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Dinner in DT Burlingame or San Mateo on someone else's expense account

alwayshungrygal Mar 5, 2014 03:10 PM

I'm going out to dinner on someone else's expense account and no limit on how much to spend. He's coming from a few days in Napa wine tasting (he works for a wine distributor), I'm working til about 7 pm that day and I've got to get him to SFO by 9:30 PM for his red-eye home. I thought it would be better to hoof it down to Burlingame/San Mateo (my neck of the woods) and go someplace within 15 minutes driving to SFO. I think the earliest I could safely make a res for is 7:30 pm.

For SM, I do love Osteria Coppa but I thought either 231 Ellsworth or Viognier would be better for the visitor. I haven't been to either one so thought those were good options. I can't think of anything in Burlingame that's really special so I need some options there.

Also, I can't drink very much so I really don't care about wine lists, and my host's palate might be tired after Napa. He's probably got a jaded wine palate by now anyway. Oh, and it's a Saturday night on top of it. It'll be busy everywhere.

Can anyone give me some guidance on where to go? I'd like to make it a leisurely dinner so we can enjoy and not rush but too many factors make me nervous to get him to the airport on time. Thanks so much.

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    alwayshungrygal RE: alwayshungrygal Mar 6, 2014 12:38 PM

    Wow, not one response. I'm not sure what to think about this.

    I'll try another question: does anyone trust the reviews posted on Yelp? I checked both 231 Ellsworth and Viognier and 231 had worse reviews, overall. I didn't go all the way down but all the top ones were not good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: alwayshungrygal
      burnt_toast RE: alwayshungrygal Mar 6, 2014 04:33 PM

      I live in the neighborhood and second Melanie's suggestions - especially it its on the expense account.

      I highly recommend sitting at the sushi bar at Sakae - as with all great sushi restaurants.

      If you don't want japanese, Viognier can be very good but a bit uneven, and often it is somewhat deserted.

      An alternative to Osteria Coppa is Stella Alpina in Burlingame which is excellent and has a goood neighborhood vibe.

      1. re: alwayshungrygal
        bbulkow RE: alwayshungrygal Mar 6, 2014 09:26 PM

        Viogner is a bit stuffy. 231 Ellsworth, I had one decent meal there about 7 years ago. I think y*lp is likely very wrong about Ellsworth, but I don't have recent info.

        How about San Mateo Prime ? Steak is ready for expense account.

        I love Sushi Sam's, but it is Formica tables. It's still great, especially if you dog the white board.

        All Spice ?

      2. s
        sunnyside RE: alwayshungrygal Mar 6, 2014 01:39 PM

        There's Pizzeria Delfina in Burlingame, but that's not going to give the expense account much of a workout unless you order a bunch of antipasti, sides and pastas. I had a great baked lasagna there with some wonderfully smokey cheese in it.

        1. Melanie Wong RE: alwayshungrygal Mar 6, 2014 01:47 PM

          If someone were picking up my tab, I'd want to go to Wakuriya or Sakae.



          4 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong
            Robert Lauriston RE: Melanie Wong Mar 6, 2014 06:15 PM

            Wakuriya is the place I'd pick but if they can't start until 7:30 and have to get to SFO by 9:30 that doesn't seem like a good fit.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              Melanie Wong RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 8, 2014 12:38 AM

              You're right. Even though the budget is there, the timing is too short for a blow-out dinner.

              Maybe somewhere like Fassia,
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/916297 or
              Broadway Prime,

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                Jon914 RE: Melanie Wong Mar 8, 2014 12:41 AM

                It's worth noting that San Mateo Prime (suggested earlier) and Broadway Prime are run by two brothers in the same family, so the food/experience will be similar in both. (We've had both over the years.)

                1. re: Melanie Wong
                  alwayshungrygal RE: Melanie Wong Mar 8, 2014 01:49 PM

                  Thanks for the tip on Fassia, looks good but I'm trying to stay as close to DT SM and 101 as possible. That gives us more time to dine :)

            2. d
              dunstable RE: alwayshungrygal Mar 6, 2014 01:49 PM

              I once had a great meal at Sushi Sam's, but I am not an expert on the area, so just take that as one suggestion.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dunstable
                Jon914 RE: dunstable Mar 6, 2014 03:40 PM

                It's been a few years since I've gone, but my last visit to Sushi Sam's was excellent, and I'd definitely return. Haven't been on a weekday night, but it gets crowded pretty quickly even for weekday lunch.

                Pizzeria Delfina in Burlingame is good, but I wouldn't bring someone out of town unless they don't mind the "cozy" seating arrangement.

              2. ckshen RE: alwayshungrygal Mar 6, 2014 09:26 PM

                How about All Spice in San Mateo? Cal/ Indian. got a star and its priced like other restaurants with a star.

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                  alwayshungrygal RE: alwayshungrygal Mar 7, 2014 05:00 PM

                  Thanks for all the responses. I'd do sushi in a heartbeat, but not Indian--I can't handle the heat. I'm not sure of his preferences but I'll definitely pass these ideas on to him.

                  Interesting comments about Viognier, et al. I do trust this board more than Yelp so it's good to get valid feedback.

                  Thanks again.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: alwayshungrygal
                    bbulkow RE: alwayshungrygal Mar 7, 2014 05:04 PM

                    Another problem about Sushi Sam - I don't think they take reservations, and at 7:30 they have a serious wait.

                    1. re: bbulkow
                      alwayshungrygal RE: bbulkow Mar 8, 2014 01:48 PM

                      Good point, so Sushi Sam will have to be another time. Thanks for the tip.

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