Restaurants & Bars San Francisco Bay Area


sundeck sue | | May 22, 2012 10:46 PM

Decided to try Oliveto's after not going for some time. My husband likes it better than I do, so went to be nice.

Very friendly, helpful server--which you need from the get-go, because the menu has half a dozen listings in Italian that we didn't know (and we like Italian food/patronize Italian restaurants). The server patiently translated. Why can't they use language that reasonably sophisticated food lovers would be likely to know? OK, I'll ask in a different way: what is up w/ the mystification/affectation?

On our server's recommendation, we decided to share a frito misto and wedge salad to start. Although the server had touted the lightness of the tempura batter, I found it heavy. And they brought not the wedge salad, but a salad w/ gem lettuces, which I tasted before it registered that this was not a wedge. The gem salad was rather nice, w/ radishes and a good creamy dressing. When I called the server over to ask about the wedge salad, she whisked the gem salad away apologetically and brought the correct salad. Which I didn't love. Funny grainy texture w/ the cheese in the dressing and not much piquancy. I had wondered if they might "comp" the salad, given the mix-up. Instead the server explained she listed the gem salad rather than the wedge on the bill because it was cheaper (by $1).

My husband had a fish stew for a main course. He liked it. But it looked very small to me--and bulked up with potatoes--for a mid-$20 price. I've learned not to order pasta for a main course here--tiny portions for mid-to-upper teens. But the high-price-small-portion problem was just as true for my main as my husband's--I got an involotini (sp?) w/ farro and vegetables, also mid-$20's. One narrow, chard-wrapped roll w/ a little bit of well cooked onion on the side. And although the roll was nicely cooked, you couldn't really taste the individual vegetables (tasted more like a farro roll).

I'd really like to like this place. Tonight's experience didn't make that happen.

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