Pausa offers fresh and authentic Italian fare made from scratch with the bounty of Northern California from Chef Owner Andrea Giuliani paired with an all Italian wine list and craft cocktails and spritzes. Pausa is Italian for “pause” and Owners Steve Ugur and Giuliani intend for their restaurant to be just that. The restaurant is a place where guests can take a short recess from their daily pace of life and enjoy a dining experience that transports them to a place of leisure. Whether the gathering is a lunch with old friends, Spritz Hour in the lively bar, a date night in the ambient dining room or a behind-the-scenes dinner experience at the Chef’s table, they hope to revitalize guests’ senses. The friendly and knowledgeable team will ensure your every pause is a memorable one.
Pausa is open for Indoor & Outdoor Dining, Takeout, and Delivery through DoorDash. Reservations can be booked through OpenTable or right here through our website. As we practice social distancing with our new limited floor plan, we kindly ask that you and your party follow our temporary modified dining limit of 2 hours. Thank you for your continued support! We wish you all the best and look forward to serving you soon!
– Pausa is a recipient of the Gambero Rosso 3-Shrimp Award & Top 500 Italian Restaurant in the World 4 years running!
– Pausa is a recipient of the 2018, 2019, 2020, & 2022 Michelin Bib Gourmand!
– Book your next event at Pausa! We offer private and semi-private luncheons, cocktail receptions, and dinners.
19 Best Italian Restaurants Across America
6 Bay Area Restaurants on the Cutting Edge of Food
The Best Pizza Restaurants in and around San Francisco
Michelin releases 2018 Bib Gourmand restaurants for Bay Area
Top Italian Restaurants in and around San Francisco
The Award of Excellence for 2018 & 2019
Pausa, a Restaurant Design Award Finalist
12 Superb Chef's Tables for Wine Lovers
San Francisco's 2018 Michelin Bib Gourmands, Mapped
Executive Chef/Co-Founder & Owner
A Veneto native, Chef Andrea Giuliani has over 25 years of experience in kitchens throughout Italy and the Bay Area. In 2005 Giuliani made his journey to the United States ready to bring his passion for food and wine to California. His first job when he arrived was Executive Chef at Spiedo Restaurant in San Mateo where he unknowingly met his future business partner, Steven Ugur. The two became fast friends and gained a great deal of respect for one another’s specialties, Giuliani’s in the kitchen and Ugur’s in the dining room.
After two years at Spiedo, Chef Andrea moved on and headed to the heart of Silicon Valley where he led the kitchen at Piatti Restaurant in Santa Clara. During his five years at Piatti he acquired a great deal of knowledge about the business side of running a restaurant in America. He took what he learned and next applied it to his work at Piazza D’Angelo, a well known Italian restaurant in Marin County that has been around for more than 30 years. When Chef Andrea learned that Spiedo would be closing, he reconnected with Ugur and soon after a plan was hatched to turn the space into something fresh and vibrant – Pausa Bar & Cookery.
True to his Italian roots, but inspired by the bounty of Northern California, Giuliani is excited to bring his passion for cooking back to San Mateo. At Pausa Chef Andrea is creating approachable Italian cuisine, elevated by fresh, high-quality ingredients and modern cooking techniques. But food is not his only passion, Italian wine is very much a part of Giuliani’s repertoire which is showcased in Pausa’s all Italian wine list.
Co-Founder & Owner
A San Mateo native, Steve Ugur grew up in the restaurant business working in his family’s establishments for as long as he can remember. Even while he earned his Associate’s Degree at the College of San Mateo, Ugur was ever-present in the businesses including a major role as the general manager, leading the front-of-house team at Porterhouse in San Mateo. During his tenure, Ugur refined his own customer service skills and instilled a passion for the hospitality business into his employees throughout the years.
In 2013 Ugur made his first real foray into the back of the house by giving into his curiosity about butchering and charcuterie and completing a stage at Harris Steakhouse in San Francisco. The art of dry aging beef at Harris inspired him to introduce a similar program at Porterhouse with the addition of grass fed and finished beef from local ranches in Northern California. Between 2014 and 2015 he traveled twice to France to stage with award-winning butcher Pierre Sajous in the mid-Pyrenees. Upon his return, he continued to lead the team at Porterhouse as the only restaurant with a dry aging program on the Peninsula.
At Pausa, Ugur will continue to use his well-rounded experience to build a team that shares his desire to exceed guest expectations. In addition to his passion for food and hospitality, Steve has a great love for Italian wine which helped him during his collaboration with Chef Andrea in designing an all-Italian wine list. From the creation of the Spritz cocktails to the charcuterie program, Steve has a devoted interest in every aspect of Pausa and looks forward to sharing it with San Mateo and the surrounding Bay Area.
Born and raised in Portugal, Tiago Serrao has spent the last 15 years working in the beverage operations of five star establishments around the globe. In 2009 Tiago gained invaluable knowledge while crafting cocktails at the one and only Ritz, London. Three years later Tiago took the position as Assistant Bar Manager at the Michelin starred Galvin at Windows, at London Hilton on Park Lane and was quickly promoted to Bar Manager. Although he will always think fondly of it, 9 years in fast-paced and gray London is enough to make anyone dream of tropical paradise! In 2017 Tiago set off to Anguilla to take on the position of Beverage Manager at Zemi Beach House, a Hilton LXR resort.
In 2019, world events brought a change to the hospitality industry and Tiago’s life was no exception. Navigating his way through the pandemic, Tiago became a permanent resident of the United States. After searching for a team that would help him expand his knowledge of restaurant management and who shares his drive for exceptional service, he is now thrilled to find himself as General Manager at Pausa. It was clear in his initial interview with Owner Steve Ugur and Owner/Chef Andrea Giuliani that the three men were cut from the same cloth. Passion, creativity and an unwavering drive to deliver an exceptional service is at the core of each man. Tiago is honored to be honing his restaurant management skills through the guidance of Ugur and considers Giuliani a master of his craft from whom he’s continuously learning.
In his words, “My energy and excitement for hospitality comes from the fact that fundamentally, I do what I love and truly love what I do!”.
We Are Open 7 days for Dinner Mondays through Thursdays from 4:30pm to 9pm, Fridays & Saturdays from 4pm to 9:30pm, Sundays from 4pm to 8:30pm