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Cetrella
Cetrella

Cetrella Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.cetrella.com
  • Phone: (650) 726-4090
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm; Brunch: Sunday: 10:30am - 2:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Contemporary French, Californian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Cetrella, like a Mediterranean villa, has many lavish rooms to accommodate 20-250 guests for receptions, as well as an Oceanfront Estate for coastal weddings, special events and corporate advertising shoots. Cetrella's elegant Provence Dining Room seats 60 guests, has a private entrance, overlooks the restaurant’s herb garden and is perfect for rehearsal dinners, receptions, business dinners and meetings. Beautifully restored 100-year old doors from a French Abbey separate it from the Main Dining Room. The sunny Terrace seats 24 guests, includes a cozy fireplace and is ideal for lively dinner events, celebratory brunches and festive receptions. Arched wood-framed casement windows open out onto the town’s main street for “al fresco” dining. The intimate Wine Cellar seats 20 guests and overlooks Cetrella's Wine Spectator award-winning 4,000-bottle wine collection, stored on custom-designed racks showcased through large antique glass windows.
  • Private Party Contact: M'hamed Bahet (650) 726-4090 x113
  • Entertainment: Half Moon Bay's hip hub for jazz and blues. Andrew Gilbert. Special to the SF Chronicle. Live jazz in Cetrella's Bar 7:30pm until 10:30pm every Friday and Saturday evening. See our up to date music schedule at www.cetrella.com.
  • Special Events & Promotions: Wine lovers dinners every other month. Please visit our website (www.cetrella.com) for details.

Getting there

  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: 48 space private lot and plenty of free street parking available.
A word from Cetrella
2011 MICHELIN GUIDE RECOMMENDED "If not for the striped banquettes and contemporary accents, Cetrella could be of another place and time--encapsulated in a gold-flecked Mediterranean villa with exposed beams peering down on private dining rooms, a glass-encased cheese pantry, wood-burning fireplace, and wine cellar with more than 400 international vintages. Possibly the most stylist restaurant in Half Moon Bay, Cetrella serves some of the town's most sophisticated fare. OPENTABLE 2010 DINERS' CHOICE AWARD WINE SPECTATOR AWARD OF EXCELLENCE 2004-10 MICHAEL BAUER, SF CHRONICLE “Cetrella continues to be the place to go near the San Mateo County coast." GOURMET MAGAZINE Just south of San Francisco, the cozy glow and earthy Mediterranean food of Cetrella is a beacon in the cool, misty night. ZAGAT Why "rush back" to San Francisco when you can get "city sophistication by the coast" at this Half Moon Bay venue. M'hamed Bahet General Manager CETRELLA Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMediterranean
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "Food was gourmet quality/chef fantastic/Mahmod the owner very amiable/friendly/always going to patrons and conversing with them.Service was excellent waiter and server were very attentive,and it was busy,and it was just the 2 of them!!!This is the best restaurant for quality food and service in HMB,hands down:Great job:Jim Twomey"
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Mostly enjoyed eating at Cetrella. They had a singer in the lounge who was a little distracting and loud and not that good. Food was good, two of us had the duck breast which both thought was very good. One of us had scallops which were good but a bit undercooked. Frito misto and oysters were very good and the lavendar panna cotta was worth breaking the diet for."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Pleasant ambience and tasty food! I recommend visiting."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "Leek Soup was bland. Was sent back. The new serving came - more flavorful :) After which a green salad was served. Too salty. Sent back. New serving came back. Fine. Dessert ordered...an item wanted was not available, so waiter made a suggestion comparable. When served, two different desserts came out - with the waiter stating they were on the house (and apologized for the prior food issues). The manager came out when replacement dishes were served to follow up on satisfaction. The other two meals served were great (mushroom omelet & hamburger)! From my POV, this is a wonderful venue. They do everything they can to satisfy the customer. They are kind and make one feel like they are welcome guests. Good food - wonderful venue & service."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "The potato soup was very good, and the mussels were incredible and some of the best I have had. My scallops did not have a good sear on the edges and were a slight bit undercooked and a little mushy. My wife ordered her steak medium rare and it too was a little undercooked as the center of her filet was still very cool to the touch. The kitchen is open and the cooking was done with a wood fired oven, but I feel that the chef needed to get his skillets hotter to get a better sear on the food."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "We took the family, including a baby to Cetrellas for the first Father's Day celebration. Not only was the menu creative, the food was great, and the wait staff efficient and charming. We could not have asked for more. And when one of our party missed the lunch because of plane delays, they not only made us up a dinner, but plated each portion beautifully. I hated to take the food out of the container to put on a plate!"
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "The food was great. The service started out very slow but picked up and the servers were polite and helpful without being invasive. The table was awful--seemed outside the main part of the restuarant (with no need--maybe they didn't like us) by a door to the outside bar area. OK when drapes open but when drapes closed they were dirty and stained and I was seated right next to them. That was unpleasant. Luckily as the sun went down, they opened the drapes so I didn't have to see them."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Cetrella is a wonderful dining experience! The atmosphere is romantic, the food is amazing and the live jazz sets the perfect mood."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "This restaurant may have fallen out of vogue, but the meal we had (party of five) was uniformly excellent. Every dish was delicious, cooked perfectly and inventive. The ingredients were fresh, local and each item was presented beautifully. Not sure why no one was there on a Thursday, but this was one of the best meals any of the party has had on the coast recently."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "I had the beef short rib which was excellent as was all the vegetables that came with it. However, my companions petrale sole was underdone and for the price a very small portion. At least one more piece should be added to the plate. The items accompaning the fish were not apealing and actually unedible. The service was very good and it seemed the staff worked very well as a team helping each other very nicely. We were there early in the evening and we appreciated the hostess seating people apart in different areas of the room."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Cetrella is located on Main Street, near the Coastal Rep Theater, and it was a great place to go for dinner before the show! My friend and I had a delicious meal, a great choice of wines and a wonderfully warm atmosphere on a gloomy, foggy evening. My friend enjoyed it so much that she wanted to take her husband there for a special occasion. Great choice!"
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "We had a fantastic evening at Cetrella last Saturday. The service was wonderful, the wine exceptional, the soft jazz in the bar just enough to make the dinner feel special. The food was excellent - presentation and flavors were delightful. Beet salad was particularly interesting and the triple chocolate dessert topped off a delightful evening."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Had a very delightful meal here. Everything was very low key and relaxed. All the food was wonderful-not haute cuisine, just well prepared and high quality."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "It is well worth the drive from San Francisco for an evening of wine, food, jazz and dancing at Cetrella. It is the perfect spot for a romantic evening. The wine list is well curated and everything that comes out of the wood-fired oven is outstanding. It is also the only restaurant that I know of in the area that has a dedicated cheese room. Ask the staff for a tour! For a fun adventure, have your dinner at the kitchen counter, then transfer to the bar for desert, drinks, coffee, and dancing."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "We had our brunch here away from the crowd on April 21 after our daughter's triathlon. It was a nice pace and a change of view :) We love the local restaurant and service. The food is worth the drive from Pillar Point Harbor."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "We went for a special Mother's Day dinner. We were seated in bar area even though I had made the reservation long in advance. Ambience and service level just weren't the same. Food was good but overpriced. Glass of wine was quite small. We were in a corner and it felt like we were "spill over" and not taken care of well. Not worth the drive at all."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Came to Cetrella for Mother's Day lunch and had a wonderful time. The food was delicious, service outstanding, and overall had a great time. It was busy, but didn't feel crowded and the decor is simple, but lovely. I'll be coming back here for dinner very soon!"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "We made our reservation and indicated it was our anniversary. We were shown to a mediocre table facing the side (blank wall) of a fireplace. No one came for 10 minutes to ask us if we cared for a cocktail. Finally, our server showed up. At that point we were ready to order our dinner. The duck on the confit salad was shredded so finely that I never felt like I really got a good taste of duck. The way the endive and frisée were cut made it difficult to eat on the salad fork. The flavor of the dressing and ingredients, though, was very good. The beet salad was rather average. We waited and waited and waited and waited. Our server finally came up and said "oh, you haven't gotten your dinner yet?" Not good! Our entrees were delicious."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Food was fresh and well prepared. All of us truly enjoyed our dishes. Oysters were very fresh. Service was very good. The place is spacious and the piano music from the Bar softly plays in the background. Noise level is low too medium and is conducive to conduct conversations around the table."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "We are willing to by pass Napa and drive the extra 2 hours to enjoy this gem. The owner/manager is always gracious and he and his staff treat you as cherished friends. The food and service are always excellent. We had a frito misto and a beet salad to start. What a pleasant surprise to find oysters in with the veggies in the frito misto. Lamb shank is fall off the bone tender and the beef spare ribs equally tenders and delicious. We ventured into new desserts (for us) a walnut tart and cream puffs. We' ll definitely want them both again. Liquid Sky Cab was absolutely the perfect choice. What we appreciate is the consistency of the food and service - always an enjoyable evening. "
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "Food was great and I really enjoyed the live music. "
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Fixed price menu (well priced for quality at $40) had excellent choices, including a vegetarian choice. Fresh well prepared halibut. Well judged portions. Nicely presented. Prompt service. Excellent wine list. Pleasant and walkable part of Half Moon Bay, just 2 blocks from the very center. Convenient parking,"
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "we have always found the food to be good and the service impeccable."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We were warmly welcomed. Service was good. Food was superb! The atmosphere was quiet (it was Sunday evening). We will be back!"
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "I never write reviews but for Cetrella I must---true perfection. We went for brunch a special birthday. The food, the staff, the setting, and the ambiance fantastic. I true gem to enjoy and remember."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "Cetrella has been one of our favorite restaurants in the past, but our last two dinners there were disappointing. Most recently: My beet salad contained over cooked beets and a too sweet goat cheese. The duck breast missed the mark and I left half of it on my plate. My husband had the octopus appetizer, which was good, but his pork chop was rather dry and "just okay." Our first choice on the wine list was unavailable. Service was friendly and the restaurant is inviting, but what has happened in the kitchen?"
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "The food, the serviced, the manager top notch, I had the lamb which was the best I've ever had, compliments to the chefs. I will be back very soon. thank you"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Wonderfully prepared food, bright local flavors and beautiful clasy service!"
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "This is a gem in Half Moon Bay. It is far down Main Street in HMB, not in the main business district. The food is excellent and very well prepared. The staff is friendly and competent. Considering the high quality of the meals served, the price is very reasonable."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "It is nice when you go back to a place you enjoyed and still find it great. We were here about 2 years ago and came back for a major anniversary celebration. Great food, great service, excellent recommendations on wines. Would definitely recommend Cetrella and will definitely go back the next time we visit Half Moon Bay."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Brunch options are limited outside of a prix fixe that is probably too elaborate and expensive. Frankly, the restaurant should simply not bother for brunch. I felt badly because there were only 10 or so patrons in the entire restaurant, and so servers were bored and clearly nobody was making any money. As to the food, it was quite good...simple poached eggs with toast and bacon, and a mixed salad. It's a chicken/egg problem: would a better menu attract bigger crowds, or is the HMB brunch audience limited for a nicer restaurant like this?"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Each dish we ordered, was a masterpiece to the senses. The chef is talented and has a very good palette. You can taste that in the food."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Although the dining room was wonderful, the food was not. My duck was overcooked. Sunchokes are not a good match for a tender white fish, which itself was bland. We won't be going back."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "This is a beautiful restaurant. We often sit in the bar for drinks and small bites but this was the first time we brought friends for dinner. The atmosphere is wonderful and service was very efficient (our waiter was good but lacked personality). It is quite pricey but the meal from drinks to salad to entrée were fantastic. This will continue to be one of our neighborhood "go to's"."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "Literally could not find anything but great quality in food and wine, as well as service, ambiance and confort. Appetizers, entrees and desserts were a ten in taste and presentation. We were seeted at a table with a panoramic view of the restaurant and trully enjoyed the classy operating mode of the propietors, kitchen team and service team. What a delight for a former French restaurant owner!"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "What a wonderful restaurant! We went there on a Sunday evening for an anniversary dinner. We were seated in front of the fire place and had an exceptional experience. The menu had wonderful choices. My wife savored the beef short ribs and I had their delicious lamb shank. The staff there is equally exceptional, attentive but not overly so. We will definitely go back for dinner again. If you in the Half Moon Bay area, don't miss this fantastic restaurant!"
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "We love cetrella, the food and service are outstanding,"
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "Thank you, yet again for another fine dining experience. The Valentine's Day menu choices were perfectly paired and delicious...just the right amount of seasoning and sauce to allow the fresh, crisp flavours of the ingredients to shine through. The Service was excellent - attentive yet not intrusive. The live jazz music was delightful, as always. Portion size was just right. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We went for Valentine's Day. Let me preface by saying that I've eaten in many 1, 2, and 3 Michelin starred restaurants and I think I have a sense for what makes a quality restaurant experience. We asked for a nice table when we made the reservation 2 weeks in advance. We were given a table in the bar room with a view of the TV hanging over the bar area, and sitting directly behind the piano player who played nice songs but tapped his heel loudly. The songs he played were nice enough but there shouldn't be a table so close to the piano. I could barely maintain a conversation with my husband. Table size: tiny. Food: sub-par (also they gave us the wrong appetizer and we had to complain). The owner who took our order was brash. Won't go back."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Although it was a set menu, the food was suburb. Salmon and fillet mignon were terrific. Our server was very helpful with our questions. Would go back if we are in that area again."
    Dined on 2/14/2014