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Central Park Bistro

Map & Directions
(16 Reviews)

181 E 4th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401

(650) 558-8401

Today: 11:30 am - 9:30 pm
Tomorrow: 11:30 am - 9:30 pm
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General Info
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.
Regular Hours
Mon - Thu:
Fri - Sat:
Extra Phones

Fax: (650) 558-8637

Price Range
Downtown San Mateo
American Restaurants, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants, French Restaurants, Restaurants, Seafood Restaurants
Other Information

Cuisines: American, French, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch, European, Seafood, Continental


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Provided by Citysearch - 
Bad food ! Watch your credit card charge!!

I brought in a group of 12 for a going away dinner. Food wasn't special and the service was okay. Most of the team didn't finish their meals due to the ill taste on the seafood dish.The next day when I checked on my credit card record found that the amount of the credit card charge was altered. They added $178.11 to the bill after I signed off the added gratuity charge.
Called in to the resturant to verify and the person who answered the phone called me names. DO NOT GO THERE!!!



Provided by Citysearch - 

I want to like Central Park Bistro so badly. It's in a great location for pre- or post- movie going and the ambience is nice. But after 3 dinners and 2 lunches, I have to finally admit that the food really isn't very good. The fish is bland, the fried calamari was soggy, the pizza was ordinary, etc. It's really too bad.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Uninspiring, overpriced

Central Park is not's just not great, and it's overpriced. I've been there twice, I believe, and both times I seem to remember thinking some minor thing was wrong with the food. I don't think I'd go back.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great place to have dinner

i was at centralpark bistro on saturday and after all my friends told me how nice it is, i just can say that all my expectations came true.starting from the service , winelist to the food everything was great.Speciall thanks to anna and Veysel who was our waiter u did a great job. Your winlist is grat!!! We will be back



Provided by Citysearch - 
Just OK.

We were seated near the front window. Soon after they seated 2 larger parties on either side of us. This made our table escape areas small. For instance, when the waiter was serving the adjacent table, his rear end came much too close for comfort! Leaving the table to use the restroom was tricky! The salads and entrees were ok. The main problem was the dessert. It was listed on the dessert menu (along with two typo errors) as a ""Gooey Chocolate Cake."" The cake was just a chocolate cake. Nothing gooey about it! When we pointed this out to our waiter, he gave us a lame excuse about the chef deciding to serve it ""at room temperature."" He said he'd tell the chef. He DIDN'T offer another choice. He didn't even appoligize. Just handed us the bill-including $8 for the un-gooey chocolate cake. We will not be returning.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great Food and Service!

Glad we didn't read some previous reviews, we might not have stepped in! Maybe it was because it was a Tuesday night... Servers were on top of everything from the water to the plate clearing. We had the beet salad with nut-crusted goat cheese (yummy!) and the beets were not too sweet or sour and the dressing for the mache was perfectly balanced. The mahi-mahi was overdosed in garlic, (the only flaw) but the filet mignon was cooked to perfection and the au-gratin potatoes were done correctly w/o overdosing with cheese. Did not many of the choices of entrees, though. Pleasantly surprised that we didn't see this place before.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Lackluster, average food, spotty service

The hostess didn't even smile. the waiter was pleasant but not efficient (forgot to order the dessert from kitchen), wine list good. Food average. Will not return. Come on, get the energy level, service and food together!!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Central Park Bistro - Wonderful!

I just planned a private party for 55 and was nothing but PLEASED with the entire experience. Event Planner Robert was very accommodating! We had the side room entirely to ourselves and could make as much noise as we wanted with the doors closed. The service was outstanding. The food was wonderful (AMAZING desserts!) And the best part - we were there from 6-11:30pm and were not ONCE asked to leave as the night got late. We were not even bothered after the tables were cleared and the bill resolved. Would have another event here in a heartbeat!!



Provided by Citysearch - 
autsatnding Service ,Food ,Winelist

I just had my b day party at Central park bisto and i really had my best b-day
Thanks to the great team and the chef.The food was great but at the most Our Server Alex! Thanks again for the great time!!



Provided by Citysearch - 
good food

We just had dinner there last night. We ordered the fried green tomatoes, baby back ribs, and the gnocchi. All of the food was good including the herb butter for the bread. A little pricey and the portions were not huge but average. We had no problems with the service. the restaurant looked like a good place for private parties as they had a separate room w/curtains for privacy.



Provided by Citysearch - 
User review by rachel94103

A friend of mine who had had a few good experiences with this restaurant recommended it to me. While the ambience is pleasant, the service was terrible. The waiter forgot our side dishes and coffee with dessert (but didn't seem to care when we mentioned it to him) and brought entrees out at different times - with as long as 20 minute intervals, leaving the rest of our party with cold dishes. Plus, the restaurant's website makes the restaurant look like the prices are reasonable ($10-15 entrees). Instead, entrees were almost double that. Overall, it was quite a disappointing experience. I won't be back.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great food, spotty, ambivalent service

I have been to Central park three times. The first two visits were wonderful. The third time made me wonder whether I should chance it again. While the food was great each time (wonderful, subtle flavors), the service was ambivalent and unapologetic. Our waiter forgot a few side dishes and when we pointed it out - he just did not care. He also delayed serving the main course to one person in our party (the wait was 20 minutes) without a comment. I don't think I will ever be able to get my friends to come back here and it's a shame because I like Central Bistro.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great Choice in San Mateo

This is our favorite place in San Mateo (and we have tried them all). The food is creative, different and consistently well prepared. The winelist is both reasonably extensive and reasonably priced. We have always had friendly, competent service. The weekend music adds to the evening and does not overwhelm. All in all, a delightul experience and an excellent value.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Best on the Peninsula!

We have had dinners here consistently for the past few months, and I can not say enough about this place. It has become our favorite ""dinner and a movie"" spot because of its proximity to the new cinemas in San Mateo.

What a find! The hummus they serve with their bread is to die for, and they always have terrific changing specials. Last time we were there, they had an amazing side dish of roasted brussels sprouts with pancetta that was sublime. Try the infused vodka cocktails for added YUM.

Also, if you're an early diner, they have a prix-fixe ""pre theater"" menu that includes 3 courses, and is a terrific value.

I cannot recommend this place highly enough.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Choose Vivace or Piacere instead!

After having been a frequest diner at both Vivace and Piacere I was disappointed to find a lower standard overall at Central Park Bistro. The food was good but not great. The raviolis and the pizzas are good choices. Come for an afterwork drink and appetizers with friends. There's live jazz on certain nights.



Provided by Citysearch - 
good food marred by POOR service

Central Park is a gorgeous restaurant, complete with velvet curtains separating different rooms. The food is also very good, especially the smoked chicken pasta and toffee bread pudding. However, the service is very poor. My server was not rude...just nonexistent. I was seated promptly by the hostess, also the owner's wife. 20 minutes later, when no one had come by to take my order, she stepped in to do so. The food came in a timely manner, but it also took a long time to clear the plates...and it wasn't done by my was done again by the hostess when she saw I had been waiting. The restaurant was busy but not packed, and the same thing happened with my neighbors, so I'm not sure what was going on with the server. The food is good...just be prepared for a cold, distant, and long experience if you go.