Belotti Ristorante, Oakland Rockridge

After reading Luke Tsai’s glowing review at http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/belotti-ristorante-serves-the-best-pasta-in-oakland/Content?oid=4722206, I had to check it out. We started with the Piemontese tartare, and with a glass of barbaresco, I felt like I was back in Alba. It was the best carne cruda I’ve had outside Italy. The butter lettuce salad was beautiful and simple.

The pastas we tried (casoncelli and tagliatelle) were both excellent, on par with Perbacco’s and better than any I’ve had at A16 Rockridge. We tried both desserts, panna cotta and tiramisu. The tiramisu was noticeably above average with a dense creamy mascarpone layer. The texture of the panna cotta was excellent but the flavoring was basic, compared to some of the more exotic flavors at Pizzaiolo or the bay leaf panna cotta from now closed Incanto.

Even though they haven’t been open for long, the service was decent and they are able to turn over tables quite quickly. I’m really happy that a pasta focused restaurant of such high quality has arrived in Oakland, I just hope that it doesn’t become impossible to get reservations.

2 Likes

Yelp says not good for kids. Thoughts? Perhaps during lunch service?

It’s a small place so it would be hard to fit a stroller and I’m not sure they stock high chairs. However, like in many places, well behaved kids are likely welcome. Around 6pm there was a girl, maybe 6-8 years old who was happily eating her pasta and drinking her lemonade. Also, they are open between lunch and dinner so off peak hours might be a good time to go with a kid.

I’ve been for dinner and for a brunch. Some dishes were a bit precious, but quality can’t be faulted. I agree that the cruda was excellent. Service seemed a bit impersonal. Though a glass of gratis dessert wine appearing reminded me of Italy. I will definitely return when they get their promised multi-course pasta dinner going.

We tried the casoncelli and tagliatelle with wild boar today. The casoncelli was excellent with that herby flavor. I would lick the sage butter sauce clean but that seemed not very polite.

Not a big fan of the tagliatelle as they oversalted the sauce, though the wild boar was cooked well and the pasta texture was as expected, good.

Saturday lunch was not crowded.

Casoncelli:

Tagliatelle:

Appertizer plate:

DH and I ate lunch 8/03/2016 at Belotti/Oakland. Agnolotti, casoncelli, and the porchetta plate (we shared everything). Absolutely exquisite food! Modest but well-sized portions, perfect for sharing between 2-3 people. Service was enthusiastic and friendly.

Hands-down THE finest meal we’ve had in Northern CA over the last 12 months. We’re going back next week to try the lobster risotto and gnocchi next. IMHO this guy is blowing everyone else in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties out of the water, irregardless of type of cuisine. Way better than the erratic overpriced meals at Oliveto or the simply awful A16.

The beef glace de viande used in the sauce with the agnolotti (along with a generous thickening of cultured butter and maybe a good splash of Marsala) was housemade and insanely good. Take the bread basket they offer, but don’t eat it before the meal. Use it to sop up every drop of those stunning sauces.

I honestly don’t think he can keep this up. He is going way overboard on time-consuming food prep and ingredients quality. We have seen other first-time chef/owners do this (SR24/Oakland, Bistro 29/SRosa) but then have to back off because it’s just not cost-effective.

This is a simple short menu but the Italian equivalent of La Folie, Farmstead Inn, or Auberge du Soleil. THAT’S how good we thought this chef is with his sauces. Can’t speak for brunch, we thought the menu looked uninteresting. This guy is pasta-based, stick with what he focuses on (although the porchetta was delicious and also had a great sauce).

Lunch cost $89 for 2, without tip. Prices/menu don’t change between L/D, so what’s $$ for lunch is more reasonable for dinner.

No, it’s not cheap. This kind of quality and loving skill can’t be. If you have had Oliveto at its very best, that’s how amazing this place is. Except Belotti probably isn’t as inconsistent as we’ve found Oliveto to be (which is why we no longer go there at an average tab of $125/pp), and is cheaper to boot.

Details:
Belotti Ristorante E Bottega
5403 College Ave, Oakland 94618


Opened February, 2016

Note: Small place - suggest reservation on OpenTable. Empty at lunch, probably busier for dinner.

3 Likes
“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

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