Doggy Bag: Today's Odds and Ends
Everybody just chill the eff out: At Bay Area Bites yesterday, Stuart Leavenworth struggled to parse Michael Bauer's recent star-stripping of Oakland's Oliveto. Now, the last thing we want to do is insert ourselves into the spaghetti fight between the restaurant's defenders and, well, Bauer, but, since Leavenworth references a defense of Oliveto posted on SFoodie back in April (by ex-contributor Robert Lauriston), we feel we gotta weigh in. First, we don't happen to agree with Lauriston that "Chef Paul Canales is at the top of his game, and the restaurant has if anything improved." Before joining SFoodie, this blogger wrote restaurant reviews for San Francisco magazine, including an update of Oliveto. Last winter, we sat through two very disappointing meals (long waits between courses, a mushy pasta, painfully salty salumi). But we've no doubt that on special occasions like the seafood, tomato, polenta, and other blow-out festivals, the restaurant shines. And we suspect Bauer is right when he suggests that other restaurants in the same style have simply gotten better than Oliveto. That the things that once dazzled us at Oliveto we now take for granted at places like Perbacco and Incanto. Everybody feel better now?