Acre, a new Mediterranean restaurant designed around a stone oven and wood-fired hearth, opens for dinner service Monday, December 19 in Oakland’s Market Hall building. The new restaurant takes over the former home of the well-loved Italian restaurant Oliveto, which saw some of the Bay Area’s top culinary talents come through its kitchen over a 35-year run that ended earlier this year. Over the past few months, Acre’s owners renovated the two-story space and are now ready to roll out two new menus they’re touting as both “California ingredient-driven” and “Mediterranean-influenced.”
Acre comes from a pair of experienced Bay Area hospitality professionals. Chef and co-owner Dirk Tolsma spent time at restaurants including Auberge du Soleil in Napa, Cyrus in Healdsburg, and Baker & Banker in San Francisco — but most recently worked as chef de cuisine at EPIC Steak in San Francisco. That’s where he connected with co-owner Pete Sittnick, who’s also a managing partner at Waterbar and Epic Steak.
Together they’ve flipped the restaurant into a 2-in-1 cafe and full-service restaurant. Downstairs, diners will find “an all-day, European-style” cafe serving pizzas cooked in a stone oven and alongside “unfussy” fare like cheese and tinned fish. Beverage options will include “classic-inspired” cocktails and wine; think a Cappelletti spritz and a riff on the Campari and sweet vermouth combo known as an Americano. Upstairs in the main dining room, the menu will showcase dishes cooked in the wood-fired oven and inspired by chef Tolsma’s European travels, according to the opening announcement. Dishes include steak tartare, whole grilled branzino, braised lamb sugo with polenta, and a grass-fed ribeye with black garlic new potatoes. The cocktail list upstairs features options like a black Manhattan and the Oakland’s Own, based on a classic mai tai.
Acre Kitchen & Bar will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. this week. Hours of operation will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. downstairs, and the upstairs bar will be open from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Reservations are available via OpenTable.