If you’re familiar with the original Berkeley locale, expect the opposite. Instead of a takeout joint with stools, you’ll enter a big subway-tiled space with reclaimed-barn-wood-covered walls and rustic metal light fixtures hanging over dark wood tables, where you’ll probably sit during lunch with a slice of pepperoni or a muffuletta hero.
"The owners, husband-and-wife team Karen and Will Gioia cooked at Oliveto's together and both worked at Chez Panisse, so they've certainly got the chops to do more."
"Sausage (made fresh in the restaurant) and pickled peppers pizza (also made in-house) + arugula salad = a great couples dinner. Very fresh!"
Burrata ($13) with warm toasted bread and paper-thin slices of prosciutto, is accompanied by a pile of zucchini cut into thin coins, dressed with vinaigrette and topped with toasted pine nuts. It's a pleasant combination that also is an exceptional prelude to one of the three pastas.
One of those choices features a rustic, soulful radiatore ($18) with bolognese sauce and a thick dusting of Parmesan cheese. Another favorite is stuffed shells ($17) - they're huge and are served five to an order - filled with creamy ricotta and nettles, and bathed in a chunky tomato sauce. They're glazed with cheese and baked in the oven until the tips of the shells crisp slightly.
Lunch will feature an Italian "muffaletta" sandwich and a "Philly" roast-pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolone. Dinner will feature six pizzas in two sizes, including their signature Julian sweet-and-spicy pie, with prosciutto cotto, parsley, red onion, garlic, aged provolone, and chili.