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  • Cafe Pro Bono

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Cafe Pro Bono
Cafe Pro Bono

Cafe Pro Bono Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.cafeprobonorestaurant.com
  • Email: cafeprobonorestaurant@gmail.com
  • Phone: (650) 326-1626
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Mon-Fri. 11:30am-2:30pm
    Dinner: Mon-Fri. 5pm-10pm, Sat-Sun. 5pm-9pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Jose Rodrigez
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Liquor, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Contact: Akif Aydin (650) 326-1626

Getting there

  • Cross Street: California Ave
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Cafe Pro Bono
Cafe Pro Bono is a place for taste conscious people. We serve a wide variety of traditional Italian dishes at reasonable prices with a freshness you can see and taste. Our menus include delicious, attractively presented appetizers, fresh pastas, fresh fish, steaks, chicken, salads, sandwiches, homemade desserts and wines to complement your meal.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "Very friendly and knowledgeable waiters and staff. Good neighborhood restaurant and the food is always great."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "This was our first experience at Pro Bono and it was a very nice surprise. Our son is a pretty selective diner, so based on his reaction to his menu choice, I'd say we hit it right. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "The veal picatta had overwhelming flavor from flour and garlic. This should be a down pat recipe from an Italian restaurant. The salad and wine list were excellent, as was the service."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Cafe Pro Bono is doing well and the Friday night crowd seemed happy. In the past year they have expanded to the neighboring location. Our yellow tail entree was delicious and the pasta with seafood was full of goodies - shrimp, salmon, clams, and another fish. Salad was a little limp but had lovely ingredients. Plenty of parking."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "we have been to Cafe Pro bono several times and always find the food absolutely delicious. Come after 8pm after the kids are gone and enjoy a quiet & romantic dinner."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "This is a good place for a business lunch as it's quite / service is good as was the food - unfortunately I just didn't find anything memorable about this restaurant. Don't get me wrong, I would go back again, there were several things on the menu that looked interesting. I will say - desert was fabulous!"
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "The food at Cafe Bono is usually quite good -- but that night, they must have had someone in the kitchen who isn't skilled at cooking shrimp (for a pasta special involving shrimp). These were slightly overcooked -- making them rubbery. Probably weren't that fresh to start with. Otherwise, a nice place to meet a friend for dinner. There aren't that many places in Palo Alto where the noise level is low enough to allow conversation."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "probono is a totally reliable local restaurant. no fancy stuff but what they do is well done. the choices are huge and should satisfy even the pickiest eater. the staff is eager to please. . Always quiet enough that you can have a business meeting i love the new room that can become a private space for lunch or dinner. owner usually on premises to be sure that all is going well. deserve local support."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "We had had a tough day of travel and were so happy to find ourselves in the relaxing and efficient atmosphere of Cafe Pro Bono. The staff were very friendly and solicitous and the food was very good. We would return if again in Pao Alto."
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "Good service, but food was mediocre at best. The petrale sole was greasy and over cooked, not to mention too salty."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Excellent dinner for a family get-together of five, reasonably knowledgeable foodies, and all were happy with their respective choices. Service was friendly and attentive. Cafe Pro Bono is our favorite Palo Alto restaurant to which we will return."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Came here for dinner on a Friday night. The food and the service were both excellent, no complaints at all. It was a bit pricey but we knew that going in and hey, it's downtown Palo Alto, what do you expect. Will definitely be back."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Pro Bono is a neighborhood jewel. Always dependable food and service is also excellent. Great desserts and good wine list."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "It's a good restaurant for a bite to eat before a show. Unfortunately, the front of the building is shabby. The black awning is faded and badly torn. They expanded and the lettering from the company that used to be next door still shows. This is not an inviting entrance."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Great atmosphere, food, and services. Recommended meat and wine combo was fantastic. The waiter was very friendly, and wanted me to try the wine he recommended with the lam steak (complimentary for small sample, but was good choice.) It was a satisfying first try after all, and we will be back to the restaurant for special occasions."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Been going for years this time took our granddaughter. Third generation. Staff treated Her like a princess"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "We hadn't been back for awhile but plan to return soon. Great options for those avoiding carbs in the meal. But just had to have the Frank Family chard!"
    Dined on 3/3/2014
  • "Restaurant is clean and overall experience was ok. Service was attentive and professional and to be fair to the waiter, we took an age to order and even though the place was almost empty, he remain close enough without becoming intrusive... The food was the 'ok' bit however the prices were bordering aggressive for the standard of meal that we got. Would come back again if the person organizing it suggested it, however I'm not sure I would make the effort..."
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "I had not been to this restaurant in a long time and was very pleased to see it was still a wonderful place, good food and great service. Will not wait so long to return next time."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "We revisited this restaurant last Sunday night. Most tables taken. Seated in the main restaurant. I feel sorry for those relegated to the adjacent storefront. This is a most unfortunate situation. For those in the annex, their dining was on display in a living museum with bright lights. In the main restaurant, the lighting is much nicer. For either location, those diners near the front door are constantly exposed to cold drafts. A nice salad, but my wife thought the kumquats were a little too sour; I thought they were fine. My hanger steak was fine. They were out of the Barbera half bottles so we had two glasses of chianti. No dessert; the choices don't seem that interesting. A neighborhood gem, seldom experienced in suburban America."
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "This is a new one for us. We were looking for a new Italian place -- and we were quite pleased. The menu was varied and fairly large so there is something for everyone. The food was great and the service was superb. We didn't order desert (because we were full) and the waiter surprised us with complimentary desert glasses of port. I think this was because we were new and told him we would be back. If he doesn't recognize us when we return I think I'll tell him we are new again ( heh, heh). I would definitely recommend Cafe Pro Bono."
    Dined on 2/17/2014
  • "Friendly service, energetic atmosphere, attentive staff...things were great. We ordered the gorgonzola ravioli (which was delicious), Susan's Downfall, and were super excited to get our main dishes. I order salmon (Scottish Loch Salmon), and because the appetizer was so delicious, my husband selected the daily special, duck ravioli. Unfortunately, my salmon came back raw with no sauce and the duck ravioli failed to compete with the appetizer. The server kindly brought back my dish to the kitchen but brought it back 10 minutes later on a plate that was SCORCHING hot. Although the fish was cooked fully, it was now dry and the dish still had no sauce on it. The night started out well, but we will not go back."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I have never had a bad meal here and they continue to meet/exceed my expectations"
    Dined on 2/3/2014
  • "We're vegetarians, and the vegetarian selections are very good. Pro Bono has a warm, friendly feel about it, staff very welcoming. Tables are not too close together, so you don't have to feel you're part of someone else's conversation!"
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "We had a great dinner here with friends catching up after the holidays. We talked a long time and never felt pressured to leave. The ravioli appetizer was really sensational, a standout with tomato & gorgonzola sauce. Lamb shish-ka-bob, also terrific as were the dungeness crab pasta, lamb shank and steak. Staff was attentive, professional, relaxed, happy."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "We deliberated, as usual, over a nice glass of wine as to which salads and entrees we would choose. We began to order our salad, one of the evening's specials and at that point were told, oh we ran out of that item quickly this evening (this was at about 7pm). Later our waitperson said that she should have told us what they were out of right away, rather than waiting for us to make our decisions. When the entrees were served, we quickly realized that we had been served at least one incorrect entree. The staff were friendly and attentive; with just a couple of glitches as noted above."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Who needs San Francisco when you can get outstanding Italian food and friendly reliable service here in Palo Alto at Cafe Pro Bono! Start off with Susan's downfall (ravioli with a creamy blue cheese sauce). Followed by capellini with tomato basil or the lamb chops-to die for! The staff are accommodating of requests and the ambience is wonderful. The owner greats you at the door, and his personal involvement is obvious. They've been here for many years, a testimony to the food & service. Even our "foodie" kids love it."
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "Old tired concept, Special entrees lacking flavor. Not worth the $$$"
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "I thought ProBono was a quiet little neighborhood place that served good Italian fare. Last night, however I was blown away by the quality, delicacy and complexity of the food. Others had also discovered this new level of dining and the place was packed on a Monday night! It was noisy but just with a full house of happy diners...thanks ProBono for NOT playing music. Great experience."
    Dined on 1/14/2014
  • "Service was efficient without being brusque or rude, food was delightful: the wild arugula salad was "out of the garden" fresh with just the right amount of dressing, and the dressing augmented rather than overpowered. The salmon was moist and well seasoned. Susan's ravioli as an appetizer was perfect as it is a rich dish! The apple tort wasn't too sweet and was mostly apples rather than crust, filling, topping! I've already recommended to friends and will be back!"
    Dined on 1/12/2014
  • "We enjoyed our New Year's Eve Dinner at Cafe Pro Bono. The food was very good. Special thanks to the owner Akif. He made us feel very welcome with his warmth, and kindness. We will definitely return again. Very good food at reasonable prices. Thanks Akif!"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "My wife and I have dined here several times and had decent food, but after our last experience we won't be back. Our last visit was on New Year's Eve, which featured a more limited menu. I tried a smoked rib eye. The smoky flavor overpowered the meat, which might have otherwise been decent but tasted instead like a cheap burger from Burger King. My wife opted for the Risotto, which was bland - like someone had stirred in a bit of canned mushroom soup and called it a meal. There are so many other wonderful options on the peninsula that there is no need to put up with lousy dinner. On the positive side, the wait staff was attentive and friendly. But in the end if the food isn't worth it, while return?"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "We enjoyed our business dinner there. Food was very good."
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "Have the rabbit. It is unbelievably deliclious. Salads are very small for the price. Good prices on wine."
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "This was the second time that we visited Cafe Pro Bono when we were in the Palo Alto area on business. It is well worth the visit. One on the best places I have been in the area in my numerous trips."
    Dined on 12/3/2013
  • "A bustling, Mediterranean small restaurant off famed California Avenue. Servers expansively greet customers and kibbitz with each other making for a jovial atmosphere. The service: very good--we were approached soon after seating for drink and food orders - in a timely, not rushed fashion. Caesar Salad: Lightly dressed, ample sprinklings of wide-grate parmesan. Waiter grated fine pepper, which didn't add much punch--they need some coarsely ground pepper! Main: Pasta in cream sauce: "Susan's Downfall", w/ gorgonzola & nutmeg & ? My companion had seared salmon salad, I have had too: a wonderful salad of vegetables, greens, feta cheese, olives; vinaigrette dressing alongside the fish. Dessert: Affogato - not on menu but happily provided"
    Dined on 12/18/2013
  • "Had a business meeting and gave it a try.They have two seating area's (looks like they expanded) so we were not in the primary restaurant. Was a little noisy, but good that we could have our conversations without other tables being able to listen in. Service was responsive and food was very flavorful. Prawns, sausage, & ravioli appetizers all very good. Our table ordered Lamb, veal (piccata & marsala), pasta& prawns, steak, fish. Everyone enjoyed their food. A few order dessert and were pleased. Overall, an above average restaurant with service, food and ambience. I would eat here with my family or host another business at the establishment."
    Dined on 12/11/2013
  • "We took our Norwegian cousins there who were staying in Palo Alto. Another restaurant downtown was too booked so we booked this as an alternative. It was much better than I expected. Their cocktails and wine were excellent. I ordered duck breast and it was the best I've ever had. Incredibly juicy and tender."
    Dined on 11/20/2013
  • "Food and staff are terrific. This is a special place that you will want to visit."
    Dined on 12/4/2013
  • "We had a lovely dinner with excellent service. We enjoyed the evening very much and will return. Nice ambience and menu."
    Dined on 11/22/2013