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Apr 13, 2007 12:03 PM

Help! Need a place for a business dinner bet SF and Palo Alto

I posted this query the other day but had no response, so I'll try again as I really do need your suggestions.

Looking for a good place for a quiet business dinner -- but not too costly -- between Palo Alto and Potrero Hill. Extra points for proximity to either 101 or 280.

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    This steakhouse is literally 100 yards from 101 in San Carlos.

    1. 231 Ellsworth in San Mateo would be an excelent choice. It is a bit pricey but if you go easy on the wine selections two can easily enjoy a great meal for under $150. The food is delicious, the atmosphere ideal for conducting business and the service is polished and professional. Guaranteed to seal the deal!

      1 Reply
      1. re: QuincyFats

        231 Ellsworth is one of the more expensive restaurants on the Peninsula.

      2. Right off 101 in Burlingame. The Hanger Steak is to die for!


        1. i had a bad experience at Kuletos. Capellini in San Mateo is consistent ( there is a booth for 6 and several for 4 you can request) and not as expensive as say, my other choice, the Village Pub in Woodside ( off 280 on 84 in Woodside) . Another would be Ecco in Burlingame . Ecco would be the quietest.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Giselle

            You can have a bad experience at any restaurant, including Ecco, which by the way does not probably meet the posters criteria for "not too costly". The dozen or so times my wife and I have been to Kuleto's, there has been nothing but great food and service.


            1. re: bbqman

              We were underwhelmed by Kuleto's -- and we like the one in SF.

              My suggestion:
              I know other chowhounds don't like it, but we like Liquid in San Mateo. It's easy to find, it's quiet and pretty. We find the food good too, but then we don't go there primarily for sushi. It's Japanese fusion. I think it would be great for a business dinner because it's quiet, calm, and elegant. Medium priced.

            2. re: Giselle

              Kuleto's can be a bit unispired. I always think that their food and service isn't quite what it should be. They try to be inventive with their food, but they don't quite reach the level they aspire to.

              I know it's a bit standard, but Il Fornaio is a good choice on University Ave. in Palo Alto for a business dinner. The service is reliable and so is the food and the prices aren't outragous.

              1. re: VirgoBlue

                Or you can try the one in Burlingame. Both are fine - but if the client is in Palo Alto, perhaps that would be the better choice.

                1. re: VirgoBlue

                  Thanks. The Burlingame Il Fornaio it is. I know there are a number of more interesting places in Palo Alto, but I don't care to drive that far at night. As I don't know what these Denverites particularly like -- and I don't generally eat steaks myself -- a good, reliable and safe choice is just fine for this particular dinner.

              2. In Palo Alto (not that close to 101, maybe a 10 minute drive up University) is Mantra. They've had some good reviews recently and made the Top 100 list.