Central Park Bistro
181 East 4th Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94401Neighborhood:
AmericanPrice: $30 and under
Central Park Bistro
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.centralparkbistro.com/
- Phone: 6505588401
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: American, Comfort Food, Southern
- Executive Chef: George Garcia
- Dress Code: Business Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Catering: We can recreate our menu or customize it to your needs. Please call for details.
A word from Central Park Bistro
Central Park Bistro is a 100 seat contemporary restaurant in downtown San Mateo featuring fresh seasonal American cuisine, in the $15-$26 range. We offer a carefully chosen eclectic Wine Spectator award-winning wine list. Central Park Bistro is an affordable sophisticated, fun dining experience. Relax and unwind with a house specialty cocktail at our wonderful Martini Bar. We also have several intimate private dining rooms perfect for that corporate presentation business meeting, wedding rehearsal dinner, retirement/anniversary dinner, or any special function you may have in mind. Check out our private wine cellar room which seats up to 8 people for that extra special dining experience.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
Central Park Bistro - Best Restaurants in San Mateo ›
Central Park Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
53 reviews since May 23, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (28)fit for foodies (24)special occasion (21)good for groups (14)romantic (14)notable wine list (13)great for lunch (11)great for outdoor dining (6)hot spot (5)kid-friendly (2)great for brunch (1)Show More
- So so serviceRoxiDined on 3/1/2014The service was not great. We were seated right away (we had a reservation) with menus. Our server came over five minutes later to tell us the specials. He did NOT take a drink order. He came back almost ten minutes later to take our complete order; drinks, appetizers and entrées. Each course took a long time. After we received our entrées, nobody came back to check on us until they removed our clean plates. Fortunately the food was excellent. It took forever and us requesting our check to be able to pay and leave. This place is NOT staffed correctly at all!Special Features:
- Enjoyable experienceslumDined on 3/1/2014Lunch menu had a variety that suited everyone's tastebuds. Service was very good and nice atmosphere. Food arrived quickly and very enjoyable.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- We had the skirt steak ourFoodieDined on 2/27/2014We had the skirt steak our first visit there. It was delicious. On our return visit, we decided to share the mushroom pizza as our starter and also shared the sirloin steak special. Both were absolutely delicious. We were both so stuffed, we ended up taking home half our sirloin steaks home. Service is excellent.....food superb....and conversations can be had even with people sitting at the tables right next to us, left and right.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wow, what a wine list!JeffDined on 2/20/2014Just had a great meal with friends I hadn't seen in 14 years. I've got to tell you, the wine list is amazing. Partridge Cabernet was just plain unbelievable. I'm discovering after the fact that the wine isn't available except apparently from the winery. Good food, spectacular wine, outstanding service, memorable evening.Special Features:
- Great place!AnneCDined on 2/17/2014Found this place on yelp, great downtown San Mateo location, nice inside, good food and service! I would go backSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- dinner for twoErinDined on 2/15/2014The food was good but not amazing. The wine list was extensive and good choices for varying prices. Overall an enjoyable experience and I would go there again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Dinner with retired work matesNDHSRDined on 2/12/2014Met with my brother and a retired work mate that we worked with for many years.As I was early I was seated at the table right a away. I sat there a good ten minutes waiting for the server to come by to see if I wanted a drink or something. Never happened. I had to get up and go to the bar and ask the bar keep for the drink.When my two other mates arrived then they were more attentive. The menu has a good variety and the prices are fair.The food was good and well prepared I would definitely go back. Parking in down town San Mateo can be a challenge some time and you might have to park a ways away from this destination.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food, slow servicechocloveVIPDined on 2/8/2014Although we waited about an hour for our main courses to come, the food was very nice once it arrived. I had the lobster salad and mushroom pizza.I would recommend this to a friend.
- FIVE STARReapDined on 2/8/2014Excellent service and food. Went for twin daughters 40th Birthday and really enjoyed it. Waiter was great, food was great, and service was great. Would highly recommend and will go back for the delicious sea bass (was on the specials). $20 cork fee / brought our own wine.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Still thinking about our lunchjamievDined on 2/8/2014We were on a wedding dress quest. We were tired, hungry and frustrated with the rain. Checked Open Table for San Mateo lunch spots and selected Central Park Bistro--and became delighted with our decision. They make a wicked Irish Coffee (and have a good beer selection), the mushroom pizza was hot, crisp and delish and their dark chocolate gelatto was heavenly. My friends had pasta selections and were equally pleased. Our waiter was just wonderful. He had a delightful sense of humor and made us feel so relaxed.Special Features:
- Third Time - PerfectJennCVIPDined on 1/25/2014This is my third trip to Central Park. Each time I am more impressed by the food. Amazing flavors and great presentation. The price is high but worth every penny in my opinion. This dinner was a celebration and the staff did a wonderful job. The ambiance is normally nice a quiet but we sat next to the kitchen so I can say without a doubt, the kitchen staff is extremely professional. Loved sitting next to kitchen so I can hear the buzz. I will continue to visit as I can.Special Features:
- Consistent great foodLakeviewDined on 1/10/2014We have come here several times and the food is always consistently great. We also like the service, the staffs are very attentive, even with a full house of customers. We Cap it off with their bread pudding and volcano dessetrs. We would recommend this local gem to anyone who is in the San Meteo area.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Love this place! Food andLizzieVIPDined on 1/3/2014Love this place! Food and service is always fantastic.Special Features:
- Food and service was excellent,espeFun2eatVIPDined on 12/31/2013Food and service was excellent,especially for a New Years Eve.Special Features:
- Great meal, great serviceBernerMayorDined on 12/27/2013I had some friends from out of town who were looking for some "red meat." They had the steak special and I had fish special which were both excellent. Beef was well cooked and the fish was fresh with a great sauce. I'll be going back.Special Features:
- Love this place. The foodShnurDined on 12/13/2013Love this place. The food was outstanding and the desserts, we tried the bread pudding and lava cake, were out of this world. Will definitely go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Tasty, but could use an overhaulJohnDoughVIPDined on 11/22/2013Food was well prepared, cooked, and presented and the staff was very nice. Some nit-picky things could be addressed to improve the experience. The food selections could be more seasonally appropriate and fresh. Large, thick paper menus were dingy and wrinkled, like they hadn't been reprinted in months. A flaming pizza oven made the room unbearably hot to the point that we could not stay for dessert because we needed to leave ASAP to cool off. Wines by the glass tasted like they had been open for too long. Communal bench seating, in one of the two dining rooms, eliminates the possibility for private and romantic dining in that area. Perhaps it's just time for a few changes to breathe new life into this enduring and capable place?I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent little BistroMichaelVIPDined on 11/18/2013Great little Bistro with a really nice menu selection and food prepared beautifully. Menu has lots of variety and some nice creative ideas, all very tasty. Prices are reasonable; wine is a bit expensive.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Some creative and some notPepperVIPDined on 11/10/2013Some good menu items and creative--pizza menu. Other specials were not as tasty and quite bland. For the cost of my fish, it was a bit cold and the prawn was more like a shrimp. The restaurant tries to be a higher end trendy restaurant, but lacks service and consistency in cooking. Our bill was $250 and could have had a better meal.
- GoodSA1sancaDined on 11/2/2013Great food had the lobster salad risotto and skirt steak.. Portions are not that big... Great foodSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Central Park Bistro is anOpenTable Diner Since 2003VIPDined on 11/1/2013Central Park Bistro is an anchor restaurant on the Peninsula - great go to spot with friends or date night. Excellent cocktails, the regular menu is outstanding and we will usually get at least one dish from their daily menu (seasonal items).Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great - Deserves its reputationSonnySteeleDined on 10/25/2013The service was excellent (attentive, well-informed, with the perfect level of engagement). The butter lettuce salad was memorable, the scallops were great (I chuckled at the idea of "micro-greens", right up until my tongue informed my brain that this really was something that enhanced the already great scallops tremendously), and the dessert (toffee bread pudding ... don't associate this with what you normally think of when you think of "bread pudding") was delicious. On top of it all, we'd requested a table where we could sit and talk without being in the midst of the Friday night crowd. Not only was our request noted, the staff took great pains to ensure that we felt relaxed and unhurried. No question, we'll be back.Special Features:
- Great mealShelleyEDined on 10/21/2013The appetizers we selected were wonderful-steak tartare and duck pate. As for the entree, the mushroom pizza was fantastic. Thin delicate crust and tons of savory mushrooms on top. The skirt steak was excellent too-a nice portion, great sauce and delicious side of mashed potatoes. Nice ambiance. Great meal and we will go back again!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Something for everyone...CaraDined on 10/18/2013Went out with a group and we ordered duck, lobster, steak and even a diet plate! There was a perfect meal to suit every taste and they were all delicious. Also ordered decaf coffee and it was really decaf...no up all night switcheroo. Service was great, friendly and helpful but also left us alone to catch up.Special Features:
- Good food, clean flavors entreeslocaldinerDined on 10/16/2013Good food, clean flavors entrees in the $25-$35 range. Ambience amenable to conversation, and private dining for small groups. Overall service was attentive, yet not overbearing. Would recommend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very Good in Downtown San MateoRobertDined on 10/4/2013Nice assortment of appetizers, salads and entrees. Better than average wines by the glass. We're going back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Service needs improvementCPO1Dined on 10/2/2013The food was excellent, but the service was very slow. We had to flag down the wait staff to order and each time we needed assistance. They never checked in to see if we needed anything, which is unfortunate, because the food was quite good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Our dining experience wasOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 9/19/2013Our dining experience was very good. We were at Central ark Bistro to celebrate the retirement of a friend. We all enjoyed the excellent food and service was very much improved over past experience. We all remarked on how nice it was that the restaurant was quiet enough that we did not strain to hear our conversation. All in all, a pleasant dining experience.Special Features:
- Loved the food and atmosphere!SouthBayTravelerDined on 9/12/2013We had to drive a bit from San Jose to get to Central Park Bistro in San Mateo, but it was so worth it! From the minute we entered the restaurant, we felt welcomed and enlivened by the vibrant atmosphere and friendly staff. The service and meal were wonderful; I especially loved the beet salad, which was unusually tasty, sort of sweet and tangy. The petrale sole dinner was delicious, and the Caramel Toffee Bread Pudding with Vanilla Bean gelato is a must-try! We'd love to go back when we have the opportunity.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not what we hoped forthansVIPDined on 9/3/2013We were expecting more from this restaurant. My husband ordered his steak very rare. What he got was a medium rare steak. The service was very slow. Unusually high mark-ups on the wine. A real disappointment. The only portion of the entire meal that was good was my husband's appetizer. At these prices you deserve more!
- A favorite that never disappoints!OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 8/30/2013Each visit is positively delightful with fabulous food, friendly service, and dessert soo-good you might not want to share :) There is outdoor dining, which looks appealing, however, we have only sat inside ourselves. We find it perfect for a romantic dinner when just two of us, and enjoy going with small groups of 4-6. There is a small private room which I am certain would be fantastic for a larger group! We have even enjoyed a to-go order and the food was equally delicious; we only missed the ambience of CPB. A friend recommended Central Park Bistro to us several years ago, and we still make a point to thank them for sharing!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Repeat satisfying experience!OpenTable Diner Since 2004Dined on 8/10/2013This restaurant is the place to go when you want good food and good service. They have a nice varied menu- just enough offerings that it is not over whelming and a good selection if you are a small eater (as I am) or have a big appetite: I usually have a hamburger (rare for me, juicy, and tasty!) and share an appetizer with my husband who goes for something like fish or lamb. I have seen folks eating a full course meal while others order an appetizer and dessert.- reminds me of a New York type neighborhood restaurant. Give yourself extra time to park in downtown san mateo- especially on the w/e- and don't leave without having eaten their bread pudding!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Central Park Bistro was Very GoodOpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 8/6/2013We had a large group (8) ...and they did a very good job...the menu is broad enough to appeal to all tastes and the service was very good...attentive without being intrusive...my only complaint...the bread was mediocre...especially with so many excellent bread bakeries (read Acme or Semifreddi) in the Bay Area...Special Features:
- Jury is still outOpenTable Diner Since 2002VIPDined on 7/26/2013We thought the food was perfectly executed. We felt service was good, too. It wasn't quite "French" as it was classified to be. There were more Mediterranean/Italian dishes on the menu than there was French. A turn off was having to box our own leftovers. We were given the boxes not the option. Having given the option to box our own or they do it for us would have been a touch of class.
- we were the only peopleOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 7/22/2013The food was just ok and the service was very good, but since there was no one else there between 6 and 9 on a week night it felt a little odd.
- An Enjoyable MealRobertDined on 7/20/2013Very good food and service. Some nice menu options and interesting combinations. Great desserts. Had not been here in at least a year, but we are going back soon.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Consistently great food & serviceLauraWDined on 7/19/2013Wonderful place for lunch with friends or a work lunch too because the food and service are really excellent- including beautiful presentation- and it's quiet enough to hear each other even in a bigger group. Always satisfied!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- our 57th anniversayfoodamoreDined on 7/15/2013Odd that the resturant asked if this was a special occason. We said yes - thought maybe they'd bring a candle popped into a piece of cake. Nothing! Everything went very well. Wine list is rather pricey, to say the least. Why it is called a " Bistro" with nothing french on the menu , i.e. steak tartare, onion soup, etc. is a puzzle. Would and did recomment it.Special Features:
- I have always had a greatBrittany317Dined on 7/10/2013I have always had a great experience at Central Park Bistro. It's a great place for special occasions-- I just took my great-aunt for her 85th birthday. The food is consistently tasty and the staff really go out of their way to make you feel special.Special Features:
- Bums RushOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 7/8/2013The food? Fantastic! It was a romantic evening and it was not a busy night for the restaurant, the setting was great. However, while the restaurant was listed to be open until 1000, about 915 we started to get rushed by various staff. Until around 930 we were asked to take care of our bill so that they could close. I really liked the restaurant (especially the food), and may go back, but not for such an evening. I guess if I want a long romantic dinner I need to go to Paris and what's with 1000 PM anyway?Special Features: