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  • Cetrella

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Cetrella Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.cetrella.com
  • Email: mhamed@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 WinnerNotable Wine List
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Diner Reviews
  • "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
  • "We arrived early having driven from Santa Cruz through torrential rain.. The three of us, one a vegetarian, ate like royalty. The brick oven roasted vegetables: fantastic smokey flavor. The beet salad: tasty as it was beautiful, with a variety of beets, greens and goat cheese. The lightly spiced muscles were exceptional and a nice departure from the standard garlic, butter white wine. The filet was tender and flavorful. Dessert was quite divine; the Panacotta was so light it melted in the mouth. As a ritual, whenever my husband has a conference in Santa Cruz we stop, always on a Sunday, for dinner on our way back to SF and then on to Glen Ellen. This was our 4th time in the last 3 years. The food has remained consistently delicious. Bravo!"
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "Small but very well executed menu. Wish there had been a sweet option, all dishes were savory."
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "When the food arrived it looked good except my pork dish. Two small medallion of pork no bigger then a quarter. Pork belly tasted like pure fat. My wifes lamb had no Taste what so ever. Never again. I tried this restaurant 5years ago same results. To bad it's a very nice looking restaurant, beauty is only skin deep."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "We had a really excellent dinner at Cetrella - a gem in an area that doesn't have great dining (and we've been to them all). Attractive place, attentive service, nice and reasonable wine list and really excellent food. Presentation, favors, texture - and a great memory. Also great jazz. About three blocks out of sight fron'downtown' Half Moon Bay - worth finding !"
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "And to think we almost decided not to go here: the décor was beach and elegant at the same time; our waiter was knowledgeable, efficient and unobtrusive. My husband's cauliflower veloute was unctuous and warming; my stuffed rabbit was moist, with deep flavors; husbands pork duo was portioned perfectly so he enjoyed without feeling overstuffed. It was difficult to order partly because the sides were all so compelling: mustard greens, rutabaga, parsnips....wow! How to choose? Will definitely return!!"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "I proposed in half moon bay right before dinner, when we got to Cetrella they had white roses and champagne waiting for us. The service was amazing, the good to die for, and the ambience romantic. I couldn't have asked for a better dinner."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "brought out of town family here. cod was inedible, soggy, just awful. tiny little octopus tentacle cut, each section marooned far from the other on a long plate. you have to be kidding. salmon on flatbread cut so thinly that you could barely taste the salmon, duck confit that tasted pickle on a bed of dry overaged frisee. how can this be? the bar food, hamburgers that went by looked good too bad we chose the main room. never again, back to other restaurants. and gee it was expensive too."
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "We went there while on vacation. It was excellent. The octopus appetizer, the main courses, the desserts, all were among the best we have eaten.If we were visiting longer we certainly would have gone back. I wish they would open a place in Los Angeles,, but who would give up their little piece of heaven where they are located."
    Dined on 5/28/2013
  • "My husband and I were very impressed with the fine food, attentive wait staff, fine selections of wines. We were allowed to enjoy each of the delicous dihes we ordered, never rushed, and staff was very friendly. This was a very memorable Christmas Eve event. Our complements to the Chef, kitchen staff, wait staff and host. Thank you. We look forward to retuning to this excellent restaurant."
    Dined on 12/24/2013
  • "I am writing to happily report that our 3-year wait to dine at Cetrella was well worth it! We dine local, Peninsula and San Francisco regularly, but had yet to dine in this gem in our own backyard because of mixed reports. I am happy to report that the atmosphere was superb, especially for a romantic dinner. The service was exemplary, and the owner Mhamed (who we met when we showed up for our Open Table reservation) was seen regularly and personally checking on tables throughout the evening. The price was on par for any of the similar high-end restaurants on the coast or peninsula, and less expensive than comparable caliber ones in San Francisco. Finally, the food was delicious and we will definitely return soon!"
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "Food was decent not great. Service was below average It took a long time to be served and the food took ages to get delivered to the table"
    Dined on 11/8/2013
  • "OK, we went there on Halloween and it was pretty deserted. Maybe they gave the chef the night off. But the salad and soup were very sweet without much balance, and both entrees were overcooked (slight crust on top of the meat like they spent time waiting in the oven). The lamb shank was well spiced if a little dry. The salmon had a few different sauces, none of which actually seemed to have much flavor (besides an odd, unidentifiable vegetable taste). We had a great table, and the dessert was excellent (creme brulee). But overall the experience was disappointing."
    Dined on 10/31/2013
  • "Always the best stop on a trip to the Coast. Ordered my usual - fritto mista and lamb shank. It is delicious and never disappoints. My husband had the seasonal heirloom salad with nectarines and a perfectly cooked filet. Desserts were superb - a triple chocolate bar that was incredibly rich and a lovely panna cotta. We had a bottle of our favorite wine and a warm fire made for a perfect evening. The staff is always welcoming and friendly and makes us feel feel like cherished friends. We'll return soon."
    Dined on 10/23/2013
  • "It's been a long time since my first visit to Cetrella. Glad I revisited. The food and atmosphere were just as good as before. Our table this time was particularly good, as we were seated in front of the fireplace, so it was all the more special. I would definitely go back. If you are hungry, be sure to ask which dishes are more hearty, as some dishes we got were on the small side."
    Dined on 10/26/2013
  • "Cetrella remains a fine Half Moon Bay option, with inventive, well-presented dishes. It is, however, WAY overpriced for the area."
    Dined on 10/20/2013
  • "The little gem salad with prosciutto had one measly slice of prosciutto. The scallops were rubbery and extremely over cooked. The dish lacked salt and acidity and was quite offputting. Service was bad - it seemed the bus boys were doing more than our waiter to actually pay attention to us - it seemed there was one waiter for over 10 tables but 10 busboys running around!"
    Dined on 10/19/2013
  • "A little pricey but great food, especially the pork chop. Looked like a steak, big, juicy. Attentive but not intrusive service. Good wine."
    Dined on 10/12/2013
  • "This restaurant is very over rated Food was poor, service was lacking We wont ever try it again"
    Dined on 10/11/2013
  • "Wonderful food and ambiance. The duck and scallops were perfect."
    Dined on 10/9/2013
  • "Was not too impressed with the service. Food was good."
    Dined on 10/5/2013
  • "They have a very nice wine list. We ordered a wine on their list however that was not available. The waiter recommended a wine but we decided on a different wine base on region. They did not have that wine as well. We eventually went with the wine the waiter recommended. It was very good and less expensive that either of the ones we requested. Every thing else was superb."
    Dined on 9/29/2013
  • "This was our third trip to Cetrella and it once again exceeded our expectations. Even though we live in Los Gatos, it is well worth the trip!"
    Dined on 9/21/2013