La Lanterna Ristorante
180 W. 25th Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94403Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
La Lanterna Ristorante
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.lalanternasanmateo.com/#
- Phone: 6503418877
- 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 6503418877
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 photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
La Lanterna Ristorante - Best Restaurants in San Mateo ›
La Lanterna Ristorante reviews from OpenTable diners
55 reviews since June 26, 2014
- Ambiance3.9Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (43)special occasion (24)good for groups (19)great for lunch (15)fit for foodies (14)romantic (10)kid-friendly (5)great for outdoor dining (5)great for brunch (4)late-night find (3)hot spot (3)notable wine list (2)Show More
- otdinerVIPDined on 10/18/2014Always a good meal with excellent service. We had dessert tonight, and should have it more often. All are made in house. The apple strudel and vanilla gelato were so tasty.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always Fantastic!zippyVIPDined on 10/15/2014Great for a special occasion, or a simple night out. We love this place! Each time we introduce new friends, the remarks are consistent...."will have to come back again...there so many things that look good." And they are all good! Never been disappointed by the food, and the service is exceptional - warm, friendly, and helpful.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A trure italian experience!RoseDined on 10/12/2014You will not be disappointed from the time you arrive to the end of your meal! The meal is a true Italian experience, yet is still creative and flexible enough to fit anyone's taste. ENJOY!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- missybabeDined on 10/6/2014I love this restaurant. Their food is great and their desserts are awesome. Would return in a heart beat!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent Service!SophieDined on 10/5/2014Great dinner! Took 8 people for a birthday dinner and the service was EXCELLENT! Food was perfect!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Horrific. Avoid!!AlittlewhineVIPDined on 9/27/2014I have never written a review like this and I don't do so lightly. My wife and I had a horrific experience here Sat night. The server, Michelangelo, presented a bill which overcharged for drinks. Assuming it was an honest mistake, I brought it to his attention. Amazingly, he said, "No, the prices on the menu do not include the fee for making the drink. We charge extra for that" Having ordered a Negroni, a cocktail featured on the menu printed for that day and shown at $10, I assumed he was joking. He said, "No joke". "The manager makes us add extra charge. I cannot change." He was demanding a 20% overcharge. I assume this is systematic and he has been defrauding customers this way for some time. He started screaming. He had been drinking.
- Our second visitNMJohnDined on 9/27/2014The food was great and portion sizes just right. One of us had the chicken florentina and it was great. I had the penne with Italian sausage and the sausage was very tasty and authentic. Only issue was the service. It was crowded and they seemed understaffedSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very nice dinner experiencelovediningoutVIPDined on 9/23/2014Decent sized neighborhood restaurant. Easy parking as it's a daytime type business street. Appealing menu choices and decent wine list. Caesar salad to start was large and very good. Diner was very good. I'll def. go back.Special Features:
- otdinerVIPDined on 9/20/2014Always a good meal with excellent service. We enjoy the relaxed environment and always feel welcome. Tonight we had the antipasti special; a nice variety, and the entrees - the special petrale dore; delicious and a healthy portion, the special lamb chop; very tender, and the calamari dore; cooked perfectly. We had a dessert trio that was also very tasty.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful local Italian gemOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 9/16/2014Comfy booths & a subtle and sophisticated decor. Service is warm & efficient. The food is the most impressive thing. They make their own bread, which they use to make flavorful Bruscetta, and let's face it, not everyone does. Under "Insalates" is the Burrata Caprese. I love cheeses & this didn't disappoint. Burrata was fabulous with a wonderfully subtle favor and creamy interior. Used in a Caprese salad instead of a traditional mozzarella was ingenious. Rabbit wrapped in pancetta had a lovely sauce & portions were generous. Potato tart that came elevated a lowly potato to tasty new heights. We split the Three Petite, a beautiful presentation of three desserts, complete with spun sugar decoration atop. Wonderful food at a reasonable prices.Special Features:
- Great Place for LunchNtlynDined on 9/16/2014Our "Lunch Bunch" is a group of former high school friends, now in our seventies! There are six of us, and we take turns choosing a restaurant for lunch, once a month. This was my turn, and no one was disappointed. Several of us had eaten there before, I had been there for dinner, but never for lunch. Good food and very pleasant service.Special Features:
- NerkTwinsDined on 9/13/2014The food was very good, the hostess was fine, but the service was a bit on the slow side. The waiter brought our appetizer plates but we waited about 10 minutes for the appetizer.Special Features:
- DeliciousRoseVIPDined on 9/13/2014The food is wonderful. I sometimes judge a restaurant on how well they prepare vegetables. They're always cooked and seasoned perfectly here. I loved the rabbit and their awesome specials.Special Features:
- Quiet neighborhood ristoranteAudsomefoodieDined on 9/11/2014The food was tasty and authentic Italian. Three in our party felt that the fish was too heavy handed on the salt. But it was a nice quiet evening to chat and celebrate a birthday ... Too bad the restaurant did not help on celebrating with a special treat but guess that's not on their repertoire. Over good but not outstanding.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AwesomeRoseVIPDined on 9/6/2014The food is great and service is excellent. Loved the rabbit and the dessert was delicious.Special Features:
- Excellent Italian FoodRaymondDined on 9/6/2014Perfect right from the start. We've tried several places around San Mateo, good Italian food is getting harder to find. Quick seating, quick, well coordinated service at the table. We went simple on the drinks, martini's. very good. Dinner was excellent, both of us very satisfied with the flavors, quality and quantity for the very fair prices. Will easily go back again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Go To PlaceLouBVIPDined on 8/24/2014My wife has MS so going out is a little hard. We celebrated her birthday at La Lanterna and they did their usual terrific job. Hector is very attentive and very friendly, as are the whole group.Special Features:
- yummy and freshkimmiekaeVIPDined on 8/22/2014Yummy Tortolloni;wow. Very fresh and delightful pasta! Busboy and waiter very efficient and nice. We are return customers!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- PatronEScottiDined on 8/22/2014Food was outstanding! We were pleasantly surprised by both the quality and quantity. It wasn't your typical "three bite" plate, and the flavors were excellent. We had the chicken parm and the cheese/spinach ravoli. The desert sampler was also extremely tasty. I would recommend to anyone-and for special occasions ask for a booth!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OnoliciousVIPDined on 8/11/2014EVERYTHING WAS GREAT UNTIL THE GUITAR MUSIC STARTED. WE LIKE THIS RESTAURANT BECAUSE IT'S QUIET AND RELAXING, AND WE COULD HAVE A DECENT CONVERSATION AT THE DINNER TABLE; BUT WITH THE MUSIC, WE HAD TO SHOUT ACROSS THE TABLE (THERE WERE 6 OF US). WISH THEY WOULD DO AWAY WITH THE MUSIC.....Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Something changed....luvmywineVIPDined on 8/8/2014We have eaten here 2 - 3 times in just the last few months and really enjoyed it. The food was good and the service was too. This time, the food was just "ok" and the service matched. We did notice there were not as many customers this time too.....was this just an off night? We will give it another try sometime, but not very soon.Special Features:
- Neighborhood gemSharVIPDined on 7/31/2014Always a treat to see a neighborhood restaurant doing well and La Lanterna is one of them. Food is consistently good. I opted to have a spinach salad and then an appetizer for my main course. Appetizer was toasted polenta with Parmesan cheese and garlic. It was excellent and a very large portion. Decor is so pleasing on the eye and food again was delicious.Special Features:
- Little bit of ItalyMichaelDined on 7/31/2014La Lanterna is shinning beacon of Italy in San Mateo! This was my first visit to this Italian neighborhood gem. Food, service and atmosphere were excellent!Special Features:
- La LanternaOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 7/27/2014The food and service were excellent. Our server was very polite, unobtrusive, and the food came within a reasonable time--and was delicious.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best Italian on the PenninsulaFoodyVIPDined on 7/25/2014This 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good for GroupsOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 7/24/2014Took great care of our large group. Were able to get us in and out in a short amount of time. Excellent turn around. Portions were good and manageable.Special Features:
- Decent food, cold ambiencevitalmhVIPDined on 7/12/2014The 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.
- otdinerVIPDined on 7/5/2014We 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.Special Features:
- server was way rude!!!!OpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 6/30/2014Just one word good food, but young server should not be in this business! Expressing his self with foul language to his guests.....
- Great food!OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 6/30/2014Good service. The risotto is outstanding. Good price/quality relationship.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 100 reviews are from the La Lanterna Ristorante reviews archive.
- Great food but lack of attentionOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 6/16/2014Our 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 guitarSpecial Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2003Dined on 6/13/2014Have 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!Special Features:
- JoJoVIPDined on 5/31/2014Very friendly and efficient wait staff. Excellent food and great special menu items.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very enjoyable evening!sallieDined on 5/30/2014Food was wonderful, service great. We were not rushed - could enjoy the evening and the delicious meal. Service was excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent dining continuesGourmet1VIPDined on 5/16/2014Our 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!Special Features:
- La Lanterna RestaurantJoeyDined on 5/8/2014I've eaten here many times and food is always really good. Great veal dishes.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- otdinerVIPDined on 4/26/2014As 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Birthdays!FoodieVIPDined on 4/12/2014I 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!I would recommend this to a friend.
- Impressive neighborhood restaurantluvmywineVIPDined on 4/4/2014I 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.Special Features:
- Great neighborhood restaurant.snowmanVIPDined on 3/27/2014Great neighborhood restaurant. It is so nice to have La Lanterna within walking distance of our house.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.