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“Terrific meal--surprised by other reviews”
Review of Cetrella Bistro and Cafe - CLOSED

Cetrella Bistro and Cafe
Price range: $31 - $80
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Reviewed August 6, 2006

My husband and I just had a lovely dinner at Cetrella. The only sour moment was when we first received the menu; we were disappointed to see that there was no vegetarian entree, though we'd been told on the phone that there would be. However, there were so many appetizer choices that this didn't matter in the end. We ordered tomato-fennel soup; an heirloom tomato/mozzarella di bufalo salad; greens with goat cheese, apricots, and lightly candied nuts; and the artichoke misto (lightly fried to perfection). All were delicately flavored and made from very fine ingredients, with both cheeses being especially tasty. Even the bread basket was delightful, with rosemary foccaccia and fig nut bread. The sommelier recommended excellent pairings. My dessert was very good, though not as good as the savory food; a chocolate/hazelnut semifreddo which was just not as interesting as I hoped, with a bit too much of a secondary flavor (grand marnier?).

Our Swiss waitress was attentive and cheerful. At one point we were brought the wrong salad by another waiter, so I suppose I got a hint at disorganization. However, the corrected order was rushed out. I enjoyed the spacious earth-toned room and the sound of live jazz coming from the bar. Based on my own experience, I would recommend this place to anyone.

3  Thank BostonBird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (77)
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73 - 77 of 77 reviews

Reviewed July 5, 2006

This restaurant was highly recommended. The restaurant is beautifully decorated and has a wine country ambience.
The appetizers were fine but the entrees were not. I sent my overly peppered fish back to the kitchen. It was replaced with a fish with an uncooked center(This was a white fish, not a sushi type fish). My replacement was a delicious chicken dish.
Our waitress started out great but seemed to disappear after our first course.
She did not come to see us even once after I sent my first 2 attempts at an entree back to the kitchen. She did not come to the table until I finished my dinner and never expressed an apology. The manager never expressed an apology either.
Our dessert was also dried out. I have never experienced a total lack of concern from a restaurant like this when a dish has been undercooked. I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone. We had a wonderful lunch at Casey's Cafe the next day for 10% of the cost.

5  Thank trex30338
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2006

Nice restaurant. Pretty on the inside. We were sat where there is a long bench and chairs across so you are practically sitting with the people on each side of you. Can hear all the conversations around you. To me this does not make for a relaxing dinner. My fault for not asking if we could have one of the 4 tops scattered around the dining room. The waiter we had was good but a little creepy. The sommelier made odd comments to my 21 year old daughter. Now for the food...the appetizer was pretty good but it went downhill from there. Neither of us liked our entrees and the menu selection was limited. My pork chop was way overdone, tough and DRY. The chocolate cake for dessert was super dry also. I first commented it was a cake mix but I do not think any cake mix could be that bad. They served the cake with no frosting just a little round dry brown thing with a spoon of cream on the side. It was pretty bad!

2  Thank DLapeyre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2006

My wife and I were celebrating a weekend away after a long busy period. We had many great experiences with the hotel and other restaurants, however our experience with Cetrella was less than exceptional. The food was exceptional however the service was beyond substandard. Considering that Half Moon Bay is limited on quality restaurants, I still would not return to the restaurant.

1  Thank DMontez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2005

My husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary at Cetrella and were pleased from the first course to the last. To our surprise the hostess placed us at a reserved table by the fireplace, without a previous request from us. We endulged in their fine wine selection and took advantage of the four course menu. We each started with the polenta crusted sand dabs and followed with their red and green romaine salad. Both were excellent! I choose the stuffed quail for my main course. The portion size was perfect and the meat was tender. My husband enjoyed the whole fish, petrale sole. Make sure you leave room for dessert - to die for! Our server was attentive throughout the evening, recommend wine parings for our meal, and added a special touch with a dish of ice cream and candle wishing us a happy anniversary. We capped off our evening by returning to the bar to listen to fabulous live jazz music! We are already planning our return!

7  Thank jacs915
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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