Put off by the long line and general frenzy at the Menlo Park stalwart, Cafe Borrone, we walked around the corner to check out the newest contender on the plaza: Cedro Ristorante, which opened in November. Front of the house is run by the enthusiastic twenty-three year old Elizabeth, who ran Mona Lisa in North Beach. Her mother, an experienced chef, is in the kitchen. This would be nothing more than a story about a family business, except that the quality of the meal made it worth reporting here.
Steve ordered the Omelette del Sud (Pancetta, avocado, spicy pomodoro) with roast new potatoes, and toast. It was delicious and perfectly done. They brought a house-made apricot conserve worthy of any fancy tea salon. My dish of house-made gnocchi (with tomato, basil, garlic and mozzarella) was far from the usual bland pillows of dough! The flavor was excellent and nicely accompanied by a couple of glasses of Prosecco.
Dessert was their Tiramisu--a dish I usually avoid because it is overly sweet, overly boozy and generally a mess. Theirs was composed of a mocha whipped cream that was not too sweet, and layers of cake which were not too soggy. A very pleasant discovery.
The ambiance is contemporary, open and comfortable. The service is warm and professional. Prices are moderate for the area. Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. We were there for Sunday lunch and had the place almost to ourselves. Considering the quality of the food, it bothered me that we were such a small--albeit appreciative--audience. I asked Elizabeth how business was going, and she said they were having a "soft opening." So I resolved to share the news with my fellow chowhounds--sorry I haven't posted in so long!
Their web presence is rudimentary (www.cedroristorante.com), address is 1010 El Camino Real, #140, Menlo Park, and telephone is (650) 322-3376.
Best Wishes, Anne