231 Ellsworth is a fine dining restaurant that specializes in refined American cuisine. It’s been serving San Mateo for over 25 years. The restaurant’s menu celebrates seafood with a wide range of the freshest options available. The kitchen receives deliveries every morning of local and exotic fish varieties. 231 Ellsworth is also known for its fine wine list with a variety of new and old world selections. It has a number of hand crafted cocktails created with fresh squeezed juice, house-made syrups and herbs.
231 Ellsworth was reviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle and CBS San Francisco. It offers small to large plates, as well as sides like parmesan truffle fries and an artisan cheese course with a selection of cheeses. There’s also a chef’s choice four course tasting option, which changes nightly. Indulge in elevated dishes like Applewood smoked pork belly sliders, exotic mushroom agnolotti and duck confit cassoulet.
I really enjoy every meal at 231 Ellsworth and always ask myself why we don't go there more often. The service is great but still casual and not as stilted as so many top tier restaurants where you are dealing with robots vs real people. If you haven't been go and enjoy, don't set your expectations too high and you will love it. If it's been a while since you've been, go back soon and just sit back and enjoy.
I found the tasting menu with wine pairing delicious and good value. I would definitely return.
The food was ok... Not worth the price. Services was very good.
We dined early and enjoyed the ability to converse easily in the dark room on a busy street. Our waitress and the food were both commendable, and if the wine list were more reasonably priced our evening would have been even more enjoyable.
The food was great. The recommendations were spot on.
My wife and I moved to San Mateo last year for work. We dine out most nights, and have tried nearly every spot in the downtown area. 231 Ellsworth was not only the best place Downtown, but we think it rivals the better spots in SF, Napa, Yountville, etc. The food is excellent, the choice between bar and main menus gives a great option between casual and more formal choices, the wine list is the most thought out and interesting in the area, and their staff, from bartender to waiters/waitresses, are so knowledgable, and give a perfect amount of individual attention.
We eat here once every other week for the last year, and have had two special event dinners.
We came here day after Valentine's Day. Our waitress that cared less about doing her job. For the few questions we had about the menu she got the info wrong. And not once did she check in during our entire 2 hour dinner to ask if we were enjoying our food. The food was lack luster at best. No flavor, no creativity. This was an expensive dinner wasted, a romantic evening wasted. I will not come back and will never recommend.
If you love being able to see your food - and everything else in the room - in starkly bright light - the kind of lighting I associate with buss stations and autopsy exam rooms, then this place is great! If on top of that you love having to beg your waitress (who was obviously moonlighting from her day-job as Subway) for a wine list, then this place is great. If you love begging to have a $200+ bottle of French Châteauneuf-du-Pape decanted because it was served as cold as my kids like their soda-Pape, then - bingo! - this place is great!
If you don't like those things - as much, for instance, as I don't - then this place falls into that column of 'lessons learned'.
For Valentine's Day they offered a fixed priced menu with wine pairing at $110 and $50 pp respectively.
First off, the room was lit like a hospital room. I suggested to our server that they dim the lights and she said she would however it never changed.
We started with cocktails then at about 20 mins bread arrived and our first course arrived at about 40mins. The food course and the wine never got in sync as the wine so we had empty glasses with the food.
Good news is that both the food and the wine were delicious although they thought the food was more "precious" than I did. This was especially true with the Kobe Filet arrived and was at most 3oz.
The final surprise was an 18% service charge was included in the bill.
My date said the evening was perfection. One of the most enjoyable experiences I've ever had. Wholeheartedly recommend this ristorante when planning an evening with that very special person.