Michelin Guide

"At this South Bay darling, warm-toned wood paneling, seasonal flower arrangements, perfectly 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.”

Zagat

“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.” 

Trip Advisor

“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.”

Open Table

"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 last.”

News & Reviews

231 South Ellsworth Avenue - San Mateo, CA 94401 650-347-7231

San Francisco

Chronicle

 

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 relax. 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, food@sfchronicle.com
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231 Ellsworth

CBS SF Bay Area

Best Cheese Plates in

the Peninsula

 

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
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