Bountiful Brunch at Cetrella

Brunch is made for steak and egg.

Who among us doesn’t need to get away for a spell?

‘Course, with the economy being what it is, most of us can’t afford to get away very far these days. For those of us in the Bay Area, a quick jaunt to the coastal town of Half Moon Bay can provide the perfect dose of R&R. Especially if it includes bubbly mimosas.

Cetrella restaurant may not have an ocean view, but it’s close enough to enjoy the salty, whooshing breezes.

After closing for the winter, the restaurant reopened in May with a new executive chef, Sylvain Montassier, who cooked at Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe and at Boulevard in San Francisco.

Wood beams and roaring fireplaces give the restaurant a cozy warmth. At brunch, you can order either a la carte or enjoy a $35 “full brunch.” The latter comes with endless refills of mimosas, juice, and coffee. You also get pastries, and your choice of one of five entrees.

From the looks of other tables when my hubby and I were invited to the restaurant, the full brunch is definitely the more popular way to go. And that’s just what we opted for.

Hooray for buttery pastries.

Strong cups of coffee and those festive mimosas arrived immediately, along with a flaky croissant and a pain au chocolat. There’s also a big basket of wonderfully chewy sourdough that you won’t be able to keep your hands off of.

More puff pastry accompanied my choice of “Butter Poached Maine Lobster.” Good-size chunks of tender lobster were stuffed inside of a puff pastry square, along with softly scrambled eggs, and shavings of black truffle. English peas and fava beans were draped with slices of La Quercia ham for extra porky goodness.

Lobster and truffles. Yah, baby!

My hubby, aka Meat Boy, ordered — what else — “Steak & Egg.” A manly tower stacked with a rib-eye steak, potato pancake, and Parmesan-crusted egg arrived, with Meyer lemon hollandaise puddled around it. The steak was juicy and tender from the wood-fired oven.

It was defnitely not a low-cal way to start the day. But you can always waddle over afterward to peruse the shops on Main Street, just a couple blocks away. Or better yet, take a long, refreshing stroll along the beach. You’ll feel like you really did get away, even if you didn’t go very far at all.

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  • We’ll have to make a point to try this place, sounds decadent and delicious. Your description of your lobster dish practically made me swoon!

  • Carolyn,

    Do you ever get to take guests along on your “invites”? 🙂 The food looks and sounds spectacular!

  • Incredible brunch! Thanks for reminding me I can get away with out going anywhere. That’s what I’ll do this weekend!

  • Hah! Sally, you might have to arm-wrestle my hubby, aka Meat Boy, for that honor. But if you distract him with some prime rib, you have a good chance of besting him. 😉

  • You just gave us a great idea on where to go over Labor Day weekend! We’ve been meaning to go to Half Moon Bay for a while now and hopefully it won’t be too cold. Endless Mimosas…YUM!

  • Ooooh. Half Moon Bay is one of my favorite cities on earth. I’ve long said that when I get married, it will be in Half Moon Bay. Good find! I didn’t even need another reason to visit the town, but a new amazing-sounding restaurant is always a good thing!

  • What a beautiful restaurant and gorgeous food. The croissants with a pain au chocolat mmmm and on the savory side with the steak, just mouthwatering for a beef eater like me!



  • What a fabulous brunch! I would choose the butter poached lobster too 🙂 Half moon bay always feels like a world away from san francisco.

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