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 21, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.9
    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 (12)great for lunch (11)great for outdoor dining (6)hot spot (5)kid-friendly (2)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • This place surprised me
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 7/8/2013
    I've been to a a lot of restaurants in San Mateo but never here before. The food was great, and the service was just about right. We were there early and they sat us at a nice private table. Took a bit longer than I liked to finally order dinner especially considering we were practically the only people there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently good
    loves2dineVIP
    Dined on 7/2/2013
    Lobster salad is a favorite. Staff are very accommodating -- will modify a preparation to suit.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Practical Menu!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 6/24/2013
    We have eaten here many times for dinner and lunch- and our conclusions are always the same: The menu is varied, the service is excellent, and the noise level is tolerable. It is especially accommodating when you have a group of people with different food preferences and/or different quantity preferences. The staff doesn't seem to mind if you want to order a smaller portion, just an appetizer, and/or a dessert. Speaking of desserts, do not miss the bread pudding!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this place!
    KrisR
    Dined on 6/8/2013
    This place is great. I have been here a few times and never have any complaints. The food is delicious and our waiter was awesome. I would definitely recommend this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Reliably good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 6/6/2013
    Always good food. Our server was a little slow to address the table for drinks but after that was prompt.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, poor service at lunch
    mcmsfVIP
    Dined on 6/6/2013
    Food was very good, although portions were small (beet salad was excellent but size of an appetizer). Problem was lackluster service despite the fact that only 6-8 tables were occupied and two wait staff were working.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great brunch place in San Mateo
    lisa
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    I went to this place for branch, and it was perfect. They serve great branch cocktails, good food. Service was great too. It's a perfect environment to relax on the weekend. Will definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food is A+
    OpenTable Diner Since 2000
    Dined on 5/30/2013
    I love this restaurant. I've been here several times for business lunches and the food is always so good! My favorite is the skirt steak. The service is great too. Everyone in our party of 8 was happy with their meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Surprisingly good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 5/25/2013
    We are hardcore foodies (we have eaten at the French Laundry and Meadowood thrice). We took our son here for a family night out while our daughters were at swim night at La Petite Baleen. The food was much better than our last visit. The beet and butter lettuce salads were proportioned correctly -- not too large. The ribs were decent, and the salmon was cooked just right -- medium/medium rare. Both the bread pudding and the panna cotta dessert were just right. The service was friendly and attentive. E.g., our waiter accidentally spilled something on my arm. After apologizing, he also brought me a new napkin to replace the soiled one. The wine list was a surprise. There are some higher end and unusual/small production vintners.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great time all around!
    durkster
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    Fantastic experience: quality food with a flair, but at a reasonable cost. Chic atmosphere and our waiter was freindly and top-notch. Will definitely return! Thanks.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Central Park Bistro, great!
    adbcampbell
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    Excellent food, attentive waitstaff and close-by parking.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • IF YOUR IN A RUSH!
    13chairs
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    This is your place. The moment you sit down a waiter Is asking are you ready to order I nearly put mt coat on the back of the chair. When I said to give us a few, there he was again. It was annoying. Its suppose to be a dining experience not a timed event. I ordered a salmon pizza which came absolutely right out of the refrigerator. My Mom had lobster pasta which I took a taste of and the sauce tasted canned not to mention the lobster pieces looked mangled. My husband had eggs and bacon which I thought would be an easy dish for them. The bacon was so over cooked that it almost looked unreal. The whole experience was disappointing. My husband and I dine at least three times s week. This place will not be on our list.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I've dined at Central Park
    viciousvicsf
    Dined on 5/11/2013
    I've dined at Central Park Bistro several times for different occassions; meeting with friends for dinner, Valentine's Dinner, Mother's Day Brunch, and each dining experience was excellent. The service, the food, and the atmosphere is great and really glad the restaurant accepts opentable reservations - so convenient. It's a great place for brunch or dinner without having to drive in to the city to dine for a special moment. My family and I will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We enjoyed a perfect family dinner.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 5/10/2013
    Service was friendly and patient. Food was outstanding. The swordfish was the best ever, ever, ever. Nice wine selection. Atmosphere was warm and welcoming.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of my favorite neighbor
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 5/3/2013
    One of my favorite neighbor restaurants - always good and service is so professional.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Friendly staff, outstanding
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 4/23/2013
    Friendly staff, outstanding food. Our new favorite restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very attentive and excellent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/14/2013
    Very attentive and excellent service. Food is very solid.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • we brought new friends to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 4/7/2013
    we brought new friends to our favorite neighborhood restaurant, so it's always fun to order new things. while the proscutto/brie appetizer was just okay, the calamari and maui onions were delicious. we had stuffed pork tenderloin which was very tasty. i loved my pork chop with brandy apples. the goat cheese and pear ravioli was wonderful with the crushed walnuts. our beet salads and butter lettuce salads were just right. we ended with splitting 3 desserts - all great: choco lava cake; toffee bread pudding; key lime pie...just the right size so we could all have a great taste of each without feeling guilty. service was attentive as always and so accommodating to split items, have extra wine glasses for our pairings and pleasant throughout.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent First time experience
    GCS1VIP
    Dined on 4/6/2013
    Our first time to Central Park Bistro and we will definitely be back. The staff was wonderful and food was excellent. Skirt Steak was perfect and Lobster Pasta was out of this world. This place is a hidden gem.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Frown Turned Upside-down
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/6/2013
    A farewell dinner, a sad occasion as I move away from my beloved Bay Area, became a thoroughly enjoyable experience. We had great service, a comfortable, quiet location for our table for 5, delicious food and lots of laughs. The only downside is not finding this gem of a restaurant until a week before I leave. I'll feel a bit better if I know that my San Mateo neighbors will read this and treat themselves to a wonderful dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • May be my favorite San Mateo
    loves2dineVIP
    Dined on 3/30/2013
    May be my favorite San Mateo restaurant. Food is dependably excellent -- always have some nice specials. But nine times out of ten I order the lobster salad. It is perfect. And the french fries with gremolata. The people are so nice but so professional.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • CENTRAL PARK BISTRO IS ONE
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 3/25/2013
    CENTRAL PARK BISTRO IS ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES. FOOS & SERVICE EXCELLENT!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great service -- management
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 3/23/2013
    Great service -- management is personable and aims to make the dining experience pleasurable. The roasted beet salad was perfect with the mache lettuce, goat cheese and lovely beets! The 3 of us were in a beefy mood and had the prime rib and the skirt steak. We would've had the short ribs except that we were solving for a gluten-free diner but we were delighted that the alternate dish could be prepared without gluten...most accommodating staff and chef! Meals were great and we ended the night with sorbet, gelato and panna cotta. The ambiance is very pleasant, unfussy but attractive. I love bringing friends and family here as well as business contacts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food - Terrible service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/21/2013
    We did not have a waiter per se - It seemed like whomever could find a moment was the one who waited on our table. We had to ask for bread, the dessert menu, coffee, our sorbet, our check. It was as if no one was paying attention to us. Good food but terrible service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Surprisingly Refined
    GabeD
    Dined on 3/15/2013
    Really pleasantly surprised by this place. It took us a few minutes to get the servers attention, but after I walked up to the greeter stand and grabbed a wine list, we finally got service. Barring that one unfortunate incident, everything else was great. Really good food, nothing cutting edge, but solid French cuisine. The wine list was outstanding, with a very impressive library. I would definitely go back and would recommend to a friend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Managemt was wonderful in
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 3/10/2013
    Managemt was wonderful in setting up our party of 10 next to the windows in a semi-private space while another group of 50 dined in the other room. Food and service was great as always even though it was a busy night. The duck breast special was delicious as was the skirt steak. We started with the calamari and a mushroom-arugula pizza for appetizers, ended with the apple crumb and panna cotta desserts. YUM! Others had the ribs and lobster seafood pasta as well as the halibut and petrale sole. Everyone had a good time and it was thumbs up all around for the food and service! big or small, our groups always enjoy the Central Park Bistro.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The lunch menu offered many
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 3/2/2013
    The lunch menu offered many options for our group. The hamburger was a favorite and the toffee bread pudding is a "can't miss" dessert. Service was excellent.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Boring food comes at a price
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/1/2013
    Service was great. The waitstaff were friendly and very attentive. The atomosphere was nice (though it was just a little too dark for my tastes). I had the skirt steak, and my sister had the stuffed pork loin. Presentation was beautiful, but the taste was just...unremarkable. It wasn't bad, mind you, just boring. And considering entrees were $26 and up, for that kind of money, I was expecting something special. Also, worth noting is that the restaurant was virtually empty in a Friday night, which I suppose should have been a warning sign. Bottomline: I did not feel like I got my money's worth here :( and I doubt my experience was particularly unique. Try Astaria on 3rd instead.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pricy disappointment
    ByWSMVIP
    Dined on 2/22/2013
    We had a very disappointing experience. Drinks were the highlight. Food was mediocre. The service was friendly, but not knowledgeable. Very pricy as well. Obviously, we will not return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 2/21/2013
    Great orange -pomegranate salad. My sole was delicious. Not overlooked with healthy vegetables. We will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Lobster Salad and Skirt Steak
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/14/2013
    The lobster salad was artfully prepared and delicious; and skirt steak was cooked just right and the portions plentiful. The restaurant was clean; and the decor was tasteful. Would recommend this restaurant to friends.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I keep meaning to go here
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 2/11/2013
    I keep meaning to go here and made a reservation and although I meant to cancel I didn't, but they gave me my dining points anyway. Appreciate that! Will dine here soon and leave a better review.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • A great place for a quiet
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 2/9/2013
    A great place for a quiet dinner w friends...easy to have an intelligent conversation...and excellent food and service
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pros: Place is cute, it has
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 2/7/2013
    Pros: Place is cute, it has a good menu (including wine) and friendly staff. Food was pretty good - subject to cons. Cons: It was a busy Thursday night, but... the service was very slow. The food arrived in phases, with a lot of time inbetween and, when served, was maybe luke warm. It took so long, we opted just to eat it. The taste itself was surprisingly good and probably would have gotten a thumbs-up if it had been served hot. At dessert, we ordered the bread pudding with vanilla ice cream only to find out they'd run out of that flavor. Hem, run out of vanilla? They offered alternatives, but delivered it with the wrong one. It was still pretty tasty. Just a few too many errors that night to say I truly enjoyed the dining experi
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was excellent. Can't
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/3/2013
    Food was excellent. Can't wait to go back and try other menu items! Recommend highly!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • 4 out of 4 meals were perfect.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/2/2013
    4 out of 4 meals were perfect. Wiater could have been more attentive. Bus staff was very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The service between courses
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 1/31/2013
    The service between courses was very slow this time. Usually, we have a very attentive waiter. The steak tartar was so full of garlic that you could not taste the beef. The hamburger was cooked until it was gray when a rare hamburger was requested. We have been to this restaurant many times and felt that it was lacking this time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A very good meal and a noise
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 1/25/2013
    A very good meal and a noise level conducive to reasoned discussion...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My dining partner and I enjoyed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 1/25/2013
    My dining partner and I enjoyed the salads very much as well as both of our entrees but felt the server was acting like he was in a hurry always even though he had few other tables and no one was causing many problems for him.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Six of us all enjoyed our
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 1/22/2013
    Six of us all enjoyed our lunches. Great bread and butter.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet