Olivetto Cafe and Restaurant

Overall Rating: 6.800

Address: 5655 College Ave.
Cross Street(s): Keith Ave., just south of Highway 24
City, State ZIP: Oakland, CA 94618
Neighborhood: Rockridge
Phone: 510.547.5356
Hours: M 7am-9pm; Tu-Th 7am-10pm; Sa 8am-10pm; Su 8am-9pm
Type of Establishment: Restaurant
Cafe Rating: 7.00
Barista: 6
Savvy: 6
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: Faema
Coffee Rating: 6.60
Aroma: 7
Body: 6
Brightness: 6
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Warming
Coffee Beans: Mr. Espresso
Cup Manufacturer: Nuova Point
Price: $1.75
Last Update: 03/22/2009
First Reviewed: 09/17/2005
Notes: Outdoor Seating

This restaurant has existed on this Rockridge corner since 1987, albeit in different forms. The latest generation is a higher end Italian restaurant upstairs with a popular trattoria/café downstairs. Downstairs there's some rather limited outdoor seating, a number of wooden tables and chairs (which replaced the shared, long tables in their previous interior design), and meals that rely heavily on the simple organics. Upstairs it is white tablecloths and a more extensive menu - and the same espresso shots run $0.50 more. In 2008 they replaced their older two-group, Mr. Espresso-supplied Faema with an even older, more classic, three-group E-61 Faema. With it, they pull shots with a thinner layer of dark brown crema. It's more substantial than the shots they pulled with their previous machine (which often had a thin ring of light or medium-to-light brown crema), but there's still plenty of room to improve. It has a thinner body - it's a touch watery even - with a flavor more of pungent herbs than the previous mild spice and wood flavors here. The finish is subtly sharper, but it's still not nearly as bright as you would expect of a well-made espresso. Served in traditional brown, thick-walled Nuova Point cups with a modest pour size.