pork taken off of the bill. But still...not going back any time soon. The kitchen seems to have completely lost its culinary mojo
Nice service. Nice atmosphere. Not enough to get us back...
I was disappointed this time. I have been coming for years. The hostess downstairs went upstairs and I followed her. She told me to go back downstairs till my table was ready. My table was ready when we went upstairs. I could have sat at the bar and had a drink while my table was becoming ready - there was only one person at the bar - and besides, the table was ready. It was a very unwelcoming beginning to the evening.
Good was great, service was terrible. The ability to force an 18% gratuity on everyone has made the service here decline dramatically.
The food is innovative and nicely presented but the portions are very small. Our appetizers were served cold when they should have been room temperature. The cocktails were okay but not special.
This restaurant seems to be getting by on it’s name but is not as good as in the past .
Oliveto is a national treasure and a destination the Bay Area can be proud of. We used to live in the Bay Area and were regulars (about once a month). Now we make a pilgrimage to this restaurant be part of every visit.
Very interesting menu and attentive service. Convenient to BART.
They were out of the wine we ordered. They were out of filet mignon. Both times our party learned they were out of something it was 10 minutes after ordering said item. The waiter seemed out of sorts. Pricing vs. portion size is off. No reason to return with many better choices in SF/Oakland
We had a delicious meal, wonderful attentive service in a beautiful atmosphere. Got a love it. We actually had for pastas from the primi section - oh delightful!
Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great.
Although the food at Oliveto was good, the service was not. The server brought us the wrong starters, they brought us our entrees but no silverware, and there was an automatic 18% service charge!
Excellent food and amazing staff. Food service can be a little slow at times which detracts from an otherwise perfect experience.
Very disappointing dinner. We had a pear salad that was spare of the pear. And was unremarkable. Having ordered many many pork chops med well it’s usually possible to cut it and chew it. The pork chop was so tough even the steak knife could barely saw through it. It was so difficult to chew I left most of it behind on the plate. Service barely attentive. I would not go back although my friends wanted to go. Very very mediocre.
Waiter was unattentive. portions tiny yet delicious. Hostess stressed, somewhat dismissive and not warm at all.
The whole experience was perfect! The food was delicous. The service was impecable.
Had to flag someone down for service. Service was slow. Little attention. Took 10 minutes for someone to acknowledge we were at the table. Unfortunately, this is what happens when places automatically add 18% tip. Folks clearly didn't feel they had to work very hard for a tip. Nobody ever came by to ask if we were enjoying our meal.
I hosted a business dinner for four and we all had a great time. The food was excellent, we had a couple very nice bottles of wine for a reasonable price, the wait staff was very friendly and helpful, and the sound level was reasonable even though thought the restaurant was busy. I got there early and had a drink in the downstairs bar, which was also very nice. I highly recommend this restaurant.
Wonderful experience. My only criticism would be the very long wait between the appetizers and the main course.
The food took an exceptionally long time to come out, despite our starting lunch early, at 11:30.
Each food item we tasted was fabulous with a wonderful combination of flavors. It was nice that we could hear our table conversation but the restaurant still felt vibrant. It was expensive but sometimes you have to pay more for the special experience and this one was very enjoyable!
It was good. Food was good but little overpriced. I got a sea bass. It was very small for 33 bucks. And for dessert, I asked for the pudding and what they brought me was not a pudding. It was a creamy dessert w churros on top. Lol. Anyway the soup was delicious and service outstanding.
Always great here. Been coming for years
Everything would’ve earned at least four stars , but my entree, a pork chop, was inedible. For the first time in my life I had to send food back to the kitchen. It was thick and quite literally rock hard all the way through, every bit of moisture gone. Sending it back, I changed my order to the soup (very good) but by the time that arrived, my companions were nearly done . It would’ve been a bit better had there been an apology from the kitchen, but that didn’t happen. My companions had never been to the restaurant before and it was meant to a treat. .. that said, it was lovely to eat where conversation did not mean having to shout. Outside of the rock hard pork chop, the other dishes were quite good. I’d liked to have been able to write a glowing review.
Wonderful winter meal with creative (but not “over the top”) dishes using best in-season ingredients. Service was attentive and informative. Appetizers included beautiful small plates (hot and cold) featuring well-pared flavors and textures. Engineered acoustics are fantastic, allowing comfortable conversations at every table while maintaining a lively vibe in the room!
We have dined at Oliveto many times, both at the casual cafe on the ground floor and the formal restaurant upstairs. Both are terrific. This evening we had dinner in the restaurant. The food, as always, was great and the service was attentive but unobtrusive. Our server was knowledgeable and charming. And it's right across the street from Rockridge BART! Love this place.
Solid improvement over last visit several years ago. Will return.
What a difference the wait staff makes! I have given a review of this place before, with high marks in all categories. We came recently for a special date night and made note of that where they ask why you are coming in. The food was excellent, as it always has been at Olivetos when we have come in. But the waiter, Kaitlyn, was almost non verbal, looked like she was bored or otherwise not wanting to be there, and did not check on us as is usually the case there. We saw her going to tables around us, but she was not really attending to us at all during the duration of the meal. It affected our experience because we had to be vigilant to catch her when she was close by, and the biggest reason I am writing is that the tip is automatically 18% and is added to our bill. I would NOT have given her much of a tip, to show her how her service was. But did not have the chance. Hopefully she will see this or have it brought to her attention, and do better next time. Not with me, we will move to another table if its Kaitlyn that is in charge of our table. (ps I am not usually so particular or snotty, but that was ridiculous and noteworthy).
The food on this occasion was really lovely. We really appreciate their sound atmosphere i.e. the dining room is sound engineered so that even when they are full to capacity, you can carry on a conversation easily. We have eaten here on and off over the years ever since the Paul Bertolli days, and at times have been disappointed with some dishes. But this evening everything was excellent. Service is attentive but not intrusive. We are already booked to return with friends.
Lovely restaurant. Large tables and spread apart. Noise level low so conversation easy. Service very good...food delicious. Best sea bass I have EVER had. Super wines by the glass.
Excellent restaurant! Great location! Pasta and wine were excellent! Our brussel sprouts appetizer tasted fishy and the duck/sausage dish did not meet up to the standards of this restaurant. I could have made the meal better at home and not paid $35.00