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Side Dish: Burrata and Radicchio Salad at Oliveto in Oakland

When opposites attract.


Nicholas Boer

It’s not so much using great ingredients that makes a great dish as it is the interplay between them. Oliveto’s Burrata cheese with radicchio is a prime example. The Burrata is snow white and custardy with just enough tang to register on the tongue. The radicchio is deep purple, rough-textured, and noticeably bitter. Each on its own would be unremarkable, even unappetizing. Together they are soul mates, a blend of opposites, a true demonstration of the adage “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Unfortunately, you and I can’t just run to the store and put them on the plate. For one, Oliveto’s carefully sourced ingredients aren’t readily available at your average neighborhood supermarket. But, more instructively, there is a third element required, and that’s the wisdom of an experienced chef to bind the two. At the restaurant, chef Jonah Rhodehamel marries Burrata and radicchio with a touch of sweet citrus and intrigue in the form of blood orange and baby basil. This is the spark that creates synergy, the love in the relationship—the reason why this playfully constructed dish is one you can’t help but marvel at and linger over. 

5565 College Ave., Oakland, (510) 547-5356, oliveto.com. Restaurant: Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner daily. Café: Lunch and dinner daily.