Restaurants provide the public with mealtime convenience, as well as the opportunity to practice pulling the tablecloth from beneath the place settings without worrying about clean-up. Today's Groupon suppresses prankster urges with artfully crafted fare and drinks: for $20, you get $40 worth of cuisine at Astaria in San Mateo.
Executive chef, co-owner, and San Mateo native Alicia Petrakis helms Astaria's seasonally focused kitchen, which specializes in turning out high-concept comfort food. Focusing on local ingredients from sustainable sources, the eclectic dinner menu begins with appetite-swelling starters such as crispy polenta fries ($10) and Humberto's inferno ($9), which features a slab of fried gruyere set ablaze tableside as a chilling warning to would-be dairy rebels. Carnivores can feast on meaty marvels such as the buttermilk-marinated fried chicken ($18) or the bone-in pork chop with honey balsamic glaze paired with red-pepper-infused mashers, broccoli spears, and pepperonata ($23). Vegivores might opt for the Napoleon, which conquers appetites using grilled and roasted veggies crowned with provolone cheese ($15). A convention-flouting roster of pizzas includes chicken carbonara pizza rosa ($14), while the dessert menu takes taste buds on a flavor field trip with sugary chaperones such as the strawberry pavlova, which deposits vanilla pastry cream, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream atop crunchy meringue ($7).
Astaria also offers a similar but more sandwich-heavy lunch menu, as well as a brunch menu worth the investment of precious weekend hours and gold Spanish doubloons. The large but well-honed wine list includes 12 whites and 14 reds by the glass and is a winner of several international freestyle rap battles, as well as Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence.
Dine-in only. Not valid with other offers.
50 E Third Ave.
San Mateo, California 94401Get Directions