The best restaurant in Rockridge is the best restaurant in Oakland: Belotti.
Exquisite cooking in the French style. Chef Michele (mee-ke-le) Belotti comes from Bergamo, and worked at Michelin-starred restaurants in both Bergamo and Piemonte. Of all the Italian regional cuisines, Lombardy cuisine has the least resemblance to Central and Southern Italian cooking. It is closest to Austrian/French cooking, traditionally.
Meat and butter are the most-used ingredients, instead of tomatoes and EVOO. That said, remember that meat is used as one of the ingredients; not the “star” of the plate as it is in American Cal-Italian cooking.
The pasta is made in-house with double the # of egg yolks, giving it that beautiful chew and supple texture.
Belotti’s glace de viande makes an amazing impact on the agnolotti sauce. The tagliatelle with boar/wine sauce, and the polenta-stuffed tortelli with rabbit sugo, are equally as good. Sadly, chef Belotti has dropped the phenomenal spinach tortino, a luscious but finicky dish.
We prefer the Vitello Tonnato to the slightly overwrought Battuta. The charcuterie plate was excellent but very filling. Desserts are simple, only 2 choices. Coffee is excellent. Bread is fresh and free (and you’ll need a lot of it to mop up those spectacular sauces).
Address: 5403 College Ave, Oakland
OpenTable: reservation recommended (it’s very tiny and cramped)
Not even Oliveto at its very best (which happens far too seldom for what O costs), comes close to Belotti’s quality and consistency.