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Oliveto or Chez Panisse?

One night left in SF/Oakland/Berkley. Which would you choose and why.

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  1. I'd pick CP, basically the touchstone of Cal cuisine and the Oliveto crew came from CP. To me it's one of those perennial restaurants you want to check off your list. If you've already been to CP, then I'd do Oliveto.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ML8000

      As much as I enjoyed my most recent meal at Oliveto I would agree

      1. re: ML8000

        The Oliveto crew had many CP alums at one point but notably Bertolli and Tusk are gone, and Canales the Exec is not an alum. Ingredients stream is greatly the same. "Cal" cuisine phase was more of a Jeremiah Tower thing IMO involving more inventive liberal rules. CP is true to the ingredients which are mediterranean climate based/locally available. This means mainly french and italian technique/sensibility. Oliveto on the other hand is more traditionally Italian in the honor it pays to tradition, set up of menu, and overall focus. CP is truly the temple of the local food movement (current marketing wildfire originator). Oliveto is an artisanally based kitchen with an extremely dedicated staff.

        I'm an Stars, CP, Oliveto alum.

      2. I'd pick Oliveto. It's my favorite restaurant. I like eating the way the menu is set up-- antipasto, a pasta course, and then a main. I love the attention to detail, the handmade pastas and houseground polentas. And I like choosing my own dinner.

        1. I've been on and off disappointed by less than fabulous food, w/ small portions and high prices at Oliveto.

          I can't say I've never been disappointed at Chez Panisse (no one is perfect). But it's mightly rare. A no-brainer for Chez Panisse, imo!

          1. I'm in the same boat as Milltowngirl -- I've never been disappointed at CP but have been mightily disappointed at Oliveto.

            1. If this was 15 years ago, the choice would be clear: CP. It's old and tired.

              Go to Olievto. It's more fun. The chances of discovering something you never had before are much higher.