Porterhouse San Mateo’s New Location & New Menu

San Mateo’s Porterhouse has found a new home, where fans are also finding a new menu. The local institution, first opened in 2007, has moved to a historic 1924 bank vault at the corner of 2nd and B Street, the interior of which owner Hamdi “Bruno” Ugur has festooned with his personal collection of vintage movie posters. Paired with the restaurant’s throwback soundtrack of Sinatra and Mathis tunes, the nostalgic vibe is fitting for the classic steakhouse atmosphere. And lest guests forget what type of restaurant this is, the impressive, entrance-located, custom meat locker, showcasing mammoth dry-aged cuts, provides a stunning visual reminder.

Porterhouse sources its beef from stockyards in Omaha, NE; dry aged, grass-fed cuts are sourced from local California ranches. Ugur’s son Steve serves as director of butchering; he was introduced to the art of in-house, dry-aging in 2013 and is constantly bringing new innovations to the program. Steaks (Porterhouse, Kanas City Strip, Cowboy Ribeye, and Filet Mignon) are dried from 21 to 120 days in a temperature and humidity-controlled room. A 28 day hangtime builds flavor and influences tenderization.

Executive Chef Mynor Ajvix’s menu of beef, fresh seafood, vegetarian options, and seasonal produce is infused with a bit of French flair, influenced by Ugur’s days as owner of popular, French-inspired Bogie’s restaurant, originally located within the historic San Mateo Theater. Expect steakhouse classics such as a crisp Iceberg Wedge with house bacon and blue cheese dressing, Chilled Prawns with cocktail sauce, and Steak Tartare topped with a quail egg. Entrees include aged steaks (natch) in a selection of cuts, each served with a crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside twice-baked potato and seasonal vegetables. Additional entrees include a catch of the day (tender, melt-in-your-mouth Monk fish on this visit), Seafood Linguine, Lamb or Pork Chops and a Mushroom Risotto, among other delectable offerings. Nearly every item at Porterhouse is house-made, including stocks, sauces, and desserts. Don’t miss the light and airy Grand Marnier Souffle, or the show-stopping Bananas Foster, theatrically prepared tableside by Ugur, who coaxes a near ceiling-high flash of fire from his rum-infused pan.

Bananas Foster tableside presentation

With its opening, Porterhouse introduces an innovative cocktail program, created by Bar Manager Donald Bodan Jr. who showcases inventive twists on the classics, such as The Castaway: Coconut Washed Vodka, Crème de Cacao, honey, pineapple, lime, served over shaved ice, and The Monroe: Mai Tai with Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still Black Rum, Agricole Blanc, Pierre Ferrand Curaçao, orgeat, lime, served over shaved ice. Purists will find much to love in Bruno’s Old Fashioned and The Porterhouse Manhattan—each made in traditional fashion.

Ugur takes special care with his wine list, handpicking diverse options that pair exceptionally well with menu items. A 2019 D.V. Catena Malbec, for instance, was a lovely match with the 8 oz., Bordelaise sauce-topped Filet Mignon

Porterhouse San Mateo, 164 S. B St., San Mateo

Fran Miller

Fran Endicott Miller is an experienced travel, wine, and general feature writer for a variety of luxury lifestyle publications and websites. Prior to her journalism career she established and managed the Golden State Warriors' first official community relations department and efforts. Principled and genuine, she’s known for thoughtfully eloquent writing. When not traveling, she can be found walking her Northern California neighborhood with her beloved golden retriever Nate.