Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Piccolo Ristorante Italiano
Piccolo Ristorante Italiano is an Italian restaurant located in the Menlo Park neighborhood of San Francisco, California. This quiet restaurant offers diners an intimate setting to enjoy an evening out with family and friends or to treat someone special to an incredible dinner. Piccolo actually translates to "small" in Italian, and that is an accurate description of this quaint bistro since the dining room only has 12 tables and a bar where guests can enjoy a plate of antipasti and a glass of fine wine.
The menu is much like Piccolo itself: simple but full of personality and of the highest quality. Guests can indulge themselves in dishes like the ravioli prosciutto, pollo alla parmigiana, or the scaloppine marsala which is provini veal scalloppini with mushrooms, sweet marsala wine and a touch of cream. Finish off by ordering one of the delectable desserts like the rich, chocolaty tiramisu.
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Italian, Seafood, Steak
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tues - Friday 11:30am-2:00pm
Dinner: Tues -Thurs: 5:00pm-9:30pm; Friday & Saturday 5:00pm - 10:00pm; Sunday 5:00pm -9:30pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Public lot behind restaurant, 2 hours free between 9am-6pm. Free after 6pm
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Gluten-free Menu, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Piccolo Ristorante Italiano Ratings and Reviews
Everything was off the target... except very friendly service. Reheated hard bread, too much mustard, wrong greens, wrong cheese on carpaccio. Vongole without depth of the spicy tomato based sauce. White wine 5 times the market price. If you like sophisticated food this place is not for you.
Piccolo is a cute space a little off the beaten track in Menlo Park. The food, however, was mediocre. My Caesar salad was ordinary - no bite of anchovies or lemon, nothing to make it memorable on the palate. The prosciutto and melon was beautifully presented and the best dish I had, although the melon was a little underripe - and this was a dish that required no cooking skill, just the ability to pick a good melon and present an appealing dish. My Veal Picante was comprised of three overcooked, leathery pieces of veal together with mushy, bitter, overcooked steamed vegetables - broccoli, two baby carrots that should never have been put forward in such a dish, zucchini, and cauliflower that was past its prime. For $25, this was a seriously overpriced entree that did not deliver. For dessert, I had affogato - a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a shot of espresso - again, a basic dish - that was good but not challenging for the house to prepare. My waitress was delightful and gave good service, but her good service was not enough to overcome the failure to deliver on the food. Wines by the glass are also boring and do not demonstrate a refined or interesting palate guiding the menu. This place appeared on Open Table as a neighborhood gem. A neighborhood place it is; a gem - not as reflected on my visit.
Great little gem in Menlo Park downtown... We were all vegetarian and they accommodated us well. The food was very delicious. We ordered the Penny pepperoncino and melanzane parmigiana. They were both outstanding. The hostess was very gracious and made sure we were comfortable. Overall a great experience... We would return.
Dependable local italian restaurant, with limited menu, but items prepared very well. Can be quite crowded and noisy. Staff attentive, but at times seem overwhelmed. Not necessarily criticism as much as observation. It definitely is a go to place for us, notwithstanding comments above.
Piccolo is our go-to restaurant. Good food and prices. Wine list also has many reasonably priced options. Last time we were there they served day old bread. When we brought it to be their attention they apologized then comped us a dessert. The special minestrone soup that night was fabulous. They paid careful attention to my gluten-free needs. As usual we ate too much, but cannot fault them for that.
fantastic home-made pasta dishes highlight the fare. Have eaten here since the first month it opened and the food has been consistently outstanding. We went on a Sunday evening and we were the only table - guess Sunday nights are not conducive to families eating out - most other nights it is busy but bearable.
Something has changed at this restaurant. There used to be a very effusive manager, who has perhaps left. It was dead when we arrived. The greeter and server were nice and the food was pretty good (they even offered us a large piece of tiramisu which we had not ordered and I don't even like tiramisu but that one was delicious!) so I can't really put my finger on what was wrong, but I don't think I will go back.
Piccolo is a charming little restaurant, but shortly after we arrived for lunch, a group of 8 came in, and later a group of 3. From that time on, my companion and I could hardly hear each other. Also, the one waiter, while pleasant and trying, had a hard time keeping up, even the total in the restaurant was 17 diners.
I ordered a "Pannini" with lettuce, tomato, and mozzarella on Ciabatta. When it came, it was a regular sandwich on a French roll which was hard to eat because it was so thick. I might recommend it for a friend to try because I had heard good things. I might try again.
Because the restaurant is so noisy, when we (party of four) made our reservation, we requested a table by the window which we got, but even so, we had to practically yell at each other to converse. We asked that they turn the operatic music off which they did. Other than that, the service and food are wonderful. We've been there several times, and we will be back.
I really wanted to like this place as I loved it when it was Ristorante Buon Gusto. The wait service was good. The special appetizer of burrata was delicious and I loved the caeser salad as I could taste the anchovies. However, the main courses....my chicken parmagiana tasted tasted like defrosted chicken breast topped with tomato sauce and cheese. The chicken was bland and texture was slightly rubbery. My husband's tortellini tasted of the frozen grocery brand and the pancetta tasted old. I like to support local establishments, however based on Saturday's meal, I won't be returning......
We have been here several times, and have always had a wonderful time. The restaurant was packed (as the name implies, the restaurant is tiny, with only about 40 seats inside, including a few at the bar), so we were glad we had a reservation - there were still a couple people arriving a little before 9:00pm. Yet don't let their size or the fact that they're not located on the larger streets in Menlo deter you - the food is always very tasty, although the tortellini soup was a little too salty tonight (odd, since we haven't had that problem in the past). Tonight, we had the penne pasta with chicken and pesto, and the chicken parmigiana with vegetables (brussel sprouts were included this time - one of my favorites = but you can always check which vegetables they're offering that night). Both entrees were delicious. For dessert, we split the tirimasu, which was light and a nice way to finish the meal (not too heavy and not too sweet) = they have several other dessert options to choose from as well. Mushrooms seemed to be in most of the specials tonight, but that isn't always the case, as the specials change regularly. And as usual, the service was very attentive (our server was new to us, and turns out this was only his fourth day there, but he was very enthusiastic and helpful!). Lucino (the manager) always welcomes us with a great big smile and a wave (as if we're family), and even though the restaurant was packed and everyone was busy, he always finds time to periodically come over to check on how things are (without being constantly interrupted or intruded upon). I would definitely RECOMMEND Piccolo to anyone looking for a delicious (but reasonably priced) Italian meal, in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Will definitely be back again.
This was our second visit to this neighborhood restaurant. The wait staff is friendly, efficient and pretty much flawless. The food was good rustic Italian. What was so disappointing and different from our first visit was the noise level. They were blasting music throughout our dinner so we had so much trouble talking to our guests. This was last Sunday night so maybe the manager was gone and the staff was just letting off steam. So many reviews list this as a cozy romantic date place but I certainly don't see that happening. I mentioned to one of the wait staff as we left our thoughts about the noise level so I hope that they realize in this tiny place there is no where to get away from the music.
We've dined at Piccolo several times and usually can whole-heartedly recommend (for both food and service). Yet this time, the service was definitely having an off-night. Despite being assured bread was being heated up and would be out shortly, it never arrived. After we initially ordered, the server never came back to check on things until she brought the dessert (she hung out by the bar talking w/the bus boy, who brought our food). Dinner was fine, but 1 of the desserts was completely different than what we ordered. Server said they were out of our order so they swapped w/1 that isn't on the menu - would have been nice to know that when we ordered so WE could have picked something else. It was frozen SOLID and inedible (even with a knife)
The fresh pasta was the best! Great taste and texture with a lovely spicy pancetta marinara sauce. The short rib was tender and flavorful, too! The salad had a very light dressing.
This is a small space, but they use it well and they clearly has a dedicated following--- that we will join!
Most consistent good reviews on both Open Table and on Yelp. Both the veal and the panna cotta were quite good. Less impressed with the gelato cookie dessert. Would definitely come back again to try the homemade pasta. Recommend reservations if coming on Friday or Saturday night.
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