231 Ellsworth
231 Ellsworth
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231 Ellsworth

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.231ellsworth.com/
  • Phone: 6503477231x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Luncheon: by appointment
    Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service, Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: Mike Goshorn
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: Excellence is affordable! Our innovative cuisine, professional service and award winning wine list make 231 Ellsworth an ideal location for big city dining on the peninsula. Our private room accommodates up to 32 guests but is cozy enough to suit small gatherings as well. Larger party? Call our event manager.
  • Private Party Contact: Terri Milkovich / Syreeta Young 6503477231x200
  • Special Events: Chef Mike Goshorn unveils fabulous multi-course tasting menus starting at $59, available with wine pairings.
    Have a special bottle you've been saving? Chef Mike will plan a menu just for your party. Please call to arrange a meeting.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Between 2nd and 3rd Ave.
  • Public Transit: Less than five minute walk to Caltrain San Mateo station
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: The Downtown Central Garage is one block south of the restaurant on S. Ellsworth. There are two private garages located just north of 2nd Ave. and S. Ellsworth, and the City lot at 2nd between and B and Railroad.
A word from 231 Ellsworth
Considered by many to be the San Francisco Peninsula's finest restaurant, 231 Ellsworth is a Michelin Guide recommended restaurant featuring globally-inspired contemporary American cuisine and a world class wine list. This sophisticated atmosphere offers an intimate full bar presenting light fare, full menu, and spectacular desserts before or after a visit to the Downtown Cinema. We are conveniently located in downtown San Mateo just minutes from the San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Burlingame, and Foster City. Please visit our WEBSITE www.231ellsworth.com for more information, pictures, and videos about our restaurant.

We look forward to serving you,

The partners and staff of 231 Ellsworth.
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231 Ellsworth reviews from OpenTable diners
  • need to keep coming back more often
    leventhald
    Dined on 4/7/2014
    I really enjoy every meal at 231 Ellsworth and always ask myself why we don't go there more often. The service is great but still casual and not as stilted as so many top tier restaurants where you are dealing with robots vs real people. If you haven't been go and enjoy, don't set your expectations too high and you will love it. If it's been a while since you've been, go back soon and just sit back and enjoy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nightly tasting Menu
    Repeat5dinerVIP
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    I found the tasting menu with wine pairing delicious and good value. I would definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Past it's time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    The food was ok... Not worth the price. Services was very good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We dined early and enjoyed
    Fussyeaters2VIP
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    We dined early and enjoyed the ability to converse easily in the dark room on a busy street. Our waitress and the food were both commendable, and if the wine list were more reasonably priced our evening would have been even more enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food was great. The recommendat
    Joe60302
    Dined on 2/24/2014
    The food was great. The recommendations were spot on.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best Find Downtown San Mateo
    Thomas
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    My wife and I moved to San Mateo last year for work. We dine out most nights, and have tried nearly every spot in the downtown area. 231 Ellsworth was not only the best place Downtown, but we think it rivals the better spots in SF, Napa, Yountville, etc. The food is excellent, the choice between bar and main menus gives a great option between casual and more formal choices, the wine list is the most thought out and interesting in the area, and their staff, from bartender to waiters/waitresses, are so knowledgable, and give a perfect amount of individual attention. We eat here once every other week for the last year, and have had two special event dinners.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    We came here day after Valentine's Day. Our waitress that cared less about doing her job. For the few questions we had about the menu she got the info wrong. And not once did she check in during our entire 2 hour dinner to ask if we were enjoying our food. The food was lack luster at best. No flavor, no creativity. This was an expensive dinner wasted, a romantic evening wasted. I will not come back and will never recommend.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Like eating at a bus station
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    If you love being able to see your food - and everything else in the room - in starkly bright light - the kind of lighting I associate with buss stations and autopsy exam rooms, then this place is great! If on top of that you love having to beg your waitress (who was obviously moonlighting from her day-job as Subway) for a wine list, then this place is great. If you love begging to have a $200+ bottle of French Châteauneuf-du-Pape decanted because it was served as cold as my kids like their soda-Pape, then - bingo! - this place is great! If you don't like those things - as much, for instance, as I don't - then this place falls into that column of 'lessons learned'.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • For Valentine's Day they offered
    s2eboboVIP
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    For Valentine's Day they offered a fixed priced menu with wine pairing at $110 and $50 pp respectively. First off, the room was lit like a hospital room. I suggested to our server that they dim the lights and she said she would however it never changed. We started with cocktails then at about 20 mins bread arrived and our first course arrived at about 40mins. The food course and the wine never got in sync as the wine so we had empty glasses with the food. Good news is that both the food and the wine were delicious although they thought the food was more "precious" than I did. This was especially true with the Kobe Filet arrived and was at most 3oz. The final surprise was an 18% service charge was included in the bill.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • For that special someone ...
    MarkAndAll
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    My date said the evening was perfection. One of the most enjoyable experiences I've ever had. Wholeheartedly recommend this ristorante when planning an evening with that very special person.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • less than outstanding
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    231 Ellsworth has a lot of possibilities!The food quality was outstanding but the portion size was very small. I had the rack of lamb but it only had 2 ribs. pretty stingy. The ambiance and decor was excellent.The tables were spread out and you really didn't have a packed in feeling. Our server Chris was outstanding in his manner and professionalism but the service was very very slow. I am not sure if that was intentional or not but it seemed to take forever to get our salads after we ordered. The pricing was what I would expect from a high end restaurant but given the portion size I would say it was too pricey. Overall very fixable things. Maybe others have noticed this too because the restaurant was only half full on a Saturday night.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A lovely experience
    judyVIP
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    Really enjoyed both the food (the scallops were exceptional!) and the service. They were patient with the fact that one of our party was late in arriving, and went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. The only negative is that the acoustics at some times allow other diners to hear your conversations, but that didn't inhibit our enjoyment!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Birthday Dinner
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    We had a birthday dinner for a very senior gentleman and we were so pleasantly surprised. The door was opened for us and our wheelchair, the tables are far enough apart so that you do not have to listen to everyone else's conversations, or raise your voice and the décor is romantic and elegant without being flashy. The food is delicious and served very attractively and the wait staff is knowledgeable and attentive without being annoying.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A quality job.
    Monicabrie
    Dined on 1/29/2014
    love 231. Great in every aspect. wonferful, polite, detailed service. Fabulous food. Always a treat. There is nothing that comes close to the 231 experience!
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food & Great Service
    Dwesal
    Dined on 1/23/2014
    I booked this venue for lunch as I had a business meeting and needed a place that wasn't noisy. The waiter was so welcoming and so attentive. The food was outstanding. I highly recommend this restaurant for both the food and the service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overview
    chapelhillchuck
    Dined on 1/21/2014
    appetizer special were very good and our waiter was helpful in steering us to the specials. They were out of Jack Daniels which surprised me. a very nice meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good spot, more veg option
    sameetVIP
    Dined on 1/21/2014
    Needs more vegetarian options such as some solid pastas, ratatoille or whatever
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous every time!
    babs
    Dined on 1/17/2014
    Inventive flavorful dishes along with service that is impeccable makes 231 Ellsworth a wonderful place for a meal. The atmosphere is quiet and I love the amount of space between the tables to allow for a real conversation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • overpriced
    Kara
    Dined on 1/10/2014
    I thought the food was very good, although portions small. Overall the menu is too pricey for location and service. They also ran out of a bottle of wine on their menu. This should be explained upfront.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • 20 Years Later
    bsming
    Dined on 1/10/2014
    Finally got back to 231 Ellsworth. On a Friday at 1 pm, an empty restaurant! Food just ok. What happened?
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great intial service and good food
    scifilove
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    The initial service was great and the five course meal was served seamlessly. However we had to over 30 mins to get our check. The five courses all tasted great and had the right portion size. I decided to go with the apricot soufflé, which was very sweet and sour and a little difficult to enjoy. My husband ordered the chocolate mousse and he said it was delicious. So I would recommend the chocolate mousse over the apricot soufflé.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Way over priced
    LoveToDine
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    Way over priced for the quality and choices of food! The service was very poor.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Happy New Year
    LJ94070
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    My husband and I had a wonderful early evening at 231 on NYE. The server (Serena?) was so helpful in guiding our food choices from the set menu and finding wine pairings for the meals. We didn't want to do the wine pairing service because It is too much alcohol, and she was able to find really good matches. The sake cured salmon was AMAZING!!!.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    jmerwinVIP
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    Although the menu choices on New Years Eve were varied and definitely fit for the occasion, the service had no flare. Our waiter introduced himself when we arrived and told us he would be taking care of us that evening - in reality each time a plate was set before us or removed (there were 6 courses), it seemed a new person had arrived at the table. The beginning of the meal seemed rushed. We had no sooner put down the utensil and the dish was removed and another appeared. There were no explanations of the preparation, the meal lacked a fine dining experience. And a PS to diners at a restaurant of this stature - please wear something "nicer" than jeans and a tee shirt...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Thumbs up!
    Whokaree
    Dined on 12/21/2013
    We had an early Christmas dinner with my nephew and his wife. We were running 30 late because we couldn't find PARKING! So be warned! We had great time and we always chose 231 when it's a special dinner. The service was outstanding, the wines were sublime and the food was super! We highly recommend 231!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food and wining pairing
    SalesScottVIP
    Dined on 12/16/2013
    The food and wining pairing was good and everyone at the table enjoyed the evening. It was a great customer dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • mats
    Dined on 12/12/2013
    Good wine list and great spot for group lunch. Loved the food and the ambience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A step back
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 12/6/2013
    The wife and I have been here a few times. Latest experience was disappointing. We'd always loved 231 Ellsworth for the service. On a rainy night, there was no valet service. The sign is still there, but I guess they no longer offer valet parking. Our waiter was disengaged, seemed like she was in a rush, had somewhere else to be. Just going through the motions. Even though the place only had about 5 tables occupied. Sommelier was nowhere to be seen, which is too bad because he was always a high point of our meals at 231. Menu seems abbreviated compared to the past. Net/net: went from a special place to blah.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not what it used to be
    bwoloz
    Dined on 12/4/2013
    Its been 10+ years since I last went to 231 Ellsworth. I remember it being great so when I was looking for a place to celebrate my mom's bday I thought of it. Things have changed! To start our meal, for 6 people we shared 3 appetizers-- all awful. The beet salad was so salty we couldnt eat it. The lobster mac & cheese came out barely warm & the sauce was very runny. (To be fair, there were big pieces of lobster). We had 6 entrees (5 varieties) and only 1 was good (pasta w/ mushrooms). There were only 3 pieces of gnocchi with the Salmon entree- tough and flavorless. The short rib portion was small and tasted like it was covered in bottled bbq sauce. Overall, this was a very disappointing experience and I wont be returning again! Stay away!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrible experience
    Ampm
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    In brief... Horrible food and worse service yet we paid $300 dollars for dinner for 3 people. Would never recomend or go again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Superb food with proper service
    eddie
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    Absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving menu...and normally holidays are iffy at restaurants. Every course was outstanding. Service was impeccable...a far cry from what passes even at many high-end restaurants.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bad restaurant management
    SusieVIP
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    Three of us had pre-fixed 4 course Thanksgiving dinner. Was asked what kind of water, i.e. still, mineral, etc. & then no water was ever served. After 20 mins, our waiter came to take our order. Time between every course was 15-20 mins. Our waiter never came by to see how we are doing. Two got served main entrees. I thought the server went to the kitchen to get my entree. After 10 mins., I had to flag a staff indicating that I DID NOT get my entree. I had to wait another 10 mins. to get my entree. Most restaurants include coffee/tea on a pre-fix but not this restaurant. We asked for coffee & wasn't told that it cost extra until I saw the bill. Add insult to injury, gratuity added to bill for me. Overall experience, totally unacceptable!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Saved Thanksgiving !
    Arctic68
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    For family members with good taste AND who enjoy eating earlier on holidays, I heartily recommend 231. Crisp, clear flavors, fine wine list, and not a 'barn' with awful acoustics like everything else on the Peninsula.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Marginal food, criminal prices
    Andy2DotO
    Dined on 11/23/2013
    Very small portions of OK fare, but the prices are out of control. Wine list is incredibly overpriced. The bar is nice, and cocktails are well done.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We had a fun evening!!
    Allaboutennis
    Dined on 11/20/2013
    We had a very fun time. The staff is most welcoming, accomodating, knowledgeable and friendly. I had the scallops which were delish, my friend had the lamb rack which was also delish, my husband had steak and mashed potatoes. The steak was cooked just right. We took our own Somona County wines.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Formerly good restaurant goes bad
    BlackBeltVIP
    Dined on 11/13/2013
    After previous experiences at 231 Ellsworth, we were excited to dine there again. The only thing that went right was the reservation. Incredibly poor service - we had to ask for wine glasses, utensils, water - and mediocre food. We had to send back the food since it was prepared with ingredients to which we were allergic - despite repeated assurances that the food would not contain those ingredients. And they did not offer replacement dishes! The head waiter admitted the service was lousy, begging us to come again, but with no assurance that things would be better. Bottom line - two hours for a slice of bread and two glasses of wine. But the final bill did not reflect that! Top dollar for horrible service and inedible food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Average for high-end dining
    sonypony
    Dined on 11/11/2013
    Nothing really stood out for me. Cocktail was nice but my duck was too fatty and the mac & cheese too runny. Definitely not as good as I thought it would be. Even the amuse was basically coarsely ground veggies in a demitasse.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Atmosphere
    BergieVIP
    Dined on 10/28/2013
    The food was good, portions a little expensive for the size. Good ambience. Service very good.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food doesn't have to be pricy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 10/19/2013
    They have weekly 3 course meal special at the bar. The price is very reasonable, usually under $40. It's always fun to sit there and chat with the bar tender and the local foodies who dine there often.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food was so-so. I have been
    DinerVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2013
    Food was so-so. I have been here for dinner which is far superior. Lunch menu is limited. Although the service was very good, I would not return for lunch.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.