Central Park Bistro
Central Park Bistro

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.

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
75 reviews since July 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (50)fit for foodies (39)special occasion (28)good for groups (27)notable wine list (18)great for lunch (18)romantic (16)great for outdoor dining (6)kid-friendly (4)great for brunch (4)hot spot (4)late-night find (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Birthday dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    Having driven by this restaurant in downtown San Mateo many times, were were curious to see what the dining experience was like. Four of us went for dinner to celebrate a family birthday. We were greeted cordially, and seated promptly. There was a nice, comfortable feeling to the restaurant, but it was not super modern or upscale in decor. The staff was very attentive and engaging. Service was very good. We started with salads. Our Caesar salad was crisp, with just the right amount of dressing. Others had the beet salad which was reportedly very good as well. The minestrone soup of the day was delicious. Our entrees were eclectic. Our son chose the hamburger, which was cooked to order. It was full of the trimmings. The skirt steak had a very good flavor, but was just a bit "chewy". My rack of baby back ribs was very tender, with barbecue sauce smothering the ribs. Pricing on the menu was appropriate. I would return to try other dishes on another family celebration.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Working through the menu!
    SanMateoNativeVIP
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    We've tried a variety of appetizers and main courses and we haven't found a bad item yet! Now we're trying to figure out the perfect occasion to book the table in the wine cellar.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Venue for Groups
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    My wife and I went to dinner with another couple on a Saturday evening and the night went flawlessly thanks to Central Park Bistro. The service, food and wine were all excellent. The atmosphere was just perfect for conversation. I ordered the lamb chops and they were superb. The others ordered salmon, chicken, and swordfish and all remarked that their meals were delicious. To top it off, the restaurant threw in dessert for free. It was a spectacular evening!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • You can hear the conversation around the table
    Lilees
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    We have gone to this restaurant for family dinners several times before but it is never at the top of our list. We like the quiet and the ability to have relaxed converstion. Generally I find their food too rich and some of their salads are decidedly odd – ie the lobster salad. It is just odd and not much lobster. The wait staff is nice but the food is so-o-o-o-o long in coming. It has been so in every experience we have had there. On the plus side, they are not rushing you out. If you go, I recommend the scallops. They are quite good and the only thing I order there.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Karen
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Excellent service and food. Quiet ambience early in evening.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • regular favorite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    love the selection of food for all tastes - at a good price. good service and lovely food presentation. the owner is personable and very accommodating to his guests. it's our neighborhood favorite!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner just ok
    peninsulite
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Appetizers were really good.. meatballs just yummy. Cocktails were delicious!! Had the specials that night and they were both lacking in flavor and seasonings..service was a bit slow and disorganized. I will come back and try more things from the regular menu, just not the specials..
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, service?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    We really enjoyed our smoked pork starter and our three mains of scallops, skirt steak and the petrale sole were really well prepared, tasted great, and presented with class. Although we took a while with our guest catching up and were slow to order, our server had a really off night. Bar orders were late in coming, he didn't check back at all (we had to wave him down), and getting our bill took forever. He was not engaged. Will try it again because the food was so good. Hope the front-of-house clicks more.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Birthday Celebration
    WyoCalBear
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    We came for my husband's birthday. He's very picky about food/wine/service of restaurants. Central Park Bistro delivered. The food was excellent. The service was amazing. It was a wonderful evening and made my hubby feel special. We have teenage boys and they loved the food and were treated well too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • favorite neighborhood choice
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    our go-to choice for all our friends where the menu is varied and at a high quality and presentation, moderate pricing...nice but not formal. this place hits the mark as a place where everyone is comfortable with choices and ambiance and food quality - we had the chilean sea bass and skirt steak, starting with crab cakes and burrata/heirloom tomato salad. YUM!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Angry waiter
    GamsNEggsVIP
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Angry waiter, tasteless food. Angry waiter, tasteless food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • LL55
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Food, was really delicious..........and very creative. Seared ahi with cucumber was outstanding, also the meatballs. Service, was very good and over-all restaurant is a true gem for our neighborhood. It feels as if it should be in the city.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent for business lunch!
    AndreaVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    The portions were just right, the food delicious, and the service was very excellent. Would definitely come back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Excellent ambiance and food. Brussel sprout chips amazing. Cocktails excellent!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great find !
    Beas8065VIP
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    We were from the East Coast looking for a good Resturant and this place was good we went back the next night
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pretty good food but weak service..
    RestlessDiningVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    The service is terrible so I can't eat here again....How much effort is it to bring the food and drink that is ordered??
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect for lunch with old friend
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    Food was enjoyable and we were able to enjoy our conversation without a lot of background noise.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Monday, Monday
    SonnySteele
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    I love this place. It's been five stars across the board on every other visit. I don't know whether it was the fact that it was a Monday, or that it was warm out, or what, but on this last visit everyone seemed a bit tired, and not quite as engaged. I will, of course, be back, and I'll be bringing guests, as always. Just maybe not on a Monday.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Renu
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    The scallop dish, baby back ribs and the flatbreads are standouts
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great experience
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    We started off at the bar and the bartender was friendly and helpful. She then helped with dinner after being seated in the dining room. Everything was terrific and all the recommendations were quite satisfying. The Heirloom tomato with Burrata cheese salad was especially good. Order the calamari with maui onions and ask for extra onions. It is a great accompaniment.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Relaxing
    PittVisitorVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    It is always nice to return to a restaurant in San Mateo that is predictably good and consistent. In addition hearing the person you are with, easily, is a plus! The Osso Bucco was amazing!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • great for groups
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    my family celebrated a birthday dinner for 9 here. there is something for everyone, young and older. pastas, baby back ribs, lamb, pizza, calamari, etc. we always have a great time here and the ambiance is very nice without being stuffy. it's our go-to place for most of our guests.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New Go-To place
    RbtsfcaVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Our family and 2 other families went to CPB based upon open table. We were very impressed. Menu was great---my wife had trouble cho0sing from many great options. Lots of interestingly prepared dishes and plenty of healthy options. Food was tasty and well done. Portions were reasonable. Service was friendly and accommodating. As an example, we split several entrees, and the wait staff divvied up the entrees onto several plates out of courtesy. BTW cocktails and wine list were good. Moscow mule served in the proper copper mug. Well done. Be a good spot for a date night with wife/husband or groups. It seemed good for older kids as well (we were there on the early side though). CPB is our new go-to place.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lackluster.
    markviews
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Not a bad place, but the cost does not seem to match what you get. At over $120 for a three courses and a single cocktail, I have to say there were duds. First of all, the place looks kind of shabby and dated. The upholstery on the built in benches looked kind of dirty and worn. No one seemed especially interested in serving us, though when they stopped hanging out and chatting with each other, they were pleasant enough, but couldn't be bothered to box our leftovers up for us. Overall the food was between good and OK, though the desserts were crazy sweet and I have a sweet tooth. The cocktail I ordered was good, very tart and they don't skimp on the booze. If this place were 1/3 the price I'd recommend it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very disappointed
    Unhappyreturningguest
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Besides from the amibiance and the bread and seasoned butter, our Friday night dinner was very frustrating. The service was terrible, our waiter was too busy watching the giants game at the bar. He took our order and never returned until we had asked for the check from another waiter. The resteraunt was not too busy, but even with reservations, we were seated in a very small, front corner table. The food was disappointing. The skirt steak was chewy and tasteless and the ribs were tough. Deffinitely not fall of the bone ribs you'd expect from a pricey restaurant. We will not return nor will we recommend to our friends.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently good food and service
    eatoutalot
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    I like taking clients to this restaurant because the food and service are always good. And, it's quiet so you don't have to scream. Just be careful of the bread they give you...they make it themselves and you can scarf it down before your meal comes if you're not careful!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Casual ellegance
    EdwardianBall
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Good food, well presented in a pleasant atmosphere free from pretension. Service prompt and efficient, waiter was one of the owners and had time to chat a little about wine despite the place being very busy. Great choice for a special occasion, especially for those with gluten allergies. Wish I could afford to go more often, but it is a pricey experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place
    Toni
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Everything was delicious for lunch. Very nicely presented and the best of service. Will def come back !!
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Central Park Bistro
    TomAndRick
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    Don't miss this gem in San Mateo. Great food, great service. Outstanding wine list. Georgio and Eyyup will take very good care of you.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Jessica
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Service was warm and friendly, and the food was excellent. Jessica
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good business lunch
    RealCustomer
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Food was elegent. Cost was reasonable. Service was unobtrusive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 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
  • Consistently Excellent
    Mangia
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    This was the first time we've had lunch here. Each dish was excellent and the personable service was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 39 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 26, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service3.9
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 483 reviews are from the Central Park Bistro reviews archive.
  • 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