Central Park Bistro
Central Park Bistro

Central Park Bistro

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.centralparkbistro.com/
  • Phone: 6505588401
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Comfort Food, Southern
  • Executive Chef: George Garcia
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: We can recreate our menu or customize it to your needs. Please call for details.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Ellsworth Street
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Metered parking on street and large lot in back of restaurant.
A word from Central Park Bistro
Central Park Bistro is a 100 seat contemporary restaurant in downtown San Mateo featuring fresh seasonal American cuisine, in the $15-$26 range. We offer a carefully chosen eclectic Wine Spectator award-winning wine list. Central Park Bistro is an affordable sophisticated, fun dining experience. Relax and unwind with a house specialty cocktail at our wonderful Martini Bar. We also have several intimate private dining rooms perfect for that corporate presentation business meeting, wedding rehearsal dinner, retirement/anniversary dinner, or any special function you may have in mind. Check out our private wine cellar room which seats up to 8 people for that extra special dining experience.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
Central Park Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
66 reviews since June 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
96% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (41)fit for foodies (35)special occasion (26)good for groups (24)great for lunch (19)romantic (16)notable wine list (14)great for outdoor dining (7)hot spot (5)kid-friendly (4)great for brunch (2)late-night find (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Not what we hoped for
    thansVIP
    Dined on 9/3/2013
    We were expecting more from this restaurant. My husband ordered his steak very rare. What he got was a medium rare steak. The service was very slow. Unusually high mark-ups on the wine. A real disappointment. The only portion of the entire meal that was good was my husband's appetizer. At these prices you deserve more!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A favorite that never disappoints!
    zippyVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2013
    Each visit is positively delightful with fabulous food, friendly service, and dessert soo-good you might not want to share :) There is outdoor dining, which looks appealing, however, we have only sat inside ourselves. We find it perfect for a romantic dinner when just two of us, and enjoy going with small groups of 4-6. There is a small private room which I am certain would be fantastic for a larger group! We have even enjoyed a to-go order and the food was equally delicious; we only missed the ambience of CPB. A friend recommended Central Park Bistro to us several years ago, and we still make a point to thank them for sharing!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Repeat satisfying experience!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 8/10/2013
    This restaurant is the place to go when you want good food and good service. They have a nice varied menu- just enough offerings that it is not over whelming and a good selection if you are a small eater (as I am) or have a big appetite: I usually have a hamburger (rare for me, juicy, and tasty!) and share an appetizer with my husband who goes for something like fish or lamb. I have seen folks eating a full course meal while others order an appetizer and dessert.- reminds me of a New York type neighborhood restaurant. Give yourself extra time to park in downtown san mateo- especially on the w/e- and don't leave without having eaten their bread pudding!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Central Park Bistro was Very Good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 8/6/2013
    We had a large group (8) ...and they did a very good job...the menu is broad enough to appeal to all tastes and the service was very good...attentive without being intrusive...my only complaint...the bread was mediocre...especially with so many excellent bread bakeries (read Acme or Semifreddi) in the Bay Area...
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Jury is still out
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 7/26/2013
    We thought the food was perfectly executed. We felt service was good, too. It wasn't quite "French" as it was classified to be. There were more Mediterranean/Italian dishes on the menu than there was French. A turn off was having to box our own leftovers. We were given the boxes not the option. Having given the option to box our own or they do it for us would have been a touch of class.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • we were the only people
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/22/2013
    The food was just ok and the service was very good, but since there was no one else there between 6 and 9 on a week night it felt a little odd.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • An Enjoyable Meal
    Robert
    Dined on 7/20/2013
    Very good food and service. Some nice menu options and interesting combinations. Great desserts. Had not been here in at least a year, but we are going back soon.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently great food & service
    LauraW
    Dined on 7/19/2013
    Wonderful place for lunch with friends or a work lunch too because the food and service are really excellent- including beautiful presentation- and it's quiet enough to hear each other even in a bigger group. Always satisfied!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • our 57th anniversay
    foodamore
    Dined on 7/15/2013
    Odd that the resturant asked if this was a special occason. We said yes - thought maybe they'd bring a candle popped into a piece of cake. Nothing! Everything went very well. Wine list is rather pricey, to say the least. Why it is called a " Bistro" with nothing french on the menu , i.e. steak tartare, onion soup, etc. is a puzzle. Would and did recomment it.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I have always had a great
    Brittany317
    Dined on 7/10/2013
    I have always had a great experience at Central Park Bistro. It's a great place for special occasions-- I just took my great-aunt for her 85th birthday. The food is consistently tasty and the staff really go out of their way to make you feel special.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Bums Rush
    Simbrady
    Dined on 7/8/2013
    The food? Fantastic! It was a romantic evening and it was not a busy night for the restaurant, the setting was great. However, while the restaurant was listed to be open until 1000, about 915 we started to get rushed by various staff. Until around 930 we were asked to take care of our bill so that they could close. I really liked the restaurant (especially the food), and may go back, but not for such an evening. I guess if I want a long romantic dinner I need to go to Paris and what's with 1000 PM anyway?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This place surprised me
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 7/8/2013
    I've been to a a lot of restaurants in San Mateo but never here before. The food was great, and the service was just about right. We were there early and they sat us at a nice private table. Took a bit longer than I liked to finally order dinner especially considering we were practically the only people there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently good
    loves2dineVIP
    Dined on 7/2/2013
    Lobster salad is a favorite. Staff are very accommodating -- will modify a preparation to suit.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Practical Menu!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 6/24/2013
    We have eaten here many times for dinner and lunch- and our conclusions are always the same: The menu is varied, the service is excellent, and the noise level is tolerable. It is especially accommodating when you have a group of people with different food preferences and/or different quantity preferences. The staff doesn't seem to mind if you want to order a smaller portion, just an appetizer, and/or a dessert. Speaking of desserts, do not miss the bread pudding!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this place!
    KrisR
    Dined on 6/8/2013
    This place is great. I have been here a few times and never have any complaints. The food is delicious and our waiter was awesome. I would definitely recommend this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Reliably good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 6/6/2013
    Always good food. Our server was a little slow to address the table for drinks but after that was prompt.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, poor service at lunch
    mcmsfVIP
    Dined on 6/6/2013
    Food was very good, although portions were small (beet salad was excellent but size of an appetizer). Problem was lackluster service despite the fact that only 6-8 tables were occupied and two wait staff were working.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great brunch place in San Mateo
    lisa
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    I went to this place for branch, and it was perfect. They serve great branch cocktails, good food. Service was great too. It's a perfect environment to relax on the weekend. Will definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food is A+
    OpenTable Diner Since 2000
    Dined on 5/30/2013
    I love this restaurant. I've been here several times for business lunches and the food is always so good! My favorite is the skirt steak. The service is great too. Everyone in our party of 8 was happy with their meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Surprisingly good
    Rich30kVIP
    Dined on 5/25/2013
    We are hardcore foodies (we have eaten at the French Laundry and Meadowood thrice). We took our son here for a family night out while our daughters were at swim night at La Petite Baleen. The food was much better than our last visit. The beet and butter lettuce salads were proportioned correctly -- not too large. The ribs were decent, and the salmon was cooked just right -- medium/medium rare. Both the bread pudding and the panna cotta dessert were just right. The service was friendly and attentive. E.g., our waiter accidentally spilled something on my arm. After apologizing, he also brought me a new napkin to replace the soiled one. The wine list was a surprise. There are some higher end and unusual/small production vintners.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great time all around!
    durkster
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    Fantastic experience: quality food with a flair, but at a reasonable cost. Chic atmosphere and our waiter was freindly and top-notch. Will definitely return! Thanks.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Central Park Bistro, great!
    adbcampbell
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    Excellent food, attentive waitstaff and close-by parking.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • IF YOUR IN A RUSH!
    13chairs
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    This is your place. The moment you sit down a waiter Is asking are you ready to order I nearly put mt coat on the back of the chair. When I said to give us a few, there he was again. It was annoying. Its suppose to be a dining experience not a timed event. I ordered a salmon pizza which came absolutely right out of the refrigerator. My Mom had lobster pasta which I took a taste of and the sauce tasted canned not to mention the lobster pieces looked mangled. My husband had eggs and bacon which I thought would be an easy dish for them. The bacon was so over cooked that it almost looked unreal. The whole experience was disappointing. My husband and I dine at least three times s week. This place will not be on our list.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I've dined at Central Park
    viciousvicsf
    Dined on 5/11/2013
    I've dined at Central Park Bistro several times for different occassions; meeting with friends for dinner, Valentine's Dinner, Mother's Day Brunch, and each dining experience was excellent. The service, the food, and the atmosphere is great and really glad the restaurant accepts opentable reservations - so convenient. It's a great place for brunch or dinner without having to drive in to the city to dine for a special moment. My family and I will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We enjoyed a perfect family dinner.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 5/10/2013
    Service was friendly and patient. Food was outstanding. The swordfish was the best ever, ever, ever. Nice wine selection. Atmosphere was warm and welcoming.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of my favorite neighbor
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 5/3/2013
    One of my favorite neighbor restaurants - always good and service is so professional.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Friendly staff, outstanding
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 4/23/2013
    Friendly staff, outstanding food. Our new favorite restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very attentive and excellent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/14/2013
    Very attentive and excellent service. Food is very solid.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • we brought new friends to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 4/7/2013
    we brought new friends to our favorite neighborhood restaurant, so it's always fun to order new things. while the proscutto/brie appetizer was just okay, the calamari and maui onions were delicious. we had stuffed pork tenderloin which was very tasty. i loved my pork chop with brandy apples. the goat cheese and pear ravioli was wonderful with the crushed walnuts. our beet salads and butter lettuce salads were just right. we ended with splitting 3 desserts - all great: choco lava cake; toffee bread pudding; key lime pie...just the right size so we could all have a great taste of each without feeling guilty. service was attentive as always and so accommodating to split items, have extra wine glasses for our pairings and pleasant throughout.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent First time experience
    GCS1VIP
    Dined on 4/6/2013
    Our first time to Central Park Bistro and we will definitely be back. The staff was wonderful and food was excellent. Skirt Steak was perfect and Lobster Pasta was out of this world. This place is a hidden gem.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Frown Turned Upside-down
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/6/2013
    A farewell dinner, a sad occasion as I move away from my beloved Bay Area, became a thoroughly enjoyable experience. We had great service, a comfortable, quiet location for our table for 5, delicious food and lots of laughs. The only downside is not finding this gem of a restaurant until a week before I leave. I'll feel a bit better if I know that my San Mateo neighbors will read this and treat themselves to a wonderful dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • May be my favorite San Mateo
    loves2dineVIP
    Dined on 3/30/2013
    May be my favorite San Mateo restaurant. Food is dependably excellent -- always have some nice specials. But nine times out of ten I order the lobster salad. It is perfect. And the french fries with gremolata. The people are so nice but so professional.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • CENTRAL PARK BISTRO IS ONE
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 3/25/2013
    CENTRAL PARK BISTRO IS ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES. FOOS & SERVICE EXCELLENT!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great service -- management
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 3/23/2013
    Great service -- management is personable and aims to make the dining experience pleasurable. The roasted beet salad was perfect with the mache lettuce, goat cheese and lovely beets! The 3 of us were in a beefy mood and had the prime rib and the skirt steak. We would've had the short ribs except that we were solving for a gluten-free diner but we were delighted that the alternate dish could be prepared without gluten...most accommodating staff and chef! Meals were great and we ended the night with sorbet, gelato and panna cotta. The ambiance is very pleasant, unfussy but attractive. I love bringing friends and family here as well as business contacts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food - Terrible service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/21/2013
    We did not have a waiter per se - It seemed like whomever could find a moment was the one who waited on our table. We had to ask for bread, the dessert menu, coffee, our sorbet, our check. It was as if no one was paying attention to us. Good food but terrible service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Surprisingly Refined
    GabeD
    Dined on 3/15/2013
    Really pleasantly surprised by this place. It took us a few minutes to get the servers attention, but after I walked up to the greeter stand and grabbed a wine list, we finally got service. Barring that one unfortunate incident, everything else was great. Really good food, nothing cutting edge, but solid French cuisine. The wine list was outstanding, with a very impressive library. I would definitely go back and would recommend to a friend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Managemt was wonderful in
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 3/10/2013
    Managemt was wonderful in setting up our party of 10 next to the windows in a semi-private space while another group of 50 dined in the other room. Food and service was great as always even though it was a busy night. The duck breast special was delicious as was the skirt steak. We started with the calamari and a mushroom-arugula pizza for appetizers, ended with the apple crumb and panna cotta desserts. YUM! Others had the ribs and lobster seafood pasta as well as the halibut and petrale sole. Everyone had a good time and it was thumbs up all around for the food and service! big or small, our groups always enjoy the Central Park Bistro.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The lunch menu offered many
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 3/2/2013
    The lunch menu offered many options for our group. The hamburger was a favorite and the toffee bread pudding is a "can't miss" dessert. Service was excellent.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Boring food comes at a price
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/1/2013
    Service was great. The waitstaff were friendly and very attentive. The atomosphere was nice (though it was just a little too dark for my tastes). I had the skirt steak, and my sister had the stuffed pork loin. Presentation was beautiful, but the taste was just...unremarkable. It wasn't bad, mind you, just boring. And considering entrees were $26 and up, for that kind of money, I was expecting something special. Also, worth noting is that the restaurant was virtually empty in a Friday night, which I suppose should have been a warning sign. Bottomline: I did not feel like I got my money's worth here :( and I doubt my experience was particularly unique. Try Astaria on 3rd instead.
    • Food
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    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pricy disappointment
    ByWSMVIP
    Dined on 2/22/2013
    We had a very disappointing experience. Drinks were the highlight. Food was mediocre. The service was friendly, but not knowledgeable. Very pricy as well. Obviously, we will not return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate