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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 16 times today
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Central Park Bistro

4.4
826 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
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.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
American, Comfort Food, Southern
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 2:30pm;
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm Friday- Saturday : 5:00pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(650) 558-8401
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
George Garcia
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Catering
We can recreate our menu or customize it to your needs. Please call for details.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Ellsworth Street
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Parking details
Metered parking on street and large lot in back of restaurant.
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Gift Card
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

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.

View Private Dining Details

Specials

Mother's Day Menus & Specials

Let's Celebrate Mothers Day together... We Have special Brunch & Lunch Menu 10am-2.30 p RSVP Required

Sunday, May 13, 2018

What 826 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.2
service
4.1
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
78% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on April 12, 2018

Had never been to this restaurant but wanted to try something new with my boss and co-workers for a business dinner. LOVED the food! They started us off with some soft, warm bread that came with the most creamy, delicious herb butter! Yum!! I ordered the roasted lamb pizza. It was incredible! I'm usually not a pizza person but it sounded intriguing. Nice thin and crispy crust and the toppings were so savory and delicious. Everyone else in my party loved their food! We ended the evening by sharing the toffee bread pudding. In a word, heaven! The service was a little spotty as no one came by to check on us after the food was served but the food was wonderful.

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5.0Dined on April 11, 2018

Amazing service and excellent food. Really enjoyed it.

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3.0Dined on April 10, 2018

The food is just OK and way overpriced. My skirt steak was overcooked, and my mash potatoes, while delicious, cold. Our appetizer dishes were rushed off of our tables. I’ve definitely had a lot better for those prices.

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4.0Dined on April 9, 2018

our favorite in the neighborhood for friends, family or weekly dining...menu has choices for everyone, and service is good.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Wonderful dinner. Highlights were the octopus salad, the prawn appetizer, and the salmon. Great spot for friends get together, or a special occasion.

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4.0Dined on April 6, 2018

My dining companion specified that this was not a date, but we had the date table anyway. Truth be told, nearly every table at this comfortable San Mateo location is very good. The entire restaurant manages to feel intimate without feeling closed-in, a hard trick to pull off.

We both had the Chilean sea bass, a dish that despite its distinctive taste and texture can still be traumatized by a poor experience in the kitchen. That was not the case with our serving, cooked to flaky perfection and lightly seasoned. The fish swam in a smooth and shallow pool of cauliflower puree and its delicate flavor was supported by a fine nage of celery and chard.

Our appetizer was the fried calamari, which I have to admit is my must-have item on any menu where it appears. I've had it in coastal restaurants from San Diego to Vancouver, and can only rate the dishes as horrid, good, and outstanding because of its ubiquity. Central Park has good fried calamari. We chose creme brulee as a dessert, and it was a bit of a letdown not because it did not taste good (we finished the dish) but because it was fruitier than I expected. For this I cannot fault the kitchen; it had the texture expected from creme brulee but the flavor was a personal experiment and I expected something more traditional. My bad for not reading the menu more closely, and I will say that if this construction sounds appealing to you, you'll like how this dish is prepared.

The service was exceptional. Attentive without being omnipresent, patient without flightiness, and they kept the table clean and refreshed our glasses regularly. My not-date was impressed and I was very satisfied with my choice of the Central Park Bistro.

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5.0Dined on April 5, 2018

I brought visitors from another country, and we all enjoyed the food and ambience.

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2.0Dined on April 4, 2018

Bad attitude from the waiter. Food was mediocre, I got the Kingfish. Overpriced for the taste and portion sizes.

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5.0Dined on April 3, 2018

Excellent food and friendly service. We had a very pleasant evening and appreciated the interesting menu. I thoroughly recommend the calamari and creative pizzas.

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3.0Dined on March 24, 2018

This restaurant has a promising menu and enough staff such that it seems every time we go they should be better able to execute a good meal experience. However the service is terribly spotty and many of the dishes are simply not prepared correctly. The fish is almost invariably over seasoned and over-sauced. We had meat that was over cooked twice. There are sufficient servers that they should be covering the floor more effectively but they don’t quite manage it. They are nice, though, and the food overall is amor as they almost as though they need a professional manager to come in and help them take it to the next level. They have a great location and a nice space. They could be doing a much better job but don’t quite make it to the level you’d expect them to be at.

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5.0Dined on March 23, 2018

Very good sandwichs for lunch, chicken and sole, and mushroom truffle soup

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5.0Dined on March 23, 2018

I've been here many times and always had a good meal. The Brussels sprouts chips are addicting, and the ribs are to die for. Some of the best grilled octopus I've had -- always tender as butter. Going again next month.

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2018

I've been going to Central Park for years, as my old organization used to host our off-site luncheons in the private room.

My favorite is the warm bread with chive butter, it's to die for!

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2018

Great Food, Great Service, could not ask for more. They are flexible in terms of working with you as far as ingredients (allergies) - and they make very good cocktails, in addition to having a good wine selection.

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4.0Dined on March 18, 2018

Have been eating here since shortly after it opened.

Over the years they have moved their menu offerings from more bistro oriented options to more fine dining options.

The food has been consistently good for many years. The menu has a wide range with at least one option that should appeal to each person in your group.

Our recent dining experience was excellent with very flavorful and well prepared appetizers and entrees.

For desert, try the "bread pudding." It is not what you would expect with that name: it is more like a relatively dense, moist, spiced cake with a simple sauce. While that may not sound like much, it is unusual and very good.

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Great experience.

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3.0Dined on March 15, 2018

A glass of wine was $16. Meal was only ok. Service was slow to respond to our requests .my date, however, was fabulous.

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2.0Dined on March 15, 2018

The major problem was the wait staff! They were very unhappy and appeared angry that they actually had to work at this restaurant. We have been there a few times but this was the last.

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5.0Dined on March 3, 2018

Outstanding experience! Everything was wonderful. Definitely would come back!

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5.0Dined on March 2, 2018

I had a nice glass of wine, half an appetizer and French onion soup. All was great but but so much for so little. Love this place though!

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5.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Friendly service with good food. Dishes are well presented.

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3.0Dined on February 20, 2018

We felt rushed and there was no one there?? The food was ok but certainly not outstanding. The waiter came to our table about 6 times to rush us to order. We arrived at 12:30 for lunch with a reservation - obviously not necessary

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5.0Dined on February 17, 2018

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!

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3.0Dined on February 17, 2018

Less than stellar, the staff were noise in the back area of the restaurant and constantly checking their phones. I was concerned about their hygiene practices since the wait staff add the garnishes as the food is ready from the kitchen.

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2.0Dined on February 11, 2018

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.

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4.0Dined on February 10, 2018

Great place for gathering... however, I would recommend to build a air conditioning. We were sitting in front of the kitchen and we can feel and see the smoke.

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4.0Dined on February 8, 2018

Nice staff from the moment we walked in and all through. Wine by three glass was very well done and the food was delicious. Definitely a gem in the San Mateo area!

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3.0Dined on February 3, 2018

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.

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5.0Dined on February 3, 2018

This neighborhood gem has wonderful food and is one of our favorite places to eat.

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5.0Dined on February 2, 2018

Another fabulous meal with friends at Central Park Bistro. Service is very professional and attentive. Food is plated beautifully and even something as simple as a butter leaf salad was phenomenal. We will be back!

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4.0Dined on January 29, 2018

Overall good food and quiet restaurant for meeting

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5.0Dined on January 27, 2018

This place is got excellent food and service at very reasonable price. I love their grilled seasonal vegetable dish. The disk includes many kinds of fresh veggies and is so delicious!

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4.0Dined on January 27, 2018

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!

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3.0Dined on January 26, 2018

The service was very slow

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5.0Dined on January 23, 2018

Always a pleasure.

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4.0Dined on January 20, 2018

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.

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4.0Dined on January 15, 2018

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.

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4.0Dined on January 14, 2018

Service was off that night, no specials, no bread. Disappointing

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5.0Dined on January 14, 2018

Great Food. Wonderful service. There when needed, let us alone to enjoy our meal. Great time was had by all.

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5.0Dined on January 13, 2018

Very attentive service coupled with great food and atmosphere. We will be returning.

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