"At this South Bay darling,
warm-toned wood paneling,
pressed linens, and a cobalt-
blue barrel-vaulted ceiling set the mood.
Service that is as polished as the setting is
elegant makes this a winner for any special
occasion. Simple dishes with abundant flavors
fill the seasonal menu. Thus Bershire pork loin
and confit belly sit atop house-made
sauerkraut and roasted beets with whole-grain
mustard. Note that some offerings can also be
prepared in vegan-friendly variations.
As for the restaurant’s sizeable wine collection,
it stocks an impressive array of California
labels, as well as some serious old-world
wines at sensible prices. A glassed-in
cherrywood day cellar near the bar displays
some 800 bottles.”
“Excellent food, attentive
service, and a spacious and
comfortable dining room make
this somewhat plain downtown
San Mateo restaurant a delightful choice for a
memorable meal. The menu offers an
attractive choice of selections for each course
(including wine), and the kitchen will make
changes to meet special needs. The seafood
is especially well-prepared.”
“This is quite simply San
Mateo's finest restaurant for
food, service and wine. The
service is impeccable, the
wine list is second to none in the United States
(yes I said United States) and this is the
perfect place for a special occasion or to
impress a client.”
"The true definition of a
neighborhood gem! Our
experience here was top-
notch from our greeting to our
goodbye. We never felt
rushed, and each dish seemed to outdo the
News & Reviews
231 South Ellsworth Avenue - San Mateo, CA 94401 650-347-7231
If you walk by this restaurant in downtown San
Mateo on a nippy night, you almost can't resist
stepping inside. The sidewalk window
showcases the cozy bar, promising a warm,
friendly respite from busier night spots.
Follow your instincts and open the door: The bartender is always happy to see you, the
drinks are well crafted and the snacks are delicious.
The vibe: Quiet. This is a good place for an intimate date, friends who want to chat
undisturbed or even singles in need of a drink and some down time.
The crowd: People winding down after work, couples on a fifth date, parents escaping the
kids. 231's bar is not a scene - don't expect to meet anyone - but it's a great place to
Best seat: Set yourself down at the bar, in full view of passers-by, so the barkeep can
take care of you pronto.
Killer app: The chicken wings ($6) with a slightly sweet, slightly spicy sauce are topped
with a buttermilk dressing, crumbled bleu cheese and scallions in an East-meets-West
construction that works. Truffle fries ($8), thin and crisp, arrive with an earthy perfume
that lingers to the last fry.
Signature drink: The No. 4 (drinks $14) with orange vodka, Cointreau, lime juice and
pomegranate juice, is fruity and refreshing; the Sidecar, with cognac, Cointreau and
lemon juice and a cinnamon-sugar-rimmed glass as a twist, provides an unusual but
successful contrast of flavors. The cocktail menu changes frequently, and we haven't
found any misses.
Also on tap: Plenty of whites and reds by the glass, after-dinner drinks, plus a full bar with
a bartender who seems to know all the classics.
Bonus: All food, including tasting menu, is available at the bar if you want to skip the
formality of the dining room.
- Mandy Erickson, email@example.com
CBS SF Bay Area
Best Cheese Plates in
One of the Bay area’s premiere upscale
restaurants, 231 Ellsworth is perfect for the
most special of occasions. Its fixed-price dinner
menu ranges from $49 to $69, plus $20 to $60 for wine pairings. The cheese plate,
reputed to be one of the best in Northern California, can be purchased at the bar a la
carte. This includes a selection of cheeses, which changes frequently, along with candied
hazelnuts, poached fruit and local honeycomb. Who could say no to that? Expect to
spend from $15 to $30, depending on the day’s choices. If you have a truly gourmet
palate (or want to develop one), this is the choice for you.
- Charles Kruger, CBS San Francisco