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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Central Park Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
56 reviews since April 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (24)neighborhood gem (24)fit for foodies (23)romantic (17)good for groups (16)notable wine list (14)great for lunch (13)great for outdoor dining (6)great for brunch (4)kid-friendly (4)hot spot (3)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Excellent food
    TheEateryGirl
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    This was my first time coming here, and I was hosting a business lunch. It didn't take long for us to place our order, and I noticed that the noise level was just fine for us to be able to have a conversation just fine without having to strain to hear. All of our dishes came out pretty much at the same time, and I noticed right away how decoratively the food was placed on the plates. All plates were empty when the waiter came back for them! It's easy to get in and out there, and at the same time, they didn't shove us out the door when the restaurant closed at 2:30 p.m. until dinner and we were still talking. A good restaurant that I'm very glad to have found.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • wonderful meal
    smlocal
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Wonderful place for a leisurely meal. Food is delicious - sirloin steak cooked perfectly (medium rare) with red wine reduction sauce, scallops also done perfectly melting in your mouth.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dog Friendly Restaurant
    DineswithDogs
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    The menu at Central Park Bistro is good enough to satisfy foodies, and the outdoor seating allows them to bring their dogs, too. The sidewalk in front is busy, but tables are against the restaurant, and the people watching is fun.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Gem
    SonnySteele
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Excellent service of the friendly-but-professional sort, tasty, interesting, well-prepared food (try the chicken ... seriously!) ... been there before, will go there again ... and again ... and again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Only one small complaint.
    Beforetheshow
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Dinner was perfect. But the cappuccino we ordered was never served promptly during the time we were eating our dessert. We were charged for it and were going to have the bill refigured but the waiter brought the cappuccino even thought we did not want it at that point. Other than that no complaints.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious and good service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    Fresh ingredients, made to order with wonderful service. We enjoyed our experience very much.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good But Pricey (ouch)...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 6/16/2014
    We enjoyed our dinner...that is until the bill came...more than $150 for two with my wife only ordering appetizers...no main course...as I said good but not $150 good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Food wad delicious and it's a great spot. I thought it was a little pricey, but it was good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love the SeaBass
    SuzanneVIP
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    As always, delicious & interesting food and Georgio is a great Host! Beautiful salad & they always do wonderful things with their seafood.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • food and service
    jwscostaricasanfrancisco
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    good food in a nice place. service was good. when asked our waiter what was good or what was in a dish; he didn't know. he should not be taking orders if he does not know. disappointing not being able to explain entrees. meat balls for app where very good. pasta with sea food was very average. the sauce was way too sweet. i asked for less sauce and it still had too much. sea food in the pasta tasted frozen. very average dish. other dishes looked good. would go back for drinks and apps.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • PaulVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Great dinner. The pork chop special the night we went was superb! Hoping they'll make it a regular item on their dinner menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • No service no air
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    It was 83 degrees with no air and we say and just sweat with no one ever in all the time we had lunch asked us if we wanted anything but water. It was 96 outside and we were just looking for good food and z comfortable place to celebrate. We went to the back and turned on the air! So crazy expensive for a 3 bite salad with a piece of fish.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Good Dining in the Neighborhood
    Robert
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    A reliable place for dinner. Nice assortment of well prepared entrees and appetizers, service is usually very good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pretty good
    TomSVIP
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We went for mother's day, early reservation which was nice, before the crowd arrived. We thought the food and service was good, entrees which included rib eye, skirt steak and couple pastas - the pasta's stood out as the best. The only criticism was the calamari appetizer was a little tough and bread soft like wonder bread. Given that it was over $200 for 4 people, 2 beers, 1 wine, i'd rate it on the expensive side for an overall average food experience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always great
    Lars90274
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Mother's Day brunch was great, we always enjoy dinner at Central Park and The brunch was a first for us. Thanks for another great meal,
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mothers day
    Oneshtchi
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Food was good overall. Service was alittle slow. I think the bidder was inexperienced .. Going out Mother's Day is a tough day. Mom liked her dish..
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mother's Day Disappointment
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    I've learned my lesson for next year, make a Mother's Day reservation two weeks in advance in San Mateo. All the good places were booked when I called a week before. The brunch was not very good, which I guess I can let go since brunch is not their specialty. The service was not good. The waiter seemed frazzled and like he was thinking about the next thing he needs to do. The staff was attentive but our main server was not friendly in the beginning because he seemed he was too focused on something else. He was nicer toward the end, when we were leaving! Too little too late! Definitely not coming back, especially since they charged me twice. Luckily I didn't get overdrawn, the charge fell off in two days.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Go out of my way to come here
    saxygal
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    We live several hours away, but I always look for an excuse to have dinner here when we're reasonably near. We usually have starters, but several come with sides so that they are actually full dinners—even then I usually take leftovers home. Many of the items are prepared with local produce so that there are seasonal changes; for example, the butter lettuce salad is described online as coming with figs and walnuts, but in May we had plums and peanuts. We also love the "bread pudding," which is not like the American version but much more like the English "sticky toffee pudding." It's a dense cake soaked in a wonderful caramel-y syrup, topped with vanilla ice cream (probably house-made). Um, I'm already ready to go back...
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 38 ratings-only reviews submitted since April 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 469 reviews are from the Central Park Bistro reviews archive.
  • Good food, poor service and value
    jp9ball
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    The food was good, but the service was not up to par. The place is way overpriced for what they are serving. For example, a simple small pasta off the kids menu (linguine with a vegetarian alfredo sauce) is $24 - more than some of the adult meals. When we asked the server about the meal, he said that is just how it is, sorry... There are better places popping up in San Mateo, go to one of those.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Third time is more than a charm!
    GCS1VIP
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    This is my third time at this restaurant and it just keeps getting better and better. The staff is absolutely outstanding. They truly want you to have a wonderful experience. The food is completely awesome! I will be back and back again! You just have to try it for yourself.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great drinks, skip the food
    melis
    Dined on 4/1/2014
    The elderflower cocktail was one of the best cocktails I have ever had. However, when I asked that steak be added to my salad...they brought a salad (soaked w/ a gross dressing) pushed to half of the plate and steak smothered with gravy on other side of plate. HUH? Maybe the waiter didn't understand but who would order an entree salad with gravy-soaked steak? I would have sent back but I fear the repercussions. Also, very few people were in restaurant yet service was ridiculously slow.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • fun double date!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    We had a great time at Central Park. The bartender makes the BEST cocktails and the food is very fresh and seasonal. We sat at the bar until our friends arrive and the staff and patrons are very inviting and friendly. The owner Georgio always remembers us.....and other patrons ( because we heard them talking about it) making us feel right at home. What a fun night! Definitely one of the best places to go in San Mateo!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • lovely meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    The wine selection was very nice, the meal was delicious and the service just right. An enjoyable meal on a quiet weeknight.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Lunch Spot
    OutdoordinerVIP
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    We found this restaurant on Open Table and loved it! The food was delicious and we will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So So......
    Liketoeat
    Dined on 3/24/2014
    First time at this restaurant. The food was very good but way overpriced. The service seemed rushed and a little unorganized. Asked for bacon on my burger and it came without. When I pointed it out, our waiter brought me cold chopped up bacon on a separate plate. The bread pudding was really delicious but tiny for the price. Check out the rockin' bread pudding at Town in San Carlos. Overall Central Park Bistro was good but would not repeat.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • nice place to dine
    mike
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Enjoyed an evening dinning here..food was very good and service was excellent. A place to return to in future.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not the best service in town
    FunfoodieVIP
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    we had 8PM res on Friday evening and other tables were clearing out early. Our waiter was busy talking to other waiters and we had to ask someone at bar to bring us anther glass of wine before our dinner was completely finished. Too many great places in San Mateo to go back and the food was forgettable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Service, Small Portions
    Emerald
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    Our waiter was attentive and helpful, and the ambiance was good for a romantic dinner. My husband had the scallops entree, which was delicious, but it consisted of THREE scallops. For $28, listed as an entree, they could afford to add a few more scallops. I was happy with the lamb chop appetizer which had two lambchops, but I was actively choosing a smaller serving for a lower price. The food was good and our experience was good, except for the above suggestion.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Food
    George
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    The Ribs came off of the bones with the slightest touch. They have very good local beer to go with the ribs.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistent and Delicious
    Erik
    Dined on 3/6/2014
    Central Park Bistro is consistently good. I've never ordered something I didn't end up liking. This last time was fantastic. The goat cheese and pear ravioli were absolutely delicious--highly recommended. This is a great place for a business lunch, especially if you have 5+ people. With 5 or more they put you in the other half of the restaurant which is significantly more quiet, meaning it's easier to talk business. The menu changes all the time, as it should at good restaurants. Even in San Mateo, with all its great restaurants, it's hard to find places that really focus on seasonal cuisine, beyond one or two specials of the day/week. If you haven't tried Central Park Bistro, you definitely should.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Great Flavors
    Foodie20VIP
    Dined on 3/3/2014
    The seared scallops with the mushroom and asparagus risotto was wonderful, flavorful and beautifully presented!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So so service
    Roxi
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    The service was not great. We were seated right away (we had a reservation) with menus. Our server came over five minutes later to tell us the specials. He did NOT take a drink order. He came back almost ten minutes later to take our complete order; drinks, appetizers and entrées. Each course took a long time. After we received our entrées, nobody came back to check on us until they removed our clean plates. Fortunately the food was excellent. It took forever and us requesting our check to be able to pay and leave. This place is NOT staffed correctly at all!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Enjoyable experience
    slum
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    Lunch menu had a variety that suited everyone's tastebuds. Service was very good and nice atmosphere. Food arrived quickly and very enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We had the skirt steak our
    Foodie
    Dined on 2/27/2014
    We had the skirt steak our first visit there. It was delicious. On our return visit, we decided to share the mushroom pizza as our starter and also shared the sirloin steak special. Both were absolutely delicious. We were both so stuffed, we ended up taking home half our sirloin steaks home. Service is excellent.....food superb....and conversations can be had even with people sitting at the tables right next to us, left and right.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wow, what a wine list!
    Jeff
    Dined on 2/20/2014
    Just had a great meal with friends I hadn't seen in 14 years. I've got to tell you, the wine list is amazing. Partridge Cabernet was just plain unbelievable. I'm discovering after the fact that the wine isn't available except apparently from the winery. Good food, spectacular wine, outstanding service, memorable evening.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place!
    AnneC
    Dined on 2/17/2014
    Found this place on yelp, great downtown San Mateo location, nice inside, good food and service! I would go back
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • dinner for two
    Erin
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    The food was good but not amazing. The wine list was extensive and good choices for varying prices. Overall an enjoyable experience and I would go there again.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner with retired work mates
    NDHSR
    Dined on 2/12/2014
    Met with my brother and a retired work mate that we worked with for many years.As I was early I was seated at the table right a away. I sat there a good ten minutes waiting for the server to come by to see if I wanted a drink or something. Never happened. I had to get up and go to the bar and ask the bar keep for the drink.When my two other mates arrived then they were more attentive. The menu has a good variety and the prices are fair.The food was good and well prepared I would definitely go back. Parking in down town San Mateo can be a challenge some time and you might have to park a ways away from this destination.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, slow service
    chocloveVIP
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    Although we waited about an hour for our main courses to come, the food was very nice once it arrived. I had the lobster salad and mushroom pizza.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • FIVE STAR
    Reap
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    Excellent service and food. Went for twin daughters 40th Birthday and really enjoyed it. Waiter was great, food was great, and service was great. Would highly recommend and will go back for the delicious sea bass (was on the specials). $20 cork fee / brought our own wine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, special occasion, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.