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Jan 24, 2001 11:01 AM

Need Hillsborough Help

  • b

My wife is going to try to throw a surprise anniversary dinner for her parents in February. Her parents will be at a meeting in Hillsborough that weekend. We're looking for something in that general area with great food but not sky high prices that can handle a party of 13. Help. Thanks in advance

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  1. Possibilities are Gambardella's (which used to be in Menlo Park) or Pieces in Burlingame, or Viognier in San Mateo.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Larry Stein

      Old time family friends who will be attending are suggesting Bogies in San Mateo. Anybody been there?

    2. Hi JPB! Looks like all roads lead to chowhound.com.

      Hillsborough itself doesn't have any restaurants. You might try doing a site search for Burlingame and San Mateo which are the neighboring burgs for past posts.

      I know that wine is important to you. If it's important for this party, you might consider Viognier in San Mateo. Haven't been there for some time to vouch for the food, but they do have a private dining room for groups and if the wine list doesn't have exactly what you want, you can buy wine downstairs at Draeger's and they'll serve it for you. David Furer is the new sommelier/beverage manager there and a friend. Please feel free to use my name if you contact him.

      Kuleto's in Burlingame had good, not great Italian food, reasonably priced, good parking and can host private groups in the wine room surrounded by the bins. Decent selection of Italian and Calif. wines, no rarities. I've carried in my own bottles, corkage isn't very much.

      Pisces in Burlingame is very good, not sky high compared to big brother Aqua, but not moderate either.

      For family parties we end up at Seafood Harbor (Hong Kong-style) in Millbrae a couple miles further north on El Camino. One of our favorite dishes is the smoked black cod. Also top drawer in Millbrae is Fook Yuen - try the Peking (or do they call it Nanjing) duck. Chinese restaurants excel at serving big groups and the food will be an excellent value. I've not served wine there so can't advise on corkage. They do charge a small fee for cutting/serving birthday cakes.

      I'm wondering whether any chowhounds have been to the reopened 231 Ellsworth in San Mateo. I met the two wine people at a Burgundy tasting - they must have some taste.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        We went to 231 Ellsworth at the end of December and found it to be very good. I would go back any time! The interior has been redone (they took out the raised area) and it is quite attractive. Also, there is now a bar. We brought our own wines there, so I can't speak to the quality of the wine list (not my department, in any case), but it seems as though they are taking great care with everything.I don't know that they have a private room, though it would be worth a call to find out. Prices are in the high-moderate range.