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La Lanterna Ristorante
La Lanterna Ristorante

La Lanterna Ristorante Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.lalanternasanmateo.com/#
  • Phone: (650) 341-8877
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: M-Sa 11:30am-2:00pm
    Dinner: M-Su 5:00pm-9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Ramon Lopez
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Contact: Jennifer (650) 341-8877

Getting there

  • Cross Street: El Camino Real
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from La Lanterna Ristorante
Open since 2001, La Lanterna is a family-owned business with Ramon Lopez as Executive Chef and Jennifer Villa-McGuffin service as manager. Prior to opening, Ramon and Jennifer were employed at various fine dining restaurants in the San Francisco Peninsula. With his own signature style, Chef Ramon has received numerous accolades and is honored to serve you at La Lanterna. Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "This small, well appointed restaurant has everything going for it, great, fresh food and good service. All the pasta is hand made and outstanding. What more can I say but to definitely dine here soon."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "The food and service are decent with some dishes above average and some below. Service was fine, not stellar. Not sure we'll be back since the space is cavernous and feels cold even with a fair amount of people in it. The front wall is all windows facing nondescript stores on 25th Avenue. I'd suggest drapes which could be closed for dinner so it would feel more intimate. They could also divide up the space with half walls to create smaller dining areas rather than the one large room."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "We always enjoy this restaurant. The food is consistently good; the specials are always great, too. The staff is friendly and helpful. Tonight we had the special anti pasti plate, and as an entrée, the calamari dore and special swordfish. All were delicious and good portions."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Just one word good food, but young server should not be in this business! Expressing his self with foul language to his guests....."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "Good service. The risotto is outstanding. Good price/quality relationship."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "Our reservation noted on Open Table that the dinner was to celebrate my wife's birthday and that she had an allergy to the entire onion "family". The allergy problem was mentioned to the waiter again while we were ordering; in fact, he acknowledged she could not have one of the items. Then when her food arrived it included chives all other her food! Never once did the waiter or anyone at the restaurant mention her birthday. This lack of attention is too bad since otherwise the food was tasty and they had a nice added touch of a person playing a guitar"
    Dined on 6/16/2014
  • "Have dined here many times over the years and have always been pleased with the experience. They have a private room in the back and we used it for a 90th birthday party for my mom a few years ago. Whether it is a party or small group for lunch or dinner, you can count on good food and professional and friendly service. A real gem in the neighborhood!"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Very friendly and efficient wait staff. Excellent food and great special menu items. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Food was wonderful, service great. We were not rushed - could enjoy the evening and the delicious meal. Service was excellent."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Our most recent visit reinforced our feeling that this is one of the best restaurants on the peninsula for Italian food and for excellent service. The veal piccata was done perfectly as was the house-made-pasta dish. Service from Vito was perfection. Highly recommended. Bravo!"
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "I've eaten here many times and food is always really good. Great veal dishes. "
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "As always, we enjoyed our dinner. This is a wonderful restaurant with great food and good service, although service can be slow at times. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed. I look forward to their specials, tonight I had swordfish with a delicious sauce, light and airy mashed potatoes, and sautéed spinach. My husband enjoyed the calamari steak, one of his favorites, here."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "I haven't been in in a while and celebrated 2 birthdays with friends, they surprised us with lovely desserts on beautifully decorated small plates, very sweet and much appreciated. The bread they serve is outstanding, we shared the polenta and pastry appetizer, both very good. The gnocchi was good, I would have preferred a gorgonzola sauce to the black truffle, but I enjoyed it. My friends had the sole and risotto and both were enjoyed. Good service and overall great celebration!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "I really had no idea what to expect when we walked into La Lanterna. It is a small simple restaurant and only had a few people dining (we were early). Bottomline, the food was excellent and the restaurant promptly filled up by 6pm. I had their special of pesto rissoto with asparagas and scallops that was amazing. The atmosphere is comfortable and not too loud so you can hold a conversation."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Great neighborhood restaurant. It is so nice to have La Lanterna within walking distance of our house."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "Service was not great. We had a table for 6. The first two in our party arrived 10 min ahead of our 7:15 reservation, and the rest of its at 7:20. After sitting, talking, reviewing the menu for another 10-15 min, we still had no bread or anyone else approach the table. I finally asked a busboy to send our server. The hostess-I assume-was standing near our table the whole time. Never made eye contact or checked in with us. Seemed very aloof--not the trait I would want in a hostess of a family style restaurant. Our server was perfectly fine once he tuned-in. Food was very good; fresh Italian bread; authentic pastas and sauces. Wine list could use some help on the white side."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "This restaurant has survived because the food is consistent, good and not overly priced. When the weather is nice, as it was when I was there, tables are set up outside. Crab cakes, salad, were the choices for our lunch. Excellent and always a favorite...."
    Dined on 3/10/2014
  • "Great food for a reasonable price. Had a $30 bottle of wine, 2 appetizer's, two main dishes and with tip got out with a $95 bill. Food was great - the clams appetizer was the fantastic - not a drop of sauce was left after mopping it up with the fresh bread."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "I have been a loyal customer since opening. Over the years, I have enjoyed the food and staff. On Sat night, with my large family, the service was so poor, and waiter so rude, that I do not plan to return. We were told that we were too loud by the waiter. While trying to be respectful of he request, our service continued to be poor and rude. Not once did the waiter freely come over to our table and ask how he could help. I constantly had to try to waive him down and beg for help and more service. So sad since my friends and I have enjoyed so many meals over the years at La Lanterna. But I now plan to share with all my friends about the poor service and the rude waiter. Chris Cooper"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "This unassuming gem on 25th ave. is outstanding. I wish I had gone a long time ago. I had veal that was as good as any place I"ve had it. Compared to restaurants that are in the area, this ranks as on top for sure. The service was great and friendly. Can't wait to go back."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "We were just visiting the area for a short 3 day sightseeing trip and went on Yelp to look for places to eat. We were pleasantly surprised at the high quality of the homemade pastas and unique entree choices. The service by the staff was impeccable. The restaurant is very open but the noise level is very low even with a table for 6 next to us. There did seem to be a room in the back for large parties. I would definitely go back!!!!"
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "We celebrated my daughter's birthday at La Lanterna. Everything was just perfect."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "This is our favorite restaurant on the Peninsula and go there often. We have only good things to say about all we expect in a restaurant, and they fulfill our every expectation.Our lunch this time was for a group of 8, and everyone enjoyed the food,ambiance, and service."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "La Lanterna has been our go to restaurant for a number of years. The food is always very good and it is nice to go to an Italian restaurant that has Italian waiters. We always take friends to La Lanterna when they come to visit. This restaurant is very popular so make reservations if you go on a weekend night."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Food was delicious and service was outstanding! So glad to have found this restaurant."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "This is a warm and friendly neighborhood restaurant with consistently good food. The servers are always helpful. The kitchen can be a little slow at times but we find the food is worth the wait."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "everything from start to finish was excellent service a tad slow but a wonderful evening Italian style hello"
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "We had reservations for VDay. It was very busy as anyone would expect. The staff was very friendly and set each party in order of arrival. The Soup that night was a corn chowder with Crab. WOW - it was delicious! Our main meals were tasty and well prepared as well. THe whole experience was TOPS. This is a San Mateo neighborhood GEM."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "It's rare that we get to go out as a couple sans children and we were looking for a quiet and delicious Italian meal to celebrate Valentine's day. This was perfect. Great service, deliciousness authentic food and not rushed."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Even though it was Valentine's Day, the service was excellent and the food served promptly and nicely done. Of course, the most important thing is the food. Very good! There is a full bar and a very good wine list. The only fault I would mention is the lighting. Otherwise I would give it even a higher rating."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "WE can always count on La Lanterna to provide excellent food, service and friendliness. Have recommended this restaurant to many, and no one has been disappointed - only kudo's Only complaint (and it's not a fault of the restaurant) too many restaurants on the Avenue and very limited parking, not to mention hardly any parking available for the handicapped."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "The food was delicious - second time I have been there and both times were great - will go again and recommend to others."
    Dined on 2/10/2014
  • "Finally met one of the owners after years of dining here. Lovely lady, wife of owner/chef. Dinner was excellent. Will continue dining here. Booth seating is comfortable."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "This was a great place to celebrate my wife's dinner. We had a nice intimate dinner and just enjoyed everything about our night. We have been to La Lanterna for several occasions and will always consider this a go to for our specials nights."
    Dined on 2/3/2014
  • "We're not gourmet people, but have eatent at some nice places in the Napa Valley, SF, and in Europe. La Lanterna was right at the top! Two appetizers- polenta (tasty truffle sauce), calamari (off the boat fresh); Tried 4 different entrees- hangar steak, fruitta di mare, petrale sole and canneloni. All were spectacular. We all split a desert (petit trio), couldn't believe we could fit that in! Great deserts as well. Very friendly service. All for less than $25/person at lunch!!! WOW."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "My second visit to this restaurant. First time, service and food were excellent. Took a larger group back for my second visit - food was average and the service was extremely slow and unattentive. Hoping they go back to the better mojo."
    Dined on 1/27/2014
  • "I was very disappointed overall. I give some lead way because we went to the restaurant on New year's Eve but all of the food was lack luster. We ordered the Calamari Dorati and Pollo Parmesana, pretty basic dishes. The chicken was so rubbbery and full of cartiledge that I couldn't eat it and had to send it back. It was replaced with pasta bolognese that was very flavorful. The Calamari Dorati was ok, not very flavorful, and the truffle potatoes tasted like they were "box potatoes." The wait staff was exceptional !! The hostess was NOT, we had a reservation and had to wait quite a while when there were over 3 open tables to seat us. I won't return to this restaurant."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Loved it - the waiters are Italian as well which really makes it authentic."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "We had a nice dinner to ring in the New Year's Eve."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Although it was New Year's Eve and very busy, our dining experience was , as usual, outstanding. The noise level was more energetic than usual, but then, everyone was in a holiday spirit."
    Dined on 12/31/2013