Central Park Bistro in San Mateo California has all the qualities it takes to make a memorable dining experience. Most restaurants excel in a few areas while being average in others, but the overall experience is good. Central Park Bistro excels in all areas which produces a tasteful and memorable experience.
Having selected Central Park Bistro for an important meeting I arrived early to soak up the atmosphere. The decor and lighting were perfect for creating an intimate atmosphere where you can relax and not feel crowded. Arriving before the rest of my party I was offered a table but choose to sit at the bar instead.
I ordered a Martini and sat back and observed. The bartender was engaged with everyone seated at the bar and seemed to know several of the patrons. He was friendly and proactive in his service to his customers. He served drinks and food with ease and made knowledgeable recommendations for both entrees and hors d’ oeuvres.
When the rest of my party arrived we moved to a table and were presented the menu as well as the verbal Specials of the Day. The menu was full of variety in both food and pricing. The specials of the night included Sea Bass and a Grilled Rib-Eye. After much deliberation we ordered our food.
For an appetizer we split a Steak Tartare Chopped Filet Mingon with Capers, Red Onions (I actually think it was garlic), Dijon, Parsley and Drizzle White Truffle Oil. Without question this was the best Steak Tartare I have ever had. The flavor was delightful and the presentation was beautiful. If you like Steak Tartare it is a must eat appetizer.
Soon after, my entree arrived. I ordered the Grilled Quail Fregola Sarda, Scallions, Tomato, Pancetta, Tuscan Kale and Huckleberry Glaze. The presentation was gorgeous and the taste was delightful. I had my doubts about the huckleberry glaze but it worked perfectly with the Quail. Other dishes served at my table were the Marinated Skirt Steak with Black Truffle Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus, and the Spinach Tagliatelle with Mussels and Shaved Asparagus. Each was tasteful and beautifully presented.
No meal of this caliber is complete without dessert so I had the Warm Toffee Bread Pudding and my friends split the Key Lime Pie. Both were excellent, well presented and quite good. Needless to say the evening was perfectly matched with good company and excellent food.
Meals of this magnitude are rare and they are not cheap, but in this case the experience was well worth the price and was a delight for all of the senses. If you are in San Mateo you must visit the Central Park Bistro. It is an experience you will not soon forget.