[Oakland] Belotti

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.


Thanks. How’s their business these days? It was rather empty when I went a while ago for a weekend lunch.

We went once for weekday dinner ($20 corkage) and once for weekday lunch. Excellent food both times, flavorful – perhaps oversalted, but we are salt-sensitive. Completely packed for dinner and almost full for lunch. Very noisy. Friendly service.

FYI update:
We’ve probably gone to Belotti seven or eight times over the last two years. The Agnolotti and the Tagliatelle w/boar ragu are our favs. A recent Bigoli w/duck sugo was phenomenal in an area full of too many overrated confit dishes.

Note that chef Michele has dropped brunch. He said it was too time-consuming and stressful, with most diners picking the regular menu anyway. They are now closed on Sunday:

Belotti Ristorante on Piedmont Ave.
Monday-Thursday : 1130 am - 10 pm
Friday : 1130 am - 11 pm
Saturday: 11 am - 11 pm
Sunday : closed

One thing to note about Belotti Bottega, not the restaurant, is that it also cooks pasta dish like the restaurant. A few months ago I had I believe the casoncelli. The pasta was overcooked to barely al dente. I’d stick with with the restaurant.