While attending California Culinary Academy, John began his apprenticeship at the Lipizzaner, a tiny French-Viennese restaurant on Union Street. The chef-owner, Joseph Roettig, according to John the "best cook I'll ever know," taught him classical French technique and shared his love for the restaurant business and his devotion to cooking that comes from the heart.
When the owners of the Lipizzaner split up, John moved on to the Clift Four Seasons Hotel. His first stint as an executive chef was at Michael's Restaurant in Sunnyvale. He then become the opening chef at the Los Altos Bar and Grill.
Working on another project in 1995, John happened by the small, old firehouse in Woodside. Seeing a "For Rent" sign in the window, John realized that it was finally time to realize his dream of opening his own restaurant, where he could fully explore the intimacy between kitchen and customer that animated his cooking from the start of his career at the Lipazzaner.
After a few years honing his vision and building a loyal following, John found that the tiny dimensions of the old Woodside firehouse had become a constraint, so he began an exhaustive, years-long search for a space in a central location where he could build a modern kitchen and a larger, more comfortable dining room, offer space for parties and events, and feature a full bar.
In June of 2004, John Bentley's was reborn in an historic but completely refurbished building in Redwood City. There John and his committed staff serve seasonal American cuisine in a sophisticated yet comfortable setting perfect for both special occasions and everyday dining.