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“Don't Order the Gnocchi”
Review of Cafe Pro Bono

Cafe Pro Bono
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Ranked #48 of 356 Restaurants in Palo Alto
Price range: $30 - $35
Cuisines: Italian, Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: California Ave
Level Contributor
26 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Don't Order the Gnocchi”
Reviewed July 7, 2012

I was in the mood for some gnocchi and found that Cafe Pro Bono had it on their menu so I decided to check it out. When I got to the restaurant it was insanely hot inside. I was wearing a soccer jersey and was already sweating so I can't imagine how the people wearing button ups felt. The bread was nice but the gnocchi was mushy and stuck to the room of my mouth. Flavor wise it was decent but the texture was awful. For the price I expected a lot more.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank lehighsuitecase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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71 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
palo alto
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Owner/manager team highest commitment to pleasure of their guests!”
Reviewed May 30, 2012

This off-the-beaten-path cafe offers outstandingly prepared food by talented chef, but that's not all: Diners are welcomed as warmly awaited family. Service is impeccable and "just right". There are daily specials in addition to a reliably varied menu. And finally, the "icing on the cake": this repeatedly fine dining experience, from starters through deserts, comes at an extremely reasonable price. You can find this restaurant "find" 1/2 block from the North County Branch of the Santa Clara County courthouse.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank PaloAltoNynative
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
47 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“A Palo Alto standard”
Reviewed May 2, 2012

Cafe Pro Bono, on Birch Street just off California Avenue, has been a place for continental and Italian fare for many years. It is the restaurant to which we compare all new ones and it has held up well. Its signature offering is Susan's Downfall, either for an appetizer or for a main course. This is a lovely ravioli dish and never disappoints. One of its best features is convenient parking, which is not exactly how one rates restaurants, but it is a plus.

Visited November 2011
Thank bigjim32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
Level Contributor
58 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Good location, good food, good service, pleasant ambiance”
Reviewed March 27, 2012

We've had lunches and dinners at Pro Bono for the past several years, Restaurant staff are friendly, non-intrusive and knowledgeable. Meals are well-prepared and delicious. We often split an entree and do NOT get distainful looks from wait-staff. The kitchen splits the order (rather than me doing it at table). It is our number one choice for lunching near California Avenue in Palo Alto.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank BirdingMaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Altos, Ca
Level Contributor
75 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Haven't been to Italy, but I'm guessing this place would compete”
Reviewed March 27, 2012

This restaurant is wonderful, perfect atmosphere, small, casual-ish (typical California casual), warm ambiance and great service. We went here for our anniversary dinner, it was St. Patricks day on a Saturday, and we did make reservations.

I selected from the specials menu, a wild mushroom, chicken risotto and is was delicious! I make risotto at home, so I'm a little picky, and this was perfect. My husband got a game hen dish, so much flavor - veggies cooked perfect. We had a Carpaccio appetizer again, wonderful.

We love this place, the prices are very reasonable. I'm actually hesitant to write a review, don't want it to get so popular we can't get reservations easily for our next visit.

We are going to Italy in a couple weeks, so I'll know if this place seems as perfect a Tuscan hideaway as it feels when I compare to the real deal.

There is also parking, a big plus, just off the California St. Going anywhere near University Avenue on a Saturday night - St. Pats day no less, parking would have been a big challenge.

Highly recommend Cafe Pro Bono

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank KTVasser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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