La Mere Michelle

3.6
361 Reviews
$31 to $50
French
Since 1972, this charming upscale French restaurant has an atmosphere of a private home throughout. Located in the heart of fashionable Saratoga, it has been owned and operated by the Masek family almost four decades!
Renowned for its attention to service and excellent cuisine, la Mère Michelle is a superb combination of traditional ambiance with every modern amenity. Each dining area is decorated in a different style to give an overall impression of comfort and refinement.

What 361 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.6based on recent ratings
3.7
food
4.2
service
3.6
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Moderate
75% of people would recommend it to a friend
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R
Renoir
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server Mansur was a very special human being! Loved his job. Epidemy of graciousness. The place is a bit run down and in need of a make over. The hostess is her usual self, a bit intrusive and a little demeaning. But chalk it up to age. I can be that way too.
The French Onion Soup was wonderful and our Benedict’s were fine. The plate had cooked carrots that were absolutely delicious and even a little serving of mashed potatoes.
All in all it was a lovely meal and we’ll return.

S
vipSandy
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was wonderful. Easy parking.

EG
EvaG
Tahoe
2 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent . The salad was fresh and crisp. The main course came on time it had a great mix of complementing flavors . Service was attentive and polite.
I would recommend this restaurant without any hesitation .

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall2food1service4ambience1

La mere Michelle has been an institution in Saratoga for decades which was the reason for choosing it for brunch on Mother’s Day. We were greeted at the door by the owner who was seating etc-bless her heart she is in her 80’s but easily flustered and crabby as a result of her confusion. The service was good but very slow and at one point I felt they forgot we were there. The decor of the restaurant clearly needs a refresh with chipped paint on walls, chairs that have not been recovered in 40 years, dry eucalyptus garlands with Christmas light on them (not lit thankfully) with wire ribbon twisted around to look fresh but only succeeded in making it look like they hadn’t bothered to take it down since Christmas party. The food was average institutional food that I could of bought for half the price at Safeway instead of $45 for a set price. Salad was just spring mix with NOTHING else (tomatoes cucumber or otherwise), baby carrots that are clearly just the core tossed in brown sugar/butter, 1 floret of broccoli (and I mean floret not a stalk) and a cod cake that had more mashed potatoes in it than cod. I’m frankly surprised they still do business there. I hadn’t been there since the 80’s-what a jolt

SM
SaMaya
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Food and service was excellent. This restaurant has charm! We'll definitely be back

AC
AmandaC
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Honestly, the food was disappointing... I expected a little better presentation for the price. It was tasty enough, but the duck was a little chewy, and my ceasar was way overdressed. Meh.

DV
DrVK
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent and the wait staff was superb. For safetly protocols, the windows were open, but there was not much noise. To keep with social distancing, seating of separate parties was far away. In fact, there was only 1 other couple finishing their meal as we arrived, and then we had the ehole place to ourselves.

RA
RichardAlexander
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2021
Overall1food1service4ambience2

The French onion soup had minimal flavor and was a disappointment. I ordered the halibut rare and soft. It was substantially overcooked. The waiter who provided good service told me the chef refused my request and cooked it to his level. I should have been told that was the case and I would have ordered something different. On the plus side the smoked salmon was a generous offering and the prawns with mushroom caps. Both were excellent.

JG
vipJamesG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great experience here. Our server, Mansour, was very attentive and patient. The food was great, and the owner, Michelle even stopped by our table to see how things were going. Overall very happy with our dinner experience.

JD
vipJillD
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2021
Overall2food1service4ambience2

The menu at the restaurant was not the same as the one posted online. Only one vegetarian option; lasagna, made with (what tasted like) cheap spaghetti squash. I remember going to Ma mere Michelle as a kid and I was excited to take my granddaughter there. Neither of us were very impressed with the food of the outdoor dining they set up. Will not go back.

RC
RichardC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience2

I was very happy to find a nice restaurant open for lunch to celebrate with
our son and fiance. We were seated outside by the street with flapping plastic
walls, but that did deter us from having a good time. 4 of 5 of us enjoyed out meal.

s
seano
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thank you for the fantastic Thanksgiving dinner! Great service!

JO
JOHNA
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

With the Covid-19 situation they were as good as can be. 41/2 stars over all

MI
MIKE
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Food: I had a steak and my wife had Mahi Mahi. Sides with those dishes were mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and carrots. The steak was cooked perfectly but the Mahi Mahi was a little over done. Overall, not impressed. I could have made each of the dishes at home for a fraction of the price. Maybe we failed to choose a French enough dish...
Environment: We were seated outside at a table on the sidewalk. It was fine considering the circumstances but the table was under a tree that kept dropping leaves on our food. At one point my wife had to run to the restroom because a bug had somehow gotten into her dress...

Anyway, this was one of the last restaurants in Saratoga that we had not yet tried. Doubt we'll go back.

LH
LindaH
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Nice little family restaurant with very friendly service just need a bit updates and maybe clean up leafs and new flowers 💐 etc food was good our red wine very cold . Delicious coffee .

JL
JylL
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated my husband's birthday at La Mere Michelle, and it was the perfect choice! Our server was very helpful and accommodating, and the food was absolutely outstanding! Highly recommend La Mere Michelle!

RG
vipRajeevG
San Francisco
41 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

This neighborhood institution is well-regarded so we thought we'd give it a try one Sat evening for dinner. Saratoga downtown has many restaurants that are open during Covid - some look very classy (Plumed Horse, Flowers) while some look very lively (Big Basin Burger, a Mexican restaurant). This one looked sleepy and shabby from outside.

We went in to check-in and had our first odd experience - the hostess (owner?), an old lady, looked very confused to see us. We said we are checking in for our reservation, so she fumbled around in a paper register and couldn't find us. She then looked at a computer screen and even after I pointed out my name, it look a while for it to register with her. Finally, she picked up some menus and asked her to follow her. We hesitated, saying we'd rather not walk inside the restaurant, when there is a perfectly good path outside. Eventually, she sat us down but only gave 2 menus (we were 3).

Seating was on the road, under an awning. Passable, given Covid, but they had done little to spruce things up, with plastic pots and Home Depot buckets lying around. Our server came and he was friendly enough, but his mask would often be off while he was talking to us, then he would casually put it back up.

We asked for a drink / wine list, instead he recited a few generic wine types for us to make a selection. Food menu was limited, presumably due to Covid. We got the shrimp / prawn appetizer, which was average -- mushrooms were hard, and there was too much garlic and butter (a pattern that repeated with the mains). Duck Montmerency had a good sauce but was tough otherwise. Sole and Chicken Tarragon seemed to have similar sauces, a bit overwhelming. Sides were generic and same on all dishes. Creme Brulee was a redeeming item.

All in all, food was underwhelming, service was inattentive, ambience was too casual. Not the experience we were expecting, not likely to return.

M
Moosejohn
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

GREAT as usual!

DC
DennisC
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pâté and mushroom appetizers, seafood crêpes, rack of lamb, (with vegetables as only the French can cook them!), crême brûlée and chocolate mousse torte—every bite delicious!

e
vipevts
San Francisco
37 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience4

We were there for Sunday brunch. It was not our first time in the restaurant. The food was good, the service was fine except the prices on their menu and the web site are different from what they charged. Paid more for 3 items compared to what was listed. The menu should be updated in a timely manner. No prices for desserts or drinks listed on the menu either. Unlikely to go back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Terrible experience and we never even sat down. I booked an 8:30pm reservation for 3 of us (Valentines Day dinner w/ my wife and daughter) a week ahead, and we showed up a few mins early... To absolute chaos in the waiting area.

The crazy continued as we and another party of two were asked to wait by a small unattended bar in the (empty?) dining room extension area off to the left of the entrance. The very nice elderly hostess/owner proceeded to forget about us, and we then watched her seat 2 other parties with 9pm reservations EARLY (8:45pm?). When we and the other couple came back to her after having waited 20 mins and witnessed this, she asked if we had checked in. FOR REAL.

We tried, politely, for another 15 mins. Confusion was never addressed. She just kept throwing her hands up, making not-funny jokes, and saying “where are they all coming from” as more parties entered to check in and not be seated. Other employees and waitstaff were walking past making funny faces. Like they knew exactly what was going on but could care less.

Finally at around 9pm we were promised the next table. We watched her/another member of the staff set it up with 3 chairs. Then she wandered around for 10 mins, came back and asked “ok who was next?”. “Remember us? Table for 3?” I reminded her. “No, I have 2 tables for two” as she proceeds to seat another couple who showed up well after we had- AND REMOVES THE 3RD CHAIR FROM THE TABLE FOR 3 THEY HAD SET UP JUST 10 MINS PRIOR IN ORDER TO GIVE THEM A TABLE. We walked out- should have done just that waaay sooner. Ridiculous.

Get it together people. Unacceptable nonsense under any set of circumstances- we never even got an apology during the course of this whole debacle. So no plans to ever try eating here again, and will try my best to warn friends away as well.

S
Stringsaver
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

La Mere Michelle is our favorite place to celebrate special occasions. The food is excellent, particularly the sauces. The menu is varied. The service is excellent as well. The location is convenient, right on BigBasin Way, with adequate parking available on site.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Disorganized and poor service. Waiters were very rude and condescending.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience2

Waited 20min to get seated even with reservation made 2 weeks ago. Another 20min wait to get served. Salad was not fresh. Steak was overcooked and very salty. Would never come again

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience2

Dined on Valentines day with Open Table reservation. 10 min backup at door. Waiter said "I help out for emergencies." Poor service
Poor food. Poor experiance. Convinced me to stop 30 year tradition of dining out on Valentines day. Will cook for my wife in the future.

RD
RobertD
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience3

The service was extremely poor, I had to ask at least 5 times for water and ice tea. The waiter was rude (maybe because he was to busy) I was not asked how I wanted my meat and it was extremely well done and had to send my entree back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food5service3ambience3

The food was delicious but the service was exceptionally slow! It took 3 hrs from seating to getting out the door for a valentines dinner.

JE
JamesE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience4

We enjoyed our meal on Valentines Day. Unfortunately both my wife and I got sick after we got home. Once things passed, we were fine. We got in on time, service was good and we enjoyed ourselves. They had a prix fix menu with a very high price $125/p plus wine and tip, that was not disclosed online. We first saw the menu with the price when we sat down. It's a nice french restaurant so we weren't expecting it to be cheap but it was still a surprise. Others around us had the same reaction.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience2

Decor very dated but food was good. Service was average and what we didn’t know was that the place is filled with regulars all the time—not negative just interesting.

I don’t think the price was worth the ambiance, but the food was good.

J
vipJessica
San Francisco
66 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

This is a lovely, classic French restaurant that I've wanted to go to for years. We look forward to going back, and really enjoyed the traditional atmosphere and menu, along with the great quality. The salmon with hollandaise was perfectly cooked - very tender. And the Caesar salad delicious.

KS
KarenS
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

The food was great. They provided great service. The restaurant needs to be a little refurbished but I don’t think they are able too at this time. We will definitely be returning❤️

JA
JohnA
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is the kind of comfortable place where you enjoy going for dinner. Gourmet dining in a relaxed atmosphere with a friendly staff. Be sure to say hello to Michelle,

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All over excellent

j
vipjamiep
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The service here was top notch! They treated us like family. Great location to enjoy a good meal and to then take a nice walk around Satratoga. The food was delicious from bread to dessert, with only a slight exception of the scallops being a tad overcooked. Peaceful, quite ambiance the evening that we went.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The proprietor, Michelle, lavished is with attention and stories as we are what her son, the chef, created for our dinner. If you’re looking for something a little different, to maybe learn a bit about Saratoga over the last 40 years, this is your spot. The wine, food, and service were perfect.

GA
GaryA
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Quiet atmosphere, great service, very good food. Always enjoy coming to La Mere Michelle.

B
Bill
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience5

Michelle was gracious as ever with pleasant and friendly banter. Monsour , our server, was gracious, pleasant, and Compt part of my meal for a less than desirable slice of roast beef. We were disappointed in the cheese cake that may have not been as fresh as it should have been. My wife’s lamb chops were excellent. The decor remains outstanding.

TA
TerryA
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was fantastic. I would go back again and again

C
vipChardonnay
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience2

This place is lost in time. Why not invest in updating the place and the food? The staff is very nice but so much more could be done with this restaurant. It's a great location, good space inside just needs to be remodeled inside. It's just a fuddy-duddy place. The staff was all very nice, but the service was soooooooooooooooo slow. We must have been there an hour before we got our salads and then it took even longer to get our entrees. Some of the food was decent, but the weiner schnitzel was horrible. It tasted like it was fried in old grease. The chicken with mushroom sauce and sides were average. Also, wine connoisseurs beware. They keep their wines in the refrigerator! We had to wait quite a while to drink the red. Also, the wines by the glass are random with no list, one random choice per type. I had hoped for better, but alas am very disappointed.

KJ
KennethJ
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Very nice welcome from the owner herself. Service was almost perfect, and the food was flawless. We will return there soon!

FAQs

La Mere Michelle offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (408) 867-5272.

La Mere Michelle is rated 3.6 stars by 361 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.