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Permanently Closed - Cetrella - Half Moon Bay

4.2
940 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mediterranean
Perfect For:
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Romantic

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About

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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Cuisines
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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Neighborhood
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Parking details
48 space private lot and plenty of free street parking available.
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Entertainment
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 www.cetrella.com.
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Special events & promotions
Wine lovers dinners every other month. Please visit our website (www.cetrella.com) for details.
Additional
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
4.2based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined 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.

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3.0Dined 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.

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5.0Dined on December 31, 2016

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

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5.0Dined on December 31, 2016

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

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4.0Dined 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 :-)

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4.0Dined 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.

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5.0Dined 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.

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4.0Dined 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!

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5.0Dined 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.

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5.0Dined 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!

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5.0Dined 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

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5.0Dined 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!

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5.0Dined on November 19, 2016

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

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5.0Dined 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!

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5.0Dined 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.

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5.0Dined on November 16, 2016

Great place to have dinner with a group, big or small, in a very attractive and comfortable setting where you can hear the conversation across the table! The menu never disappoints!

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5.0Dined on November 12, 2016

Cetrella was so great-the food, cocktails, ambiance, and service all amazing! It is a cozy spot for dates and special occasions. It is an experience. Make sure you aren't in a hurry because this place is an experience and must be savored.

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3.0Dined on November 12, 2016

The Food is Lovely ...and the service is slow... we have eaten there twice with friends and for what we spent... I would have expected better service. Beautiful cocktails and a good wine list.

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2.0Dined on November 5, 2016

The service was so bad that it served as a distraction to what would otherwise have been a decent dining experience.

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2.0Dined on November 5, 2016

The food was delicious. Service was fine at the start, but fell off once dinner was served. No one ever approached us to ask how the food was, did we need more wine, did we want dessert, etc. We placed our dessert order with a random busboy. And then sat for over 30 minutes once we finished with dessert as attempting to flag down a server to bring us our bill. It took another 15 minutes for the bill to arrive.

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3.0Dined on November 5, 2016

The food was good but the service was poor. Starting with the hostess who was unaccommodating to the waitress who was nice but would disappear for long lengths of time.

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2.0Dined on November 5, 2016

We had a great waiter. The noise level was perfect. Ambiance was great. But unfortunately the food was not worth the price. Main entrés were small portions and a bit bland. If you're not a lover of seasoning you'll be OK here.

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4.0Dined on November 5, 2016

When accepting a reservation and the only seating available is facing the kitchen, you owe it to the guest to disclose that, since it may affect his/her choice to continue with the reservation.

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4.0Dined on November 4, 2016

The service is excellent. The food was delicious as always. I was surprised that the Ora Salmon was farm raised. That was a disappointment
Next time I will try another delectable dish

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5.0Dined on October 28, 2016

One of the best restaurants (and one of the few higher-end dining experiences) you'll find on the coast.

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2.0Dined on October 23, 2016

Uninspired preparation of food. Marginal, disinterred service. Hefty price tag. Empty on a Sunday night.

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5.0Dined on October 22, 2016

Main thing is the food. Live in Los Angeles, but every time we travel to the Half Moon Bay area we must eat at Cetrella's. Must is the key word. Never had a bad meal. Food has ALWAYS been at the top. And the service has been excellent. Try it and enjoy.

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5.0Dined on October 21, 2016

Delicious. Wonderful service. This might be a wonderful venue for a large party.

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2.0Dined on October 15, 2016

Quality food, but service and experience leaves a lot to be desired. Very disappointing.

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4.0Dined on October 15, 2016

Cetrella is a solid 4 out of 5 stars. Food is very good, service is solid, ambiance is great. It is as good as many of the good restaurants in SF, but with less crowds, easier parking, and cheaper pricing.

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5.0Dined on October 15, 2016

My husband and I visited Cetrella during our weekend getaway. I made reservations not knowing how busy they would be on a Saturday evening. We were seated promptly next to their awesome fireplace and greeted by one of the best waiters EVER!!! I forgot his name (too many Moscow Mules!), but he had a very heavy Spanish accent. Even the busboy was accommodating and very attentive. We had the raw oysters on the half shell, they were pretty good. I had the Cappelletti truffle filled pasta with the pork meatballs and my husband had the filet mignon. It was so decadent. That is the only word that came to our minds. The cocktails are fantastic and they have a decent wine list. They also have a location in Los Gatos.

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5.0Dined on October 13, 2016

Must try. Food, service, atmosphere are great! Highly recommend

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5.0Dined on October 7, 2016

Delicious!!! best dining experience in a long time. wonderful waitstaff. Quiet - we could actual talk to each other. Will be back soon.

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5.0Dined on September 28, 2016

Lovely restaurant, great food, and attentive service

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4.0Dined on September 14, 2016

Had a very nice dinner there, the pasta dish and the duck were very tasty.

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5.0Dined on September 9, 2016

Immediately greeted so nicely, smiling, receptive, warm feel right away that carried through the entire evening. The service spot on. The food, the octopus starter yum. The lamb shank was tender and seasoned just righr. Get some of the side vegetables as they are an art themselves. Desserts light and flavorful. Cocktails and cognac list very good. We brought a white and red burgundy but I see the wine list will satisfy you easily. Definately will be back. We are staying 10 minutes away at The Beach House - highly recommend $$.

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5.0Dined on September 8, 2016

Food was exceptional & service was excellent. It was very enjoyable & they did not rush us. Enjoyed our evening & will be back

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3.0Dined on September 4, 2016

I asked for a table by the window when I booked the reservation...when I was seated, one table away from the window I was told since a party of 5 would not fit. Due to the high volume coming from this table, it was very difficult to hear the conversations of my dinner guests.

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4.0Dined on September 2, 2016

Good menu, presentation and ambiance. Great service. The food was very good. I had the foi gras as an appetizer which was just OK. The rabbit pasta was very good. My friend had the lamb shank which he liked. Overall, I'd say the food was very good but not great. But I loved the atmosphere and service. I'd go back.

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5.0Dined on September 1, 2016

We had a wonderful fiftieth anniversary dinner with great service, great food in front of a cozy fire. The service was excellent in every way and the people on staff were charming.

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