For nearly 90 years, The Third Avenue Center has housed the old San Mateo Theater, as well as many fine restaurants - including La Reserve and Bogie's At the Theater. Today, you will encounter our gorgeous steakhouse: PorterHouse - a hidden gem in downtown San Mateo. Since our doors opened in 2007, we have continued the tradition of fine dining on Third Avenue. Our focus is to provide our guests with immeasurable hospitality through our inviting environment, private dining rooms, attentive and knowledgeable service, exceptional beef, and our selection of fine wines. Our dining rooms are also used for corporate events and banquet gatherings. We want our dinner restaurant to be a full dining experience for San Mateo, CA patrons.
Our Dinner Menu celebrates the finest Mid-West beef available, grilled over an open fire. Our butcher proudly dry ages our USDA Prime steaks in-house. To accompany your steak, our Wine List celebrates the renowned wines of Napa Valley, Willamette Valley, France and Italy. In addition to our steak and chop offerings, our Chef provides for a daily selection of fresh fish and seafood...
Whether you are having a romantic dinner, entertaining some friends and family, having a business meeting, or hosting a private event, we will provide you with the ideal setting for your next outing. Call our steakhouse today to book our banquet venue or make a dinner reservation. We look forward to dining with you!
After seven years now, our guests have learned to love and hate one thing: the "journey" finding our steakhouse. We are notorious for being a difficult restaurant to discover, yet we take pride in keeping our establishment a hidden gem. Although many first time diners may find themselves roaming around the infamous hallway in the Third Avenue Center, there is quite a history to be told on the pathway to PorterHouse.
PorterHouse is tucked away in the building that housed the former San Mateo Theater. The movie palace cost roughly $250,000 to complete in 1926. The San Mateo Theater was part of a large development project orchestrated by D.A. or "Doc" Raybould. To make room for the new Theater, Third Avenue was given an 80-foot width in 1924, allowing for diagonal parking and making it the widest business street on the Peninsula.
Fox West Coast quickly bought the San Mateo Theater's lease and soon afterwards purchased the building. The theater improved considerably with the addition of motion pictures with sound. In the spring of 1933, a fire ravaged the theater; hence the San Mateo Theater closed for repairs for two years. The theater reopened on Christmas day of 1935.
For 50 years, the 1400 seat San Mateo Theater brought entertainment and life to the community of San Mateo. The handsome white theater building opened with some of the great names of silent films. Talking pictures later appeared and then black and white changed to color. Finally, after a great and glorious reign, the era of the glamorous movie palace gave away to television.
In 1975, plans were being made to transfer the old San Mateo Theater into "Mateo Square," a contemporary shopping plaza. The new Mateo Square consisted of 21 arcade shops, an excellent continental restaurant, a terrace restaurant, a coffee shop, and ten luxurious penthouse offices. The primary goal for the Mateo Square was to become the shopping, dining, and office center of the entire Peninsula.
Today, the Third Avenue Center is dominated by local start-up companies. You will also discover a couple of shops, small offices, and of course our steakhouse: PorterHouse.
Our focus is to create the finest "classic steakhouse" experience in San Mateo County. Our warm and inviting atmosphere along with the familiar faces of our staff set the tone for a memorable evening. Recognition and genuine hospitality is ordinary in our fine, family-owned steakhouse.
Our menu features aged Mid-West beef, fresh seafood, seasonal produce and ingredients. Our philosophy is house-made is the only way. We take pride in making all stocks and sauces in house - the key essential in operating a fine steakhouse with French influences. There are no shortcuts, as four of the five Mother Sauces are used on our menu and made throughout the calendar year. These four sauces include: Bechamel, Veloute, Espagnole, and Hollandaise. The tomato sauce is the one Mother Sauce not used on our menu. In addition to our excellent stocks and sauces, all of our fine desserts are made in house as well.
The name of our steakhouse, PorterHouse, celebrates the most preferred cut of beef. The Porterhouse cut is a fine steak taken from the Short Loin, where both the Loin and Tenderloin originate. While both the Porterhouse and the T-bone steaks are essentially the same cut, they are each taken from their respected side of the Short Loin. The Porterhouse wins praise due to its significantly larger Tenderloin. When looking at a PorterHouse, one will see both a Filet Mignon and a New York Strip separated by the legendary T-Bone.
Since January 2013 we have dry aged all of our steaks in-house, in our cooler located in the lobby. Here you can see whole short loins and whole ribs as they age over 28 days.
PorterHouse's wine list features some of the best red wines of California and Oregon, while stretching as far as France and Italy. A large portion of our menu is dedicated to the Cabernet Sauvignon, primarily the ones of Napa Valley.
However, our wine list also consists of exceptional Merlots, Zinfandels, and Pinot Noirs from many regions in California and the great Willamette Valley of Oregon. Our wine list also ranges from the Rhone Valley and Bordeaux regions of France, to some of the most sought after wines in Italy.
*For guests who have a special wine bottle, PorterHouse has a corkage service fee of $25.00 per bottle, with a 2 bottle limit. Stop into our dinner restaurant today and have a fine glass of wine!
wine at porterhouse
PorterHouse Private Dining & Special Events
Corporate Events & More for San Mateo, CA
PorterHouse offers four private dining rooms including a private bar and lounge. We look forward to helping you plan your next private dining affair.
Our steakhouse is an excellent venue for: Company Dinners and Luncheons, Business Meetings or Seminars, Birthdays and Anniversaries, Rehearsal Dinners, or Cocktail Receptions.
The Prohibition Room
Outfitted in elegant amber wood paneling, mirrors, and paintings, the Prohibition Room is the prime standard for luxury private dining. Tucked away from our main dining room, this spacious room will not only accommodate numerous seating designs, but also houses its own private mini-bar. The Prohibition Room is perfectly suited for any event, from company dinners or meetings to birthday celebrations or anniversaries. The room also features a LCD projection screen and HD projector to help with your audio/visual needs.
Accommodates up to 64 guests...
The Sky Room
Our new private dining room provides a remarkable and unique environment to all guests. Enclosed by an advanced solarium, the 'Sky Room' allows guests an open view of the sky, while dining in a climate-controlled private room. Dining while listening to the rain is made possible as well, which is certainly a pleasing environment.
Our new, trend-setting private room is unlike any on the Peninsula and we invite you and your guests to enjoy a memorable dinner.
Accommodates up to 42 guests...
Our semi-private atrium room offers a generous view of both our Dining Room floor and Patio. Separated away from the dining room, The Balcony will allow you and your guests to dine in privacy, but at the same time view the operation of our dining room. With wooden shutters and a glass sky room, The Balcony is an ideal venue for smaller get-togethers wanting a lively atmosphere.
Accommodates up to 14 guests...
The Dining Room
Our main dining room at PorterHouse can be reserved to accommodate up to 80 guests. Our fabulous dining room can be rearranged to your requests to maximize comfort and freedom. Stunning chandeliers with soft lighting, wooden shutters, silk drapes, high ceilings, and warm tones will make your private event a special and memorable one.
Accommodates up to 150 guests...
The Bar & Lounge
For both an attractive and friendly setting for your next cocktail reception, you are welcome to reserve our lovely bar and lounge. The alluring ambiance in our bar allows guests to relax and enjoy signature cocktails and fine wine. The spacious interior provides guests the freedom to converse with colleagues or friends. You also have the option of serving passed hors d'oeuvres throughout the event. With easy access to our Patio, both the cocktail lounge and the patio can be reserved together.
Our bar at PorterHouse is dominated by a full array of fine spirits and liqueurs. You will find a generous selection of 30 Single Malt Scotches, your favorite Bourbon, and fine Cognac. In addition to our classic Martini, we have an incredible list of craft cocktails. On any day of the week, you are welcome to enjoy all of our steaks, chops, and seafood at our bar or lounge as well.
The contemporary setting of PorterHouse's lounge is fitting for either company get-togethers or an intimate rendezvous. If interested in hosting a cocktail reception for a company meeting or a celebratory occasion, our Chef has an appealing selection of Passed Hors d'oeuvres.