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Mar 17, 2007 02:39 PM

Dinner Dilemna - too many visitors on the Peninsula

We have a new baby, and the whole damn family is here to celebrate. Dad wants to take everyone out to celebrate my stepmother's birthday tomorrow (Sunday) night, and I can not think of someplace that meets all the needed criteria. Anyone have any solutions, short of pushing all my relatives into the Bay (believe me, I've thought of it)? Here are the criteria:

1. We live in downtown San Mateo and want to walk, or drive no more than 15 minutes.
2. We are 6 adults, a 5 yr old, a 2 yr old and a newborn baby. The older kids (who are not ours) are pretty used to eating out and fairly well behaved in restaurants
3. My partner doesn't eat meat but does eat fish.
4. My father is compulsive about not eating any food that sounds like it might be spicy, so he won't go to Mexican, Indian, Thai, etc. restaurants.
5. My stepmother doesn't like Chinese food; she's one of these healthy types who likes a lot of salad. Oh, and she won't eat sushi.
6. Not too horribly expensive, since my father will insist on paying and I'll feel guilty if the bill is huge.
7. OTOH, not too cheap, since this is a celebration.
8. I don't want to go to Spiedo, since I took them there just a few weeks ago, and I don't like Capellinis, but Italian would be good. Aren't there some Italian places in Burlingame?
9. Someplace where I can get a good stiff drink that would render me oblivious to their insanity would be a big plus.

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  1. Forgive me for being Peninsula challenged and not knowing the answer to this question: but is Belmont too far for you? If not, I'd consider Divino. I haven't actually eaten there, but it is owned and run by the same folks as Bacco in SF, which is a favorite of mine:

    and other than not having a full bar it would probably fit your requirements pretty nicely. Bacco certainly does well with family groups.

    By the way, hubby and I had dinner at Bacco about a week ago, which we had been neglecting for a while (yes, I will admit that I have been distracted by La Ciccia) and the food and service were as good as ever. Hubby had a very nice filet of sole, I had house-made pasta with lamb...

    1. How about Iron Gate in Belmont? Deliciously retro food well-executed. Check out the menu. And, if I were in your frame of mind (and I have been, believe me) their excellent Souffle Grand Marnier would help close almost any night on a happy note. I would, however, insist on NOT sharing my souffle with anyone.

      3 Replies
      1. re: pilinut

        I had a boss who loved Iron Gate, but I never made it there. It can be on the pricy side.

        How about Pasta Pomodoro?

        Congrats on the new baby.

        1. re: rworange

          I recently took a crowd out, adults and children, for my father's birthday, to Astaria on 3rd in San Mateo (next to the Ben Franklin hotel). They fit us all at a long table and took very good care of us. Food is a mixture of some Greek style entrees, and classic dishes. Prices are reasonable for the excellent quality. They have a full bar. Their menu is on the website:

          1. re: Zach Georgopoulos

            Thanks for this link; not on my radar. What did you think of the Greek dishes? Did you try their Moussaka?

      2. Il Fornaio is in downtown Burlingame - might fit all of your specs.