Oliveto Restaurant and Cafe, the innovative, Italian-inspired dining destination in the heart of Rockridge in Oakland, unveils a new look – and sound – this week. Addressing the industry-wide issue of noise pollution in restaurants, Oliveto has found the perfect balance in its new partnership with Berkeley’s pioneering Meyer Sound, installing a state-of-the-art acoustic solution in addition to making enticing aesthetic changes as part of the restaurant’s first major renovation in 18 years. At the same time, the Meyer Sound system allows the restaurant to advance on its soon-to-launch Oliveto Commons, an ongoing series of classes, panel discussions and workshops focused on food policy issues, producers, cooking techniques, and wine and spirits.
Led by owners and founders Bob and Maggie Klein, Oliveto’s renovation speaks to the 28-year-old restaurant’s deeply ingrained curiosity and drive for continual innovation and improvement. Oliveto’s commitment to the local community, environmental stewardship, and sustainability parallels their commitment to providing everything necessary for a profoundly gratifying customer experience, making the partnership with Meyer Sound a logical next step.
“We think it’s a good time to step out of the crowd of the current restaurant scene,” said Bob Klein. “When we decided to make sound management a top priority in our renovation, we wanted to go with this extraordinary company that thought deeply about a problem, took no short cuts, and is truly innovative.”
Known for creating impeccable listening environments, from Cirque du Soleil to UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall, Meyer Sound has tailored its groundbreaking Constellation and Libra systems for Oliveto — the second restaurant to employ this unique acoustic management technology — to seamlessly transform the dining experience.
Employing visually striking Libra acoustic panels, as well as patented algorithms, microphones, and small loudspeakers distributed throughout the upstairs dining room, the Meyer Sound system shapes the sonic ambiance of the space to ensure consistently comfortable conversations. With the touch of an iPad screen, restaurant staff can choose the optimal aural properties for the time of day, type of event, and occupancy. Guests on any side of a table – large or small – can be heard clearly and without interruptions or distractions from background noise or voices from other tables. With Libra and Constellation working seamlessly together, Oliveto has created a truly multi-sensory experience that sets the perfect tone for conversation and connection, while maintaining the all-important buzz of an exciting, busy restaurant.
Deborah O’Grady’s mural-sized, high-resolution photographs of olive and oak trees (which are printed on the large absorptive Libra acoustic panels) are the cornerstones of Maggie Klein’s interior renovation. Additional enhancements include a mixture of modern elements and the natural world, with deep grey walls that fall into the visual background; dramatically lit, large native California tree branches; a new bar crafted from orchard walnut trees; new carpeting and chairs, and artwork from Pt. Reyes painter Susan Hall.
About Oliveto Restaurant & Cafe
Oliveto is a renowned restaurant and cafe in the heart of the Rockridge neighborhood in Oakland, serving innovative, Italian- and northern Mediterranean-influenced California cuisine. Founded by Bob and Maggie Klein in 1986 with the simple intention of bringing the distinctive flavors of the northern Mediterranean to California, Oliveto has been a Bay Area leader in sourcing the best seasonal, sustainable, and local ingredients through a network of passionate purveyors, and was an original restaurant pioneer of the whole animal movement for the region. Under the direction of Executive Chef Jonah Rhodehamel, Oliveto offers house-cured salumi, handmade pastas created with specially milled Community Grains flours, and sustainable fish, exceptional seasoned produce and foraged plants available no where else. Since Chef Rhodehamel’s arrival in 2010, Oliveto’s special dinners, like the Tomato, Truffle, Oceanic, and Whole Hog dinners, have taken on a new character and elevated quality.
The wine list at Oliveto is a direct product of relationships with the best traditional producers and vineyards, and is comprised primarily of Italian wines, with the addition of select wines from France, Spain, California, and Oregon. It proudly features classic and lesser-known producers, as well as a one-of-a-kind aged-wine program, comprised primarily of older vintages of Barbaresco, Barolo, and Brunello. The cocktail program at Oliveto is centered on the same values as the kitchen and features housemade bitters, tinctures, and syrups, along with nearly a dozen rotating housemade cordials that change seasonally.
With both the 104-seat upstairs dining room, which offers exquisitely prepared food in a fine-dining atmosphere, as well as the warm and bustling 36-seat cafe downstairs, Oliveto is at once a special occasion destination and a neighborhood spot that appeals to a local, sophisticated, and well-traveled Bay Area audience.
Oliveto Restaurant & Cafe is located at 5655 College Ave., Oakland. The upstairs restaurant offers lunch and dinner, while the cafe downstairs offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, daily. For reservations in the restaurant, please visit OpenTable or call 510-547-5356.