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“Wonderful food, but …”

Belotti Ristorante E Bottega
Ranked #5 of 1,447 Restaurants in Oakland
Certificate of Excellence
Restaurant details
Reviewed 9 April 2018

I have been going to Belotti every few months almost since it opened. I have gone with friends, with family, and with both. By now, I have tried many of their dishes. I do love their food. It is hard to try new things there when there are dishes you adore and don’t want to miss having again. The vast majority of visits have been great. My most recent visit was not my best.

It is hard for me to resist the Battuta, their version of beef tartare. There are not many restaurants in the area that I know of that have tartare on their menu. I have eaten it at The Wolf, at Michel’s Bistro, and had a Korean version at Bowl’d. Of these four, I like the version at Belotti the best. I also liked the version that they used to serve at Michel’s Bistro two or more years ago, but that restaurant had a change of ownership, and is closing soon, and will then reopen under a new format. When they had a tuna tartare at Belotti, that was also an excellent presentation, but it has not been on the menu the last few times I have eaten there.

I typically then move on to a pasta offering, and forego the main courses. The casoncelli is a wonderful dish. The agnolotti di Lidia is quite tasty, but I like the casoncelli even more. I have also enjoyed the gnocchi alla Bolognese; the gnocchi are light and airy, and the sauce is richly flavored, but the dish would be even nicer dish if there were a little more contrast in texture. I have had the tagliatelle with a wild boar sauce; it was flavorful, but that particular day the sauce had several pieces of gristle in it, and I have not tried the dish again. During this most recent visit I had the tortelli with polenta stuffing and a rabbit-based pasta sauce. It was wonderful. Everyone has his or her own taste preferences, but it would be hard to go wrong with the casoncelli or tortelli. It’s even better if you are there with a spouse or close friend and are willing to share. It’s a great place for pasta. If you are going to eat a main course, there are four choices, and if you are going with picky eaters, you might want to check out the menu before committing. I happen to like duck, flat iron steaks, and suckling pig, and I would eat snapper in a pinch, but if you are hosting a vegetarian or vegan diner, then the choices become quite limited.

If I have any advice, it would be to consider bringing your own wine and paying the corkage. There is an extensive wine list, You will find very little if anything that is under $10 a glass, and the bottled wines are generally quite expensive. On my most recent visit I was there for lunch. I asked for a bottle of Amarone. I was informed that they were out of it. The waiter had been pushing a particular red wine from the Veneto region. I should have ordered a Barolo or Barbaresco or a Brunello, but he was quite insistent that this was the best wine on the wine list. It was fine, but for over $90, I expect more than fine. The person I was with photographed the bottle, looked it up. and retail was close to $30. Not a surprising markup in today’s restaurant scene. I also noted that three other tables had been “sold” the same wine. They were clearly pushing this wine aggressively. I have been there before and ordered multiple bottles of wine to share with friends. I don’t mind spending money on food and wine. I just did not appreciate the hard sell. This will not stop me from going there again. I do love the food. However, the next time I go, I will bring a bottle from my cellar. I will have a very good sense of what the wine will taste like, and even adding the $20 corkage to the cost of the bottle, I will have a better value.

Date of visit: March 2018
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2  Thank Andreas G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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32 - 36 of 106 reviews

Reviewed 22 February 2018

We went here to celebrate a birthday (party of 5). Even though we had made the reservation well in advance, we still had to wait for over 20 minutes because the tables we would be seated at (had to put two tables together) were still being used. Not the fault of the restaurant. This was a first visit for all of use.

Our waitress asked if we were "first timers" and we said yes, so she took time to explain the menu and vegetarian options (2 of our party). We order several appetizers which were great! The antipasto platter (regular size) was huge and delicious with thinly slice prosciutto and salami along with 3 or 4 cheese and fresh fruit was amazing. Also had the Tortino which is fabulous.

Main courses were ordered. One of the dishes, SCARPINÒCC DE PÀRR, was not available so another dish was ordered, however, the chef presented us with a complimentary dish of Spaghetti. It was great. We were told by the waitress that all pastas are made on site except the spaghetti pasta.

I ordered the CASONCELLI - My Mom’s lombardian-style stuffed pasta with beef, prosciutto, pork shoulder, imported smoked pancetta ,sage brown butter (these are all the owner's mom recipes...HOME COOKING). One of the best pasta dishes I've ever had. Everyone loved all the dishes.

Everyone share the Gelato and Angela's Tiramisu for dessert...note the Tiramisu was basically a delicious chocolate version of the dessert.

While we were have dinner (7pm reservations) at least a dozen groups came by without reservations and were turned away. This place is always full reservations as the entire restaurant maybe seats 25 max? Make a reservation and check it out.

Date of visit: January 2018
    • Value
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2  Thank catherinew792
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2018 via mobile

Amazing! The Gnocchi were "little pillows". The owner is a delight. Great recommendations for wine and you can't go wrong with the food. Make a reservation unless you want to eat at the bar, the restaurant is rather “intimate”.

Date of visit: February 2018
1  Thank tammyvivi11459
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2018

I tried first their Bottega on Piedmont ave and after falling in love with their pasta I knew I had to try their restaurant in Rockridge.

I made an easy booking for 4 the day before, though couldn't get an earlier time as everything was booked. To my surprise they actually called me on Saturday early in the day to accommodate us on the preferred earlier time as their bookings eased. I thought this was super nice of them since Hannah called few times :)

We came on time but waited few minutes since our table was just clearing up - no problemo for us! This made us fall in love little more with the place. So small and cozy. Long bar with many seating options as well as tables around for couples, small groups or larger groups. The atmosphere was really lovely.

Service was pleasant and attentive. Place overall was neat though bathrooms need to be cleaner. Great location - 5min walk from BART and good pricing overall!

Food-wise we shared:
- Gnocchi all Bolognese
- Tortelli di Polenta
- Casoncelli
- Spaghetti agli olio (ordered for our veg friend)
- Tiramisu

Gnocchi was soft, fluffy and so light - melting in your mouth! Tortelli di Polenta was such a different dish, rich and flavorful - quite a heavy dish. Casoncelli was amazing too but definitely lighter than tortelli. Our vegetarian friend was amazed with her aglio olio (she makes it a point to try aglio olio in every italian place we visit). Tiramisu was lovely but not exceptional.

Definitely my favorite pasta place so far! Beautiful recipes and amazing flavors. Looking forward to visit again to try more from their menu :)

Date of visit: January 2018
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1  Thank Heliana M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2018

It offers very nice Italian food. Its pasta dishes are very good with reasonable prices. For the main course, I like the sauteed duck breast. ($24.99)...
The seating is just so so, a crowded place. Waiting time is long. Reservation is hard to make. Street parking is terrible, hard to find a parking space.

Date of visit: January 2018
    • Value
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Thank CharlesC3723
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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