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Mar 27, 2014 09:28 PM

Gnocchi in Oakland area?

Any really good gnocchi close to Oakland? Just had the best ever at Bella Roma Ristorante in Capitola and would like to find something closer.
Also any gnocchi making classes in the Bay Area?

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  1. Centouno, though they don't have them every day.

    1. Depends. Do you like hard or soft? I normally wouldn't ask, except that I recently discovered a friend of ours (who is actually a terrific cook in her own right and a semi-pro baker) doesn't like the soft, pillowy gnocchi we do. She likes it firmer, more like the commercial kind.

      Oliveto is off our list now after three dinners in 2013 that got progressively saltier despite conversations with the mgr each time. Yet when they do a dish well, it's fabulous; and they make a lovely (if small portion) gnocchi.

      5655 College Ave @Shafter, Oakland
      Ph: 510.547.5356 or reserve thru OpenTable

      3 Replies
      1. re: jaiko

        I'm a big soft fan. I really don't like the firm ones. When they make the gnocchi is that too salty as well?

        1. re: MaryCath

          Oliveto uses no more salt than they do in Italy, which is, as Alice Waters put it, more than some people around here think is proper.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            On the contrary - Jan 2013 we had the tajarin with crab and it was fine. July 2013 the tajarin with crab was so oversalted it was bitter with it – three of us tried it and all of us agreed it was simply inedible.

            By June 2013 the oversalting on 1 of 2 starters and 2 of 3 entrees was so bad, even my salt-loving spouse agreed the food was seriously oversalted.

            On all occasions we discussed this issue with the waiter and the manager. As I put it in Yelp, I do not want to be comp'ed on bad food. I want Oliveto's line cook, whoever was responsible - because it was clearly one specific line line cook - to stop ruining good food!

            What was extremely sad about the oversalting issue was that we and some friends had attended the Whole Hog dinner at Oliveto in 2013 and everything was flawless. But two subsequent dinners became increasingly worse on the excessive salt. For the price, we were not willing to experiment further. It's a great shame; we love Chef Rhodehamel's flavors and conception. But the execution was too inconsistent for us to put up with.

            Oliveto's gnocchi is soft, and assuming the line cook who was oversalting the pasta water has had his salt shaker restricted to four shakes instead of fourteen, it would be fine. For those who enjoy salt, there are salt cellars on every table at Oliveto. There is absolutely no excuse for oversalting in the kitchen.

            For us, we were burned three times out of four visits in 2013. That is too many for the prices Oliveto charges. We personally prefer Desco/Oakland, but they don't have gnocchi on the menu so that would not be useful for the OP.

      2. I have really liked Enoteca Molinari's gnocchi when available. Tender and light. Also seemed very authentic based on my taste memories. Less authentic but still tasty is Wood Tavern's version -- heavy on the butter and vegetables, but I also enjoy it as a started. Not sure if it is still on the menu since the exit of the chef a couple of years ago.

        1 Reply
        1. Baywolf's were fluffy; just toothsome enough.

          1. My favorite gnocchi in Oakland goes to:
            4238 Park Blvd.