Nearby points of interest
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About Central Park Bistro
Central Park Bistro is a 100 seat contemporary restaurant in downtown San Mateo featuring fresh seasonal American cuisine, in the $15-$26 range. We offer a carefully chosen eclectic Wine Spectator award-winning wine list. Central Park Bistro is an affordable sophisticated, fun dining experience. Relax and unwind with a house specialty cocktail at our wonderful Martini Bar. We also have several intimate private dining rooms perfect for that corporate presentation business meeting, wedding rehearsal dinner,
retirement/anniversary dinner, or any special function you may have in mind. Check out our private wine cellar room which seats up to 8 people for that extra special dining experience.
San Mateo, CA 94401
American, Comfort Food, Southern
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 2:30pm;
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm Friday- Saturday : 5:00pm - 10:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
We can recreate our menu or customize it to your needs. Please call for details.
Metered parking on street and large lot in back of restaurant.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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We are a family-owned restaurant that specializes in individual personalized service and simple home-style American cuisine, all in an intriguing and intimate environment. You'll be met by a seasoned staff, who are prepared to indulge your group with an extraordinary private dining experience.
Central Park Bistro Ratings and Reviews
I was pleasantly surprised by Central Park Bistro - the food was fantastic, service was great, and the atmosphere was very pleasant. The prices are a bit high, but at the same time the food was so good that I wouldn't necessarily say it was over-priced. Maybe it just felt a bit high for San Mateo (seemed more like SF prices). But overall, we loved it!
Clam chowder, grilled octopus, Australian lamb chops, and filet mignon were delicious. I've been here previously and the burger is less exceptional this time (not worth the price). My friend had told me that the dessert would be amazing but the cake was dry and had clearly sat in the fridge for a day or two. Floor manager was unfriendly, rude, micromanaged the two wait staff, and led the team in non-existent customer service. There was one nice waiter who brought out our water (who had the highest chance of making eye contact) but he was not allowed to serve the main dish. Our entrees sat on the counter for a few minutes -- the wait staff walked by 6 times! -- before the [micro]manager got to it. It felt like we were intruding on HIS bad day. We were very uncomfortable but tried to make the best of the celebration.
We usually like to thank the staff on our way out but no one took notice when we got up. Fortunately, the gentleman in the kitchen by the bar warmly acknowledged our thanks! Food/kitchen is decent but I have strong mixed feelings about coming back. Also, I thought it was a little more dressy but the regulars dress very casual.
We waited a while for our table as they were packed. The table they gave us was small and really good for 2 people only so I requested a bigger one and of course that’s more waiting time. It was confusing as there was no host to sit you down all the waiters were also doing The hosting.
We went for a business lunch and had a wonderful meal. It was quiet mid day, perfect for conversation and we had great service. The grilled salmon was absolutely sumptuous, perfectly cooked and great lunch accompaniments of tossed salad in a light dressing and fingerling potatoes with asparagus, so good. I was happy to find a Resling by the glass on the menu, and we shared desserts of the toffee bread pudding and a red velvet cake, both were a sweet finish to a fabulous meal!
The food was good. We all enjoyed our dishes, but the serving sizes could have been bigger. The service was very professional and attentive, but not very friendly. We had a tough time understanding the host, the waiter, and even the person refilling the water. They needed to speak up more and not mumble their communication. Finally, we missed out on the bread! For whatever reason, our table never got bread. We could have asked, but by the time we saw other tables with bread, it was well past when we would have liked to have received it.
The food is good, every one enjoyed their meal from appetizers to dessert. It’s a great option for small to larger group gathering. The fire place enhanced the ambience, the place is good for kids too, it can easily become one’s go-to place. My only feedback is that the waiters can put on a happier face although their service was on point.
Oh how the mighty have fallen. CPB’s food is as good as ever, but the service we had was atrocious. Our party of 8 Was ignored, and had to tell our waiter how to do every step of his job. 2 entrees had to be sent back (steak way over done when asked for med-rare). After a wait, then they cane out and told us they were “out” of the steak so guests had to pick something else. After another wait they brought the replacements and one of them was totally not what was ordered (asked for pizza and got pork roast). Then had to wait again for the pizza. Rather than crediting us the cost of the Twice-screwed up meal, they “apologized” with two tiny bread puddings (to be shared by 8 people), but was useless because we had brought in a birthday cake for them to serve for the birthday we were celebrating. Then they automatically added a 20% group gratuity rather than 18%. Will never go back.
Really enjoyed spending time with our good friends at CPB. Included celebrating owners wife’s birthday. Special menu of the evening we had the Squash Soup, Tower of Beets, Confit Duck, and Lobster Tail. This was paired with an excellent bottle of 2012 Shafer Merlot Napa Valley. Before going home we walked next door to Pausa for night caps and wished our good Pausa friends happy new year, while enjoying a Sibona Grappa & Nonino Amaro dessert wine.
I invited a client for a holiday dinner and was disappointed that there were no holiday decorations at all, not even lights. I asked the waiter about this and he said they decided not to put up any decorations this year??? What's up with that? I arrived about 20 minutes before my client and no one asked me if I wanted water, a drink or anything. I had to flag down the waiter to pay attention to me. My petrale sole was dry, but my client did enjoy her petite filet. I was disappointed to say the least.
Enjoyed the food and service. Both were very good despite the fact the restaurant was very crowded and a large group arrived at the same time we did, but the service team managed it very well. It was moderately noisy but it was easy to carry on a conversation at our table.
The food was good and the service was very good, but the meal was expensive for what it was and we felt a little rushed. We both enjoyed the salmon but wasn't thrilled with the steak tartare - all that awesome beef was completely overwhelmed by the dressing. Overall an ok experience and if I'm back in the neighborhood I may try it again.
It was our first time dining at Central Park Bistro but it won't be the last! The service was excellent and the food came out promptly even though there were very few empty tables. Martinis were fabulous and generous! Pasta with lobster and scallops was divine -- but there were so many other delicious-sounding choices on the menu that we'll be back soon to sample a few. This is a great place!
Food was excellent, presentation also was appealing. Had a 5 PM reservation -- yes it was early, but it was also quiet and good for talking. Been here a number of times and the food is always terrific. Some of the best lamb chops you'll find and the portion is hefty -- a rarity. The drinks are respectable -- not watered down. Definitely going back.
We had hoped to get a dish of mussels. Unfortunately chef was still on vacation. Instead we had salmon (cooked perfect), Petrale Sole (new preparation quite good), and finished off with a bread pudding. Paired meal with Gls ZD Pinot Noir. Service a little spotty this visit.
We came here because we were meeting friends from the Hillsborough Antique Show, and we didn't know the area. Given that we didn't know if anyone had allergies (e.g. fish) or disliked ethnic foods (e.g. Italian), we chose an 'American' style eatery. Boy were we blown away! We each got something different, and each entree was fantastic. We decided this is definitely a place to keep in mind when guests from out of town come into the city. We'll definitely return.
We were in the wine cellar which was very charming. The restaurant says it seats eight but really six is the max. The door swings into the table and can be very disruptive for the two diners that are sitting on that side since it is a round table. The food was truly exceptional , its our favorite SM restaurant!
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