The perfect food and wine pairing is like the fateful meeting of destined lovers, best celebrated with a tiny mock wedding presided over by a curmudgeonly pepper mill with a heart of gold. Combine cuisine and wine the way nature intended with today's deal: for $10, you get $25 worth of fresh Italian cuisine and drinks at Olivetto Café & Wine Bar, cozily nestled in the Mission Hills neighborhood.
With its intriguing menu of progressive Italian and new American cuisine, Olivetto Café & Wine Bar bridges the Old World and New World without the need for a 2,000-mile trans-Atlantic network of lily pads. Dishes are prepared using seasonal ingredients, and the fresh flavors are complemented by the elegant age of fine wine. Rev your epicurean engine with a small plate of truffle-parmesan fries ($4.95) or Ravioli de Pere (homemade ravioli filled with fresh pears, mascarpone cream sauce and caramelized walnuts, $16.95), paired with a crisp and refreshing glass of pinot grigio ($6.50–$7). Olivetto pleases even the pickiest palates with an impressive selection of pasta dishes such as veal ravioli with ricotta ($11.95), and sandwich lovers can find refuge between the snug layers of fontina cheese, red peppers, pesto, and greens of the roasted-chicken-breast panini ($9.95) at lunchtime. For dinner, enjoy the shrimp diavolo, a healthy serving of jumbo shrimp tossed with spicy tomato sauce and served on a bed of risotto ($18.95), or power up with a plate of New York al porto (New York strip with roasted-garlic mashed potatoes and a port-wine reduction, $19.95).
Olivetto's exposed brick, warm rustic colors, and dark wooden furniture elegantly combine to create a comforting, homey environment, reminiscent of a cocoon made of hammocks. The inviting ambience is accompanied by a friendly staff, an always-stocked wall of fine wines, and absolutely no life-threatening roller skates at the top of the stairs. Reservations are highly recommended but not required.
- Olivetto Café & Wine Bar’s Italian menu and ambitious wine list draw a high-energy dinner crowd whose conversations fill the room and spill out into the night. – Robin Kleven Dishon, San Diego Magazine
- The gnocchi: gnocchi aren’t pasta, they’re dumplings (in this case, potato dumplings), and they’re prone to horrendous ills summarized by the descriptive phrase “cannonballs,” but here, they’re light as marshmallows, little poufs anchored to earth by fresh-tasting tomato sauce and gooey, sexy, fresh-melted mozzarella…Bravo! – Naomi Wise, San Diego Reader
Olivetto Ristorante and its owner Angelo Fiore welcome patrons with homey ambiance and selection of modern Italian fare influence by classic recipes. In 2008, the San Diego Reader claimed "it has all the virtues of a 'neighborhood Italian joint' – warmth, spirit, informality, prices not too bad – but the food is better than most," and Zagat's menu rating of "very good to excellent" supports this assertion. They make their own ravioli and pesto in-house and bake fresh loaves of bread. To accompany meals, the café also features a wine selection with refreshing whites and heartier reds from around the world, including authentic Italian offerings. Olivetto welcomes any meeting, from business get-togethers to romantic dinners.