231 S Ellsworth Ave
San Mateo, CA 94401
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231 Ellsworth

Neighborhoods: Downtown
Cuisine: American, Lunch, Gluten Free

231 Ellsworth is a American, Lunch, and Gluten Free restaurant where most Menuism users came for fun with friends, paid more than $50, and tipped between 15% to 18%.

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Gayot
Rating:
16 / 20
Price:
$$$$$
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cliff photo

cliff

 Mountain View, CA
 

Very solid and interesting...but doesn't go beyond

231 Ellsworth is sometimes considered San Mateo’s best restaurant (its main competition probably being Lure, which is awesome), and we thought it would be a good place to take a friend coming into town…so off we went!

The place itself is fairly nice…tastefully decorated, spacious but nothing unique.

Service was good, but perhaps not quite at the level I’d have expected for a restaurant of this caliber. Only main things are that most restaurants of this level introduce to you what your dish is, but this time they sometimes forgot to do so. Also, our waitress seemed to forget about us at first before taking our orders. Other than that, they were friendly and timely.

Now the food…we started with a amuse which was a small bite of smoked salmon with a sort of ceramed horseradish…seemed like they were going for an alternative version of sushi. It was a decent way to start a meal.

I had an extremely light hamachi dish as my first course (I’d say even too light…this might have been better as an amuse as well). I also tried a pepper and corn soup (pretty good) and a sort of cheese appetizer (also quite good).

For my second course, I had a lobster with tarragon foam. Interesting…pretty good…enjoyable…nothing amazing.

Third course was a squab dish…this might have been my best dish. It was quite good, and the meat was tasty and flavorful. Still, not amazing.

Fourth course was a lamb dish. This was a little disappointing…the lamb was good, as were the sides (some vegetables), but I was hoping for better. Others had a salmon dish (which, like our amuse-bouche, had a horseradish…I can’t say that this was too good) and a flat-iron steak (this was also quite good…flavorful meat and interesting sides).

Desserts were quite good, but also not amazing. I had a chocolate-carmel tart. We also had a sorbet that was pretty good for sorbet (I don’t usually like sorbet much).

All in all, there wasn’t much to complain about, but I was expecting more. The price wasn’t cheap (more that Lure) and the food was quite solid all the way around, but it never really impressed. For that price, I would like to be at least somewhat impressed by a few dishes.

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American Lunch Good for groups
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231 Ellsworth is located near the cities of Burlingame, Foster City, Hillsborough, and Belmont.
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