Central Park Bistro
181 East 4th Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94401Neighborhood:
AmericanPrice: $30 and under
Central Park Bistro
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.centralparkbistro.com/
- Phone: (650) 558-8401
- 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.
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.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
Central Park Bistro - Best Restaurants in San Mateo ›
Central Park Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
75 reviews since July 29, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (49)fit for foodies (37)special occasion (27)good for groups (25)notable wine list (17)great for lunch (17)romantic (15)great for outdoor dining (6)great for brunch (4)hot spot (4)kid-friendly (3)late-night find (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
- Tasty, but could use an overhaulJohnDoughVIPDined on 11/22/2013Food was well prepared, cooked, and presented and the staff was very nice. Some nit-picky things could be addressed to improve the experience. The food selections could be more seasonally appropriate and fresh. Large, thick paper menus were dingy and wrinkled, like they hadn't been reprinted in months. A flaming pizza oven made the room unbearably hot to the point that we could not stay for dessert because we needed to leave ASAP to cool off. Wines by the glass tasted like they had been open for too long. Communal bench seating, in one of the two dining rooms, eliminates the possibility for private and romantic dining in that area. Perhaps it's just time for a few changes to breathe new life into this enduring and capable place?I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent little BistroMichaelVIPDined on 11/18/2013Great little Bistro with a really nice menu selection and food prepared beautifully. Menu has lots of variety and some nice creative ideas, all very tasty. Prices are reasonable; wine is a bit expensive.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Some creative and some notPepperVIPDined on 11/10/2013Some good menu items and creative--pizza menu. Other specials were not as tasty and quite bland. For the cost of my fish, it was a bit cold and the prawn was more like a shrimp. The restaurant tries to be a higher end trendy restaurant, but lacks service and consistency in cooking. Our bill was $250 and could have had a better meal.
- GoodSA1sancaDined on 11/2/2013Great food had the lobster salad risotto and skirt steak.. Portions are not that big... Great foodSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Central Park Bistro is anOpenTable Diner Since 2003VIPDined on 11/1/2013Central Park Bistro is an anchor restaurant on the Peninsula - great go to spot with friends or date night. Excellent cocktails, the regular menu is outstanding and we will usually get at least one dish from their daily menu (seasonal items).Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great - Deserves its reputationSonnySteeleDined on 10/25/2013The service was excellent (attentive, well-informed, with the perfect level of engagement). The butter lettuce salad was memorable, the scallops were great (I chuckled at the idea of "micro-greens", right up until my tongue informed my brain that this really was something that enhanced the already great scallops tremendously), and the dessert (toffee bread pudding ... don't associate this with what you normally think of when you think of "bread pudding") was delicious. On top of it all, we'd requested a table where we could sit and talk without being in the midst of the Friday night crowd. Not only was our request noted, the staff took great pains to ensure that we felt relaxed and unhurried. No question, we'll be back.Special Features:
- Great mealShelleyEDined on 10/21/2013The appetizers we selected were wonderful-steak tartare and duck pate. As for the entree, the mushroom pizza was fantastic. Thin delicate crust and tons of savory mushrooms on top. The skirt steak was excellent too-a nice portion, great sauce and delicious side of mashed potatoes. Nice ambiance. Great meal and we will go back again!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Something for everyone...CaraDined on 10/18/2013Went out with a group and we ordered duck, lobster, steak and even a diet plate! There was a perfect meal to suit every taste and they were all delicious. Also ordered decaf coffee and it was really decaf...no up all night switcheroo. Service was great, friendly and helpful but also left us alone to catch up.Special Features:
- Good food, clean flavors entreeslocaldinerDined on 10/16/2013Good food, clean flavors entrees in the $25-$35 range. Ambience amenable to conversation, and private dining for small groups. Overall service was attentive, yet not overbearing. Would recommend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very Good in Downtown San MateoRobertDined on 10/4/2013Nice assortment of appetizers, salads and entrees. Better than average wines by the glass. We're going back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Service needs improvementCPO1Dined on 10/2/2013The food was excellent, but the service was very slow. We had to flag down the wait staff to order and each time we needed assistance. They never checked in to see if we needed anything, which is unfortunate, because the food was quite good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Our dining experience wasOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 9/19/2013Our dining experience was very good. We were at Central ark Bistro to celebrate the retirement of a friend. We all enjoyed the excellent food and service was very much improved over past experience. We all remarked on how nice it was that the restaurant was quiet enough that we did not strain to hear our conversation. All in all, a pleasant dining experience.Special Features:
- Loved the food and atmosphere!SouthBayTravelerDined on 9/12/2013We had to drive a bit from San Jose to get to Central Park Bistro in San Mateo, but it was so worth it! From the minute we entered the restaurant, we felt welcomed and enlivened by the vibrant atmosphere and friendly staff. The service and meal were wonderful; I especially loved the beet salad, which was unusually tasty, sort of sweet and tangy. The petrale sole dinner was delicious, and the Caramel Toffee Bread Pudding with Vanilla Bean gelato is a must-try! We'd love to go back when we have the opportunity.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not what we hoped forthansVIPDined on 9/3/2013We 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!
- A favorite that never disappoints!zippyVIPDined on 8/30/2013Each 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Repeat satisfying experience!OpenTable Diner Since 2004Dined on 8/10/2013This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Central Park Bistro was Very GoodOpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 8/6/2013We 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:
- Jury is still outOpenTable Diner Since 2002VIPDined on 7/26/2013We 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.
- we were the only peopleOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 7/22/2013The 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.
- An Enjoyable MealRobertDined on 7/20/2013Very 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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Consistently great food & serviceLauraWDined on 7/19/2013Wonderful 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- our 57th anniversayfoodamoreDined on 7/15/2013Odd 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:
- I have always had a greatBrittany317Dined on 7/10/2013I 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:
- Bums RushSimbradyDined on 7/8/2013The 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:
- This place surprised meOpenTable Diner Since 2003VIPDined on 7/8/2013I'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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Consistently goodloves2dineVIPDined on 7/2/2013Lobster salad is a favorite. Staff are very accommodating -- will modify a preparation to suit.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Practical Menu!OpenTable Diner Since 2004Dined on 6/24/2013We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Love this place!KrisRDined on 6/8/2013This 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:
- Reliably goodOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 6/6/2013Always good food. Our server was a little slow to address the table for drinks but after that was prompt.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food, poor service at lunchmcmsfVIPDined on 6/6/2013Food 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.
- Great brunch place in San MateolisaDined on 6/1/2013I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food is A+OpenTable Diner Since 2000Dined on 5/30/2013I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Surprisingly goodRich30kVIPDined on 5/25/2013We 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:
- Great time all around!durksterDined on 5/12/2013Fantastic 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Central Park Bistro, great!adbcampbellDined on 5/12/2013Excellent food, attentive waitstaff and close-by parking.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- IF YOUR IN A RUSH!13chairsDined on 5/12/2013This 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.
- I've dined at Central ParkviciousvicsfDined on 5/11/2013I'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:
- We enjoyed a perfect family dinner.OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIPDined on 5/10/2013Service 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- One of my favorite neighborOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 5/3/2013One of my favorite neighbor restaurants - always good and service is so professional.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Friendly staff, outstandingOpenTable Diner Since 2012VIPDined on 4/23/2013Friendly staff, outstanding food. Our new favorite restaurant.Special Features: