• Cetrella

  • Online Reservations


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
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNotable Wine List
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMediterranean
Diner Reviews
  • "We brought out of town guests with very timid palates AND they loved the food. The mussels were a big hit as well as the pork chop and lamb shank. My .lamb shank was tasty as well as the salmon. Great service and a nice way to end a visit."
    Dined on 9/24/2014
  • "In the Half Moon Bay area, there are precious few restaurants that rise above the gimmick or the one-trick menu to be an elegant and enjoyable experience. Beginning with the service, the people are friendly, responsive, and engaging. The ambiance is elegant and comfortable, with live music that is both pleasing as music, but also not intrusive. The menu selections are varied enough that there are things for every taste, and everything is executed perfectly. The items are not cutting edge foodie, but familiar items that are delivered with nuance and attention to detail. We brought our own special occasion wine and it was served without hesitation. A special occasion place, a date place, or just a break from the quirky."
    Dined on 9/20/2014
  • "A little off the beaten path, this restaurant is located at the far end of town. We dined with another couple and each had a different entree. Without exception, each of us was thrilled with our meal. Everything was delicious. I don't feel the food had what I call "wow-factor," but everything was properly prepared and served with a lovely presentation. My friend ordered a dessert that she believed came with peaches. When it arrived and didn't have peaches, the owner explained and apologized that they were out of peaches. She rejected the dessert. In an effort to please, the owner came back with the peaches on the dessert and announced that the dessert was "on the house." How nice! The ambiance is lovely."
    Dined on 9/13/2014
  • "This is our first time. The restaurant is beautifully decorated. We ordered the mussels, salad, salmon,and chocolate trio cake. The fries that came with the salmon is also good. We loved the blue cheese dip for the fries and the warm bread. The service is good. My water is never empty. Oh forgot to mention the live romantic music and fire place. We will come back again."
    Dined on 9/5/2014
  • "I have dined here 3 times. I live in SF so it is a destination place for us. Our service was very slow to seat us or get our orders. On my last visit there with a small group of friends I ordered the diver scallops (which I had enjoyed before), my friends ordered lamb shanks, or the risotto. But I have to say that my scallops were barely warm-and that isn't good. I'm not the kind of person to complain or send something back, but this might have been the time to do so. Too bad because I'd selected the place, and because another person in our group also had the same dish it made me feel like I failed my friends. Otherwise, I do like the atmosphere, and have enjoyed the food and service. I guess something was just off that night."
    Dined on 9/3/2014
  • "Gracious Owner! Hosted us thru wine list...perfect private selection not on wine listing because a bottle we wanted from New Zealand not available. The duck salad with peach appetizer melted in our mouths. Wifey had the Wild Alaskan Salmon slightly grilled to perfection. I had the Filet Meignon medium rare that left me simply amazed at its perfection. Aperitif was compet...service was excellent. Anniversary Dinner in front of the fireplace was perfect! Highly recommend."
    Dined on 8/31/2014
  • "This is a very special restaurant, with excellent food, ambiance, service, etc. The owner makes you feel like you are at his home - very welcoming."
    Dined on 8/30/2014
  • "Every dining experience @ Cetrella has been wonderfully delicious, and we have always felt pampered. The Chef has prepared the meals with diligence and focus on presentation. Your staff is impeccable! Our taste buds are never disappointed. Our meals have never been rushed. We've experienced group gatherings and romantic special occasions for two....Keep up the good work!"
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "We have dined here several times and the food and service are consistently excellent. It is our go-to place when we want to relax and feel pampered. The menu is short but each item is done with great care in the open kitchen and is never a disappointment. There is also a bar which has a casual menu with a great burger, and live music on weekends. The staff and host are welcoming and make us feel at home each time."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "Everything was superb. I walked by their "open" kitchen and took the liberty of asking chef Doug what he was enjoying making of late. He, of course, said everything, but gave special mention to the duck breast. He explained the preparation to me and I promised him I would order it, which I did. Perfectly done, wonderful preparation. The service was just ok. The waiter tried to warm up to us after initially starting off cold. He knew that he had blown it in the beginning. He came around, though, and it didn't spoil our meal. Highly recommended. (and I love the jazz playing in the background!)"
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "Oh my goodness...I can not say enough good about this beautiful find other than GO! You will love it! We knew we were going to be in town, and instead of hitting the "same 'ol" place (big fancy hotel)...we found this restaurant! It truly felt like a 5 star restaurant...clean, beautiful, and the service and welcome was wonderful! We will be back with a group because the brunch and experience was superb, and we have to share this find with our friends! I can't wait to go back for dinner!"
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "We split the burger with a glass of wine and ended with french toast as the desert. The homemade brioche with creme fraiche was an amazing combination. I wish I could eat there every day..."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "Been wanting to come here for a while because of it's reputation. The staff made us feel so comfortable with our three year old son in attendance. They gave us lots of space and grace. Food was prepared well. The BEST truffle frites I have ever had."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "We have eaten here multiple times and have yet to have a bad experience with the food. The service has always been amazing. The views are amazing but if you sit out on the upper patio you may encounter wandering patrons that are trying to get a view as we'll it can be a bit of an annoyance but the overall experience is always amazing."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "We are repeat custmers. We like the ambiance, food and service for a quiet night out."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "We really enjoyed Cetrella! Great recommendation from the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay. Food was beautifully prepared. Very stylish décor."
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "This is one of our "must-dine" restaurants every time we go to Half Moon Bay. Our latest dining experience was just as memorable as all of the others!"
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "We had a lovely dinner here. The only downer was that the restaurant was pretty empty which did not help with ambiance. But we didn't get why it was empty. Granted our reservation was for 8pm which is a little late for Half Moon Bay, but the waiters were delightful, the owner was very friendly and came by our table a time or two and the food was excellent. I had a steak, and while it was simple, the flavors were excellent and it was cooked perfectly for my definition of medium rare and the fingerling potatoes were soft inside but with a delightful crunchy first bite. My husband had a scallop dish that he thought was divine. I would definitely give it another try....but would go earlier when it feels more full and exciting."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Had a very nice meal this past weekend, but I was really disappointed that they were out of half of their entrees (and we were not a late table) and also our top 2 wine choices. I understand they were absolutely slammed on Friday and Saturday which is great, but I think when you only have three of your six entrees available someone should have let me know ahead of time. We will be back because it's still a great restaurant, but I really hope that doesn't happen again."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "One of our favorites. Highly recommend. We hadn't been there in a while, but greeted and treated as as best customers. The food was outstanding. Scallops for me and salmon for my husband. Lovely, evening."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • " We are always greeted like family and our favorite table was waiting for us. A welcoming fire in the dining room fireplace set the tone for lovely evening. Our host remembers our favorite dishes. The frito misto and beet salad were the perfect starters. I had the fork tender lamb shank and my husband the pork chop. Both not only delicious, but beautifully presented. We couldn't pass on the coconut sorbet and chocolate trio. We also were given a tasting of the new raspberry sorbet, another tempting dessert treat. We had our favorite Liquid Sky cab which seems to go beautifully with every dish. As always the service is professional and friendly. Just the perfect spot to dine in HMB."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "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
  • "Our server mostly acted like we were a bother to be there. He was completely disinterested in serving us. Hopefully he was just having an off-night."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
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