Fond farewell to Woodside and Atherton (well, sort of) chef John Bentley

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on March 28, 2018

We dined at John Bentley’s one last time last night. And got to thank the chef himself for great dinners over the years.

The restaurant opened in 2004 in the space that was once a speakeasy and then housed Fabbro’s for 70 years on El Camino Real in unincorporated San Mateo County near Atherton. Our server told us that the Fabbro family had dined earlier this week in the upstairs private dining room.

Both regulars and occasional diners were always treated to not only well-executed new American cuisine but the warmth and friendliness of the chef himself when he stepped out of the kitchen.

John Bentley’s will serve its last meal on Saturday night. The chef told us he was looking forward to grandparent duty; our companion warned him that “retirement is hard work.”

The El Camino location was the second John Bentley’s. The first was in an old firehouse in Woodside, now home to Firehouse Bistro. He operated both restaurants simultaneously for a half dozen years.

He and his wife sold the building that houses the El Camino John Bentley’s two years ago, but leased it back. Dinner on Saturday may not only be the last meal served at John Bentley’s; the building, which has housed a restaurant for almost a century, is also likely to disappear, being replaced by senior housing

One of us had the always delicious watermelon/crab/avocado appetizer (pictured). And together we shared what we consider the best veal chop ever cooked.

Thank you John, for your contributions to our community!

Photos by Linda Hubbard (c) 2018

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