Saturday, August 14, 2010

Super Find! John Bentley's Quiet and Sophisticated Bar

Have you ever needed a place for a quiet conversation in the afternoon during the work week?  Something more sophisticated than a coffee shop? Maybe you needed to hammer out the final details of an important business deal or need to have a strategy session away from the office for neutral mind space? Well, I found an old friend who offers just that. John Bentley's in Redwood City.

The bar is cozy and quiet between 2 - 4:30 pm
John Bentley's serves lunch and dinner and has two event spaces that they offer up for business meetings and for special occasion dining, but their bar is open for service in between their two meal seatings.  It is a beautiful, fully stocked bar with super comfy chairs. It is that quiet, private and elegant place to meet in Redwood City while their kitchen is closed.

I was able to dine anonymously before visiting with their events manager and as usual, I made some initial assessments of their food and service.

1. I think their food falls into the fine dining category and was also very creative. Both the appetizers and entr√©es were pretty on the plate and tasted good. Wine list was nice. I believe a guest at an event hosted here would be impressed by the food.

2. The service was good, but our server was a bit chatty.  He was overly friendly, but well trained.  I think it was just this person's way in the world, but it seemed that the other diners were being provided with a level of service that matched the food. Also on subsequent visits the staff was helpful and appropriately friendly.

The event space on the dining room main floor is small. It holds 15 people comfortably and 24 tightly. They do have doors to close off the room from the main dining space, but I remember the main dining space as being full of voices and conversation when I dined there. I suspect that the noise level in that room even with the door closed for a business meeting would be a bit of a challenge. However, that space for a family celebratory meal or an incentive or holiday business meal would be super.

There is a dedicated space upstairs that is perfect for many types of events. Especially set up for business meetings and larger celebratory events, there is a full functioning bar upstairs, along with a bathroom and built in A/V screen and projector. The events manager seems very flexible in terms of how things could be set up and how the space could be utilized for different functions and needs. Not a great space for a cocktail reception, better for a sit down meal.

Book your next group meal, business meeting, or business meal at John Bentley's or contact for more ideas on great event spaces in Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City.

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