Cetrella: A User’s Guide
Critically Praised | Upscale Mediterranean Cuisine | 400+ Wines | Weekend Live Music
Appetizer: mussels with white wine, harissa, and ciabatta
Entree: bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with vegetables
Dessert: panna cotta
Drink: a glass of Piedmont dolcetto
Where to Sit: Private parties can be arranged in three rooms that can seat 10–150 people.
When to Go: the weekend, when jazz and blues musicians invade Cetrella's bar to host a cover-free night of entertainment. Performers have included the Jean-Michel Hure Trio and Deborah Winters. Otherwise, head in for happy-hour specials at 5 p.m.–7 p.m. on Tuesday–Thursday.
While You’re Waiting: Admire the decor, including a fireplace, which Gayot describes as "cozy and romantic instead of simply stylish."
Pappardelle _: a broad, flat noodle similar to extra-wide fettuccine.
_Panna cotta: a silky, custard-like Italian dessert, made with cream, milk, sugar, and gelatin and often served with caramel, chocolate sauce, or fruit coulis.
While You’re in the Neighborhood: Order your dessert to go, pick up a bottle of sweet wine from Half Moon Bay Wine & Cheese Company (421 Main Street), and enjoy a post-meal picnic at the nearby Fernandez Park (Main Street, between Filbert Street and Spruce Street).
Men's Fitness lists Half Moon Bay Brewing Company as one of "America's Top 10 Craft Breweries," an accolade largely attributable to the passion of brewmaster James Costa. Boasting more than 15 years of industry experience, Mr. Costa cut his teeth with notable craft brewers, and helped develop the esteemed Racer 5 IPA for Bear Republic. However, as a quick look at the brewery's other awards and press mentions will tell you, there are plenty of reasons to come here aside from the beer.
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company has a full restaurant, where chefs use local ingredients and fresh-caught seafood to craft updated takes on classics including clam chowder, beer battered artichoke hearts and beer bread. In nice weather, meals often unfold out on the patio, which overlooks the harbor and warms patrons with fire pits. Another reason to sit outside: the patio welcomes dogs with house-made treats and restaurant dishes such as doggie chili with chicken, beans, carrots, and tomatoes.
Let's get back to that beer, though. Here's a closer look at a few of Half Moon Bay Brewing Company's signature brews:
Amber Ale: well-balanced with a rich and malty body, this ale's big caramel flavor is strengthened by the added complexity of floral and citrus undertones (5.0% ABV)
Calf-eine: made in collaboration with Not For Sale, a nonprofit working against human trafficking, this milk stout percolates with the added kick of medium roast cold-brewed coffee (6.3% ABV)
Full Swing IPA: this special edition IPA is made from Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra, Galaxy, and Magnum hops, and features aromas of tropical fruit and a crisp finish (6.2% ABV)
Pasta Moon: A User’s Guide
Authentic Italian | Farm to Table Cuisine | Live Music | Rustic Yet Refined
Antipasti: guinea hen ragu with wild mushrooms, leeks, and marsala
Housemade pasta: ricotta cavatelli with spicy lamb sausage and broccoli rabe
Secondi piatti: balsamic marinated skirt steak with Daylight farm arugula
Dessert: meyer lemon parfait with passion fruit caramel sauce and lemon sorbetto
While You’re Waiting: Take a wine tour of Italy—the wine list includes wines from nearly every region of the country.
Inside Tip: Dishes rotate with the seasons, so check the San Mateo produce-availability calendar on their site to know whether the sorbet flavor of the month will most likely be blackberries or brussels sprouts.
Puttanesca: a spaghetti sauce traditionally made with whatever spare ingredients you have on hand
Enoteca: an Italian word that literally means "wine repository."
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Catch some sun and splash in the surf at Half Moon Bay State Beach, just 1 mile from the restaurant.
After: Appreciate jazz, Latin, and rock in the attached, acoustically bright Music Box lounge (315 Main Street).
For that can't-get-enough Mexican flavor, check out Spanishtown Mexican Restaurant and Market, where five-star dishes are just over the counter.
Eat healthy and feel better with Spanishtown Mexican Restaurant and Market's low-fat and gluten-free plates.
This restaurant also provides alcohol, so diners don't have to worry about bringing their own bottle.
This restaurant is kid-friendly, so little ones are welcome to tag along.
Sit outside at Spanishtown Mexican Restaurant and Market and soak up the sun on those nice summer days.
Spanishtown Mexican Restaurant and Market is a suitable restaurant for both large and small groups.
Find yourself the best seat in the house by calling ahead to reserve a table.
Spanishtown Mexican Restaurant and Market's guests are no strangers to casual clothing, and sneakers are spotted around every corner.
No delivery needed. In and out for carryout.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from Spanishtown Mexican Restaurant and Market.
Diners can take full advantage of the free parking in the lot next to Spanishtown Mexican Restaurant and Market.
You'll also find plenty of safe spaces to lock up your bike if you prefer to cycle to the restaurant.
Spanishtown Mexican Restaurant and Market is serving up five-star food at a reasonable price.
So head to Spanishtown Mexican Restaurant and Market, where you can expect nothing less than the highest rated Mexican cuisine.
So kick back and enjoy some delicious Mexican food at Spanishtown Mexican Restaurant and Market.
When you are ready to taste the latest flavor trends of Mexico, make your way over to Spanishtown Mexican Restaurant and Market.
Looking for a quick bite to eat? Head on over to Half Moon Bay's Mullins Bar and Grill.
The gluten-free and low-fat fare at Mullins Bar and Grill will leave you happy and full.
This restaurant also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
Little guys and gals will also love dining at this restaurant, which offers a family-friendly environment (and menu).
Make sure to check out Mullins Bar and Grill's happy hour for a great way to decompress from the workday.
Dine under the sun (or stars) at Mullins Bar and Grill with their charming outdoor seating.
Mullins Bar and Grill is a local restaurant that accommodates both large and small groups.
Mullins Bar and Grill offers a free wifi hot spot — perfect for surfing the web or getting a little work done.
Weekends can get packed, so take advantage of the restaurant's reservations.
For those who prefer to dress down for dinner, Mullins Bar and Grill's low-key style is the perfect match.
Through their catering service, Mullins Bar and Grill can also set out a delicious spread for your next party.
Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too.
Mullins Bar and Grill is a local eatery that serves up free parking.
Take a break from the kitchen without breaking the bank! Mullins Bar and Grill will fill you up with top-notch fare that s modestly priced.
Mullins Bar and Grill accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and all major credit cards.
You can stop by at practically any time, since Mullins Bar and Grill serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
One of the top-rated bars in Half Moon Bay, Ketch Joanne Restaurant has a familiar atmosphere with a delicious menu that features seafood. It's a popular restaurant for guests seeking wonderful service and a flavorful meal.
If you're trying to plan ahead, most patrons will be quick to share that later in the week (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays) is the best time to visit. Also, in addition to the awesome outdoor seating, the restaurant is known for its fresh fish. It should be noted that casual attire is encouraged. Also, if you're in the mood for tunes, it does have a good juke box.
When you get there, think about ordering the dungeness crab or the fried calamari, as either one is sure to make an impression. In terms of the restaurant itself, if you're searching for the perfect spot for a family gathering, it's been reviewed as a great local option for big groups and families with kids. If you just feel like stopping by for a beverage, the restaurant has helpful bar staff (and a good selection behind the bar).
A reputable option for both lunch and dinner in El Granada, Ketch Joanne Restaurant definitely won't leave you disappointed. Its beer is known to be "good." Don't worry about trying to find a spot on the street, as visitors to the restaurant do have access to a private parking lot nearby. Should you prefer to pedal over there, bicycle parking's also offered.
Most Top Chef finalists launch their restaurant careers right after their time on television ends. Not Casey Thompson—she spent seven years after season three traveling, all the while thinking hard about what she wanted in a venue. She met farmers, built relationships, and finally opened Aveline (plus its cocktail bar sibling, The European) in June. As the result of so much careful planning, the restaurant truly embodies Casey’s vision, both in the space and on the plate.
One key part of that vision? Pigs. Casey loves to use almost every part of them, including the head. In honor of Aveline’s recent launch, we asked her about her fondness for pork, her cooking philosophy, and some of her go-to spots in San Francisco.
GROUPON: One ingredient that crops up on the menus at Aveline and The European is pork. Specifically, pork from the pig’s head—pork jowl, pig cheek, pig ear. What do you like about this ingredient?
CASEY THOMPSON: In general, I love any animal that tastes good from head to toe! As a chef, it’s really beneficial for me to use different parts of an animal that might otherwise be underutilized. It keeps costs down and provides guests with the opportunity to try things they may not otherwise try.
There is a lot more marbling in these parts than you might think, and there are a variety of different textures in specific parts like the ear.
G: Do you think that pig face is trending right now?
CT: I don't know. I try not to pay too much attention to what’s “trendy.” I just want to make food that tastes good, and if it means using parts of an animal that are unfamiliar to most people and [then] educating people about them, I’m happy to do so.
G: If someone hasn't tried any part of the pig’s head, where should they start?
CT: I think a good place to start is with pig cheek—it’s rich and it braises perfectly! Confiting a pig cheek [at home] is easy. The most difficult part is probably finding the product, but your local butcher can help with that.
G: Are there other pig dishes in San Francisco that you like?
CT: The pork at Kokkari is unreal, and Namu Gaji does a pretty impressive job too!
G: Aside from cooking with pig parts, you’re also an advocate for sustainability and the environment. Where does that passion come from?
CT: I have a job that impacts the environment, and as such, I have a duty to make sure that my staff and I do all we can not to add to the overwhelming issues we’re already facing.
I am also a firm believer in good husbandry. All animals deserve to live a good life, especially if they are giving us theirs for nourishment. It’s our responsibility as humans to recognize that.
G: Some of your dishes have original ingredients with a cool, earthy vibe. I’m talking about the "ham snow" and "chicory soil" on Aveline’s menu. Can you tell us more about these?
CT: Environmental elements in a dish add interesting flavors. The chicory soil contains nori, breadcrumbs, candied cashews, and chicory—all pretty earthy, you’re right. Now, the ham snow is highly technical stuff: we freeze ham, grate it over cold amberjack, and call it snow!
G: You’re also creating the menu over at The European, your bar-and-lounge project with Adam Wilson. It seems like the snacks have more of an updated comfort-food feel. Is The European the other side of Aveline's coin?
It absolutely is! There is a secret kid side to me with that menu and, really, it’s us having fun. I do think we have the best burger—it is so good. I want people to use both spaces! Come and eat at The European!
G: To close out, can you share some of your favorite San Francisco spots to grab a bite?
For coffee: Réveille Coffee Co.
For breakfast (and guilty, greasy pleasures): San Jalisco
For lunch and dinner: Kokkari, Kin Khao
For after-hours drinks and eats: Rye, Tradition, Le Colonial
For outdoor dining: The Ferry Building, Slanted Door, Cavallo Point, Coqueta
This interview has been condensed and edited. Photos courtesy of Casey Thompson. The European photo by Andi Fisher.
When you live in a city with so much scenery, eating inside can feel a bit stifling. Here are five beautiful restaurant patios in San Francisco that allow you to order in the great outdoors.
Mission Rock Resort (817 Terry Francois Blvd.)
The restaurant group that owns South Park staples MoMo’s, Pedro’s Cantina, and Pete’s Tavern overhauled Mission Rock Resort in late 2012. Now, it’s a bayside escape with plenty of deck seating, calming ocean views, and easy parking. Try bites from the raw bar or fried seafood for lunch, brunch, or happy hour.
Foreign Cinema (2534 Mission St.)
The most popular tables at this Mission stalwart are in the romantic covered patio. In the evening, artsy or retro flicks are projected on the patio wall while sound can be played through drive-in–style speakers at each table. The movies, however, are a secondary draw compared to the Californian-Mediterranean food.
Waterbar (399 The Embarcadero S)
Waterbar is a perennial Top 100 restaurant, so you can bet on some memorable seafood with views of the bay, the Bay Bridge, and the Bay Lights—not to mention $1.25 oysters every day before 5:30 pm.
Bar Agricole (355 11th St.)
Opened by a collective of the city’s best bartenders and sommeliers, Bar Agricole is led by master drink maker Thad Vogler. Unsurprisingly, its cocktails are just as good as its seasonal food. The space’s award-winning design features plenty of redwood, concrete, and glass, plus a spacious patio that’s covered and heated during the winter months.
Biergarten (424 Octavia St.)
Biergarten takes its name literally—its only seating is outdoors, where all of its Bavarian-style street food is served from shipping containers converted into a kitchen and bar. Brews can be ordered by the half- or full-liter, but considering the long lines, it’s best to get the larger of the two before you squeeze into one of the communal picnic tables.
Photos courtesy of Mission Rock Resort, Foreign Cinema, Waterbar, and Bar Agricole; Biergarten photo courtesy of BarFlySF.
San Francisco is a city with many different vantage points: between the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the various eclectic neighborhoods - there are so many sights to take in!
Here are 5 restaurants with stunning views and some of the best ways to see San Francsico:
#1: Greens Restaurant. Located in a converted warehouse in Fort Mason, Greens was a pioneer in establishing vegetarian cuisine in the 80s. One entire wall has floor to ceiling windows, which is perfect for enjoying spectacular views of the SF marina, Golden Gate Bridge, and the hills of Marin. Their meals, made with locally sourced produce and enhanced by wonderful wine pairings, offer an epiphany for meat eaters and vegetarians alike.
#2: Top of the Mark. Built in 1939 and located at the top of the Mark Hopkins Hotel, this bar, lounge and restaurant offers 360 degree panoramas of the San Francisco cityscape. The menu includes an intoxicating selection of 100 martinis along with wines, beers and other spirits. They also have a three course prix-fixe dinner offered with an amuse-bouche and wine pairings.
#3: Slanted Door. A modern Vietnamese restaurant overlooking the San Francisco Bay, located in the Ferry Building and right on the waterfront, this hot spot blends Vietnamese cooking with local SF ingredients. The wine list is Riesling-driven, and other drinks include fresh squeezed juices and hard-to-find Chinese teas. All of their meat is sourced from local farms in the SF Bay Area.
#4: Waterbar. The Waterbar gives diners amazing views of the Bay Bridge while serving up top-notch seafood. Built in 1969, it was converted from a longshoremen’s bar into the restaurant it is today. A favorite among locals, businesspeople and tourists, The Waterbar will not disappoint in its views of the waterfront!
#5: Sutro’s. Located inside the famous Cliff House, Sutro’s features stunning views of the cliffs overlooking Seal Rocks, the Pacific Ocean and Marin coastline. A stylish-casual restaurant, with floor-to-ceiling windows, Sutro’s menu changes seasonally and is focused on the finest organic produce, fresh seafood and local ingredients that are farmed using sustainable practices.