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Permanently Closed - Cetrella - Half Moon Bay

940 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Romantic

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This restaurant is permanently closed. 2011 MICHELIN GUIDE RECOMMENDED "If not for the striped banquettes and contemporary accents, Cetrella could be of another place and time--encapsulated in a gold-flecked Mediterranean villa with exposed beams peering down on private dining rooms, a glass-encased cheese pantry, wood-burning fireplace, and wine cellar with more than 400 international vintages. Possibly the most stylist restaurant in Half Moon Bay, Cetrella serves some of the town's most sophisticated fare. OPENTABLE 2010 DINERS' CHOICE AWARD WINE SPECTATOR AWARD OF EXCELLENCE 2004-10 MICHAEL BAUER, SF CHRONICLE “Cetrella continues to be the place to go near the San Mateo County coast." GOURMET MAGAZINE Just south of San Francisco, the cozy glow and earthy Mediterranean food of Cetrella is a beacon in the cool, misty night. ZAGAT Why "rush back" to San Francisco when you can get "city sophistication by the coast" at this Half Moon Bay venue. M'hamed Bahet General Manager CETRELLA
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Mediterranean, Contemporary French, Californian
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Sunday, Wednesday- Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(650) 726-4090
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Private party facilities
Cetrella, like a Mediterranean villa, has many lavish rooms to accommodate 20-250 guests for receptions, as well as an Oceanfront Estate for coastal weddings, special events and corporate advertising shoots. Cetrella's elegant Provence Dining Room seats 60 guests, has a private entrance, overlooks the restaurant’s herb garden and is perfect for rehearsal dinners, receptions, business dinners and meetings. Beautifully restored 100-year old doors from a French Abbey separate it from the Main Dining Room. The sunny Terrace seats 24 guests, includes a cozy fireplace and is ideal for lively dinner events, celebratory brunches and festive receptions. Arched wood-framed casement windows open out onto the town’s main street for “al fresco” dining. The intimate Wine Cellar seats 20 guests and overlooks Cetrella's Wine Spectator award-winning 4,000-bottle wine collection, stored on custom-designed racks showcased through large antique glass windows.
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Private party contact
M'hamed Bahet: (650) 726-4090 ext. 113
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Parking details
48 space private lot and plenty of free street parking available.
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Half Moon Bay's hip hub for jazz and blues. Andrew Gilbert. Special to the SF Chronicle. Live jazz in Cetrella's Bar 7:30pm until 10:30pm every Friday and Saturday evening. See our up to date music schedule at
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Special events & promotions
Wine lovers dinners every other month. Please visit our website ( for details.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 940 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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NayelyT (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on December 31, 2016

I had been at this restaurant in 2013 and it was a very nice experience. This time was disapointed. Food was not very good. For the price some dishes tasted effortless.

Maricel (Central Coast)
3.0  Dined on December 31, 2016

I had made prior reservations on open table and made a note that my best friend and I were celebrating our bdays together on NYE. I was hoping they would at least put a candle on our desert like restaurants normally do-perhaps this one doesn't.

I did not at all think the NYE pre fixe menu was worth the $115-$125 per person. I love most items on their standard dinner menu so I was surprised for the pre fixe to be pretty mediocre.

We brought our own bottle of champagne and it hadn't been chilled so we requested our waiter bring an ice bucket to the table. The waiter then kept returning to our table every 15 mins asking us if we were ready for our champagne. We couldn't help but feel rushed. It also took about 30-45 mins until our waiter took our order.

Normally I would give all 5's for this restaurant because I love it, but particularly for special occasions where they are only offering a pre fixe menu-I wouldn't recommend it.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 31, 2016

Great New Years' Eve fine dining place. Beautiful, delicious food.

Jimbo (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 31, 2016

This was a special New Years Eve,,, Happy New Year

JE63 (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 28, 2016

Awesome food and service. I had the salmon which was excellent. It was my birthday and they definitely made me feel special :-)

SKY999 (New York Area)
4.0  Dined on December 24, 2016

We went to Citrella for Christmas Eve. We thought we would treat ourselves to a special dinner for 2. We were seated in the lounge area as opposed to the main dining room. I was put off as it was Christmas Eve and thought we would be treated with better care for this special evening. It was also cold by the window. I asked why were seated there. The hostess said she has to seat some more table but would see what she had avaivle. What were we, chopped liver? Anyway she came back and said we could sit by the kitchen but it may be hot. At that point she didn't make it appealing and we had already been there for at least 15 minutes. I said forget it. The service was ok it could have been nicer. Luckily the food was excellent. I recommend the Salmon. I would go back and request to sit in the main dining room. I'll give them another chance.

vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 23, 2016

Great atmosphere with and lovely fireplace in the center of the dining area. The staff is always friendly and curteous ensuring a very pleasant experience. My favorite dish is the lamb shank - the preparation is amazing. For a starter the beet salad Is unique and refreshing. The wine list is extensive and reasonably priced. Great way to enjoy a special evening - will definitely go back.

cclocal (Central Coast)
4.0  Dined on December 17, 2016

Cetrella was everything we had expected. Cuisine was fresh and well prepared, service was outstanding, and the ambience was perfect.

The octopus was unique and tasty. The crab cakes, and salad were fine.... but for dessert.... mmmm....
We had the deconstructed creme brûlée! Awesome!

vipCASteelerFan (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 25, 2016

Worth the walk past the rest of downtown HMB. They have a daily organic cocktail special (was awesome) and the carpaccio was fantastic.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 24, 2016

I don't typically take the time to write reviews, however our dining experience at Cetrella was so outstansing that I felt compelled to give a shout! My husband and decided (for the first time ever) to dine out for Thanksgiving this year, and because we were staying a few nights in Half Moon Bay, had originally hoped to dine at Novio at the Ritz Carlton. I will say that it is our good fortune that The Ritz was fully booked because after reading other reviews, we decided to give Cetrella a try. Not only did they exceed our expectations on the food (the Thanksgiving courses offered were creative and delicious!), the ambiance was quiet and casually elegant and the service superb! We arrived a bit early and also enjoyed a unique cocktail in the bar. All in all a great experience and we might just make Cetrella an annual event!

pickyeaters (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 24, 2016

Before the meal was done we were talking about how we needed to return often. Great food and wine, excellent service

Discerningdiner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 24, 2016

Our family had a delicious and relaxing Thanksgiving dinner here. This is by far the nicest place we have eaten out for Thanksgiving, which can be very difficult occasion for which to find good dining. So many places book more parties than they can manage well, so service is terrible, and the food is overpriced and not up to the typical standard of the restaurant. We were very thankful that we chose Cetrella because everything was handled well and the food was excellent, reasonably priced for a fine dining restaurant, and they offered very nice choices for each course. We'll be back!

viprubfells (Baltimore)
5.0  Dined on November 19, 2016

Just amazing! Don't miss this gem! Amazing Octopus and kale salad, everything was delicious.

sd11 (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 19, 2016

We absolutely loved our time at Cetrella! The staff was so helpful and the food was delicious. My boyfriend and I would go back in a heartbeat!

dangerdot (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 19, 2016

Everything was perfect. The best dinner out in a long time. The octopus was amazing. It's such a nice spot for a special occasion but it's very down to earth. Loved it.