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Dining is more than just consuming calories.

October 13th, 2012

Burlingame has a lot of great restaurants, but if you want a really special dining experience, here are a few you may not have tried yet:

Stella Alpina Osteria offers Northern Italian cuisine in a cozy and inviting setting. The restaurant is open for dinner beginning at 5 PM. There are two dining rooms and a patio with seating for 20, but this place fills up quickly, so be sure to make a reservation so you don’t get shut out. Enjoy a cocktail and appetizer at the beautiful bar while you wait for your table.

The menu includes rustic dishes with flavors from the Italian Alps, and you’ll want to try the roasted porcini mushroom risotto cakes with white truffle oil, arugula and shaved Parmigiano or Matteo’s signature dishes such as Veal Osso Buco over Mascarpone Polenta. The restaurant has a full bar and Italian and California wines, but If you want to bring your own bottle of wine, there is a corkage fee of $25 per 750 ml (two bottle maximum per table).

Where: 401 Primrose Road, Burlingame

Phone: 650-347-5733

Straits offers a sleek, contemporary, sexy dining environment for its exotic cuisine. Owner Chris Yeo offers Southeast Asian cuisine to savvy Burlingamers by uniting the culinary influences of Singapore - Malaysia/Indonesia, Chinese, Indian and Nonya, (a result of the marriages between Chinese Men and Malay women). The result is a menu with unique flavors and fragrances.

There are so many delicious small plates that you might have trouble picking one, so bring some friends and sample the Singapore Satay Sticks, Indonesian Corn Fritters or Wok Fired Mussels. The raw bar offers oysters and a chilled seafood platter, but you might want to sample the Ahi Tuna Tower.

Get there early for the daily happy hour (daily from 5 pm – 8 pm, Mondays all night from 5 PM to closing). Appetizers, wines and champagnes, draft beer and well cocktails are just $5!

Where: 1100 Burlingame Avenue, Burlingame

Phone: 650-373-7883

For authentic Japanese cuisine, the Michelin Guide recommended Sakae is the place to go for sushi and sake lovers. The sushi chefs import the freshest fish from all over the world, including the famous Tsukiji Market in Japan. Seki-saba, kanachi, red snapper, and more are paired with premier sake, but for you landlubbers, they also have lamb chops and grilled organic chicken from Petaluma.

Sakae is open for lunch and dinner, and you can check out the menu by clicking here.

Where: 243 California Drive

Phone: 650-348-4064