Central Park Bistro
Central Park Bistro

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.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Ellsworth Street
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Metered parking on street and large lot in back of restaurant.
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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
Central Park Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
53 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
96% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
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 service
    Roxi
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    The 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:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Enjoyable experience
    slum
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    Lunch menu had a variety that suited everyone's tastebuds. Service was very good and nice atmosphere. Food arrived quickly and very enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We had the skirt steak our
    Foodie
    Dined on 2/27/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wow, what a wine list!
    Jeff
    Dined on 2/20/2014
    Just 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:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place!
    AnneC
    Dined on 2/17/2014
    Found this place on yelp, great downtown San Mateo location, nice inside, good food and service! I would go back
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • dinner for two
    Erin
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    The 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:
    notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner with retired work mates
    NDHSR
    Dined on 2/12/2014
    Met 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:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, slow service
    chocloveVIP
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    Although 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • FIVE STAR
    Reap
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    Excellent 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:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, special occasion, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still thinking about our lunch
    jamiev
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    We 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:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Third Time - Perfect
    JennCVIP
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    This 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:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Consistent great food
    Lakeview
    Dined on 1/10/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this place! Food and
    LizzieVIP
    Dined on 1/3/2014
    Love this place! Food and service is always fantastic.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food and service was excellent,espe
    Fun2eatVIP
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    Food and service was excellent,especially for a New Years Eve.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great meal, great service
    BernerMayor
    Dined on 12/27/2013
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love this place. The food
    Shnur
    Dined on 12/13/2013
    Love 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasty, but could use an overhaul
    JohnDoughVIP
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    Food 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?
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent little Bistro
    MichaelVIP
    Dined on 11/18/2013
    Great 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:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Some creative and some not
    PepperVIP
    Dined on 11/10/2013
    Some 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good
    SA1sanca
    Dined on 11/2/2013
    Great food had the lobster salad risotto and skirt steak.. Portions are not that big... Great food
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Central Park Bistro is an
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 11/1/2013
    Central 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:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great - Deserves its reputation
    SonnySteele
    Dined on 10/25/2013
    The 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great meal
    ShelleyE
    Dined on 10/21/2013
    The 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Something for everyone...
    Cara
    Dined on 10/18/2013
    Went 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food, clean flavors entrees
    localdiner
    Dined on 10/16/2013
    Good 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:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Good in Downtown San Mateo
    Robert
    Dined on 10/4/2013
    Nice assortment of appetizers, salads and entrees. Better than average wines by the glass. We're going back.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service needs improvement
    CPO1
    Dined on 10/2/2013
    The 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:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our dining experience was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/19/2013
    Our 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:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Loved the food and atmosphere!
    SouthBayTraveler
    Dined on 9/12/2013
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not what we hoped for
    thansVIP
    Dined on 9/3/2013
    We 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!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A favorite that never disappoints!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 8/30/2013
    Each 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Repeat satisfying experience!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 8/10/2013
    This 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:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Central Park Bistro was Very Good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 8/6/2013
    We 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:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Jury is still out
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 7/26/2013
    We 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • we were the only people
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/22/2013
    The 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • An Enjoyable Meal
    Robert
    Dined on 7/20/2013
    Very 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently great food & service
    LauraW
    Dined on 7/19/2013
    Wonderful 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • our 57th anniversay
    foodamore
    Dined on 7/15/2013
    Odd 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:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I have always had a great
    Brittany317
    Dined on 7/10/2013
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Bums Rush
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/8/2013
    The 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:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate