Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
Spanish Heart / Southern Soul from the crew at Vin Rouge.
Durham, NC 27701
Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday - Thursday 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and 5:00 - 10:30 pm; Friday 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm - 12:00 am; Saturday 5:00 pm - 12:00 am and Sunday 5:00 - 9:30.
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
There is a small lot beside our restaurant as well as street parking. There is also a large parking lot located behind Mateo on Ramseur St.
Bar Dining, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Mateo Ratings and Reviews
Although service provided was very good, the food and space were quite disappointing. Patrick, our server, was prompt and helpful. We started with the pate and banderilla. The pate was very good and thankfully came with seconds of the grilled bread. The shrimp was just one tiny skewer that could have garnished a cocktail. Nothing special. The wine we got was pretty good but they were all overpriced. Most were over $50 per bottle for the whites. Offering a few cheaper house wines would have been appreciated. As far as hot tapas, we had several. The patatas bravas were awful but at least a bit filling. They tasted like cafeteria fried potatoes with ketchup and mayo squirted on top. The pulpa a la plancha was a huge let down. I couldn’t taste or find the supposedly charred octopus, the dish was covered in some type of sweet creamy foam. The bistecca was flavorful but fatty and gray. They did have a special which was delicious though. It was a pork confit arroz frito. I could have licked that plate.
Seating was much too cramped. While I enjoy meeting new people, I don’t like to have them sitting elbow to elbow with me when I’m on a date. This is not a restaurant for romantic conversations to say the least. So while the service and some of the tapas were good, we will not be returning due to lack of value and the cramped space.
I consider tapas to be casual food (as it is in Spain) and not fine dining, so I thought it was pricey for what it was (based on the recommended 2-3 plates per person and splitting a bottle of relatively inexpensive wine for two people, our meal came out to $80 per person before tip). The food menu is okay (although everything was almost too salty), but their Spanish wine selection is very impressive! Would definitely go back for maybe drinks.
Mateo is normally an absolute must visit spot, however, this past visit was a little bit of a letdown. The food was mediocre and pretty cold, and our meatballs order took nearly an hour to get to our table.
I think maybe the hype of Mateo has influenced their food and service.
I've been to Mateo a few times. This time, only two of the tapas were outstanding - the devilled eggs and the kale/manchego/egg dish. Octopus had almost no octopus in it, patatas bravas were ok, shrimp was ok. Service was very good, they offered complimentary cava for birthday which was a very nice touch.
I've been coming to Mateo for years, and I was a bit disappointed in the food this time, mainly because most of it was room temperature (except for the sauteed pea shoots, which were delicious). The people and the wine were lovely, as always. This is an expensive place to have dinner, though, and the food definitely needs to be exceptional (and hot!) for me to keep coming back. I hope we were just there on an off-night.
~ medjool dates w/goat cheese and country ham - addictive.
~ Also the pork ribs, espelette pepper jelly and they were pretty unexciting.
~ Additionally ordered the NC littleneck clams, sherry, garlic, boiled peanuts, and ham - they were very good..
~ Dessert was the Banana Pudding - we should have made this our main course!
Highly recommend the Avinyo Cava (Rosado) - Excellent!!
My 2nd time here and in-spite of the great in-the-paper / magazine write up's, there are better places to dine.
Service at the bar was very good.
Mateo’s is fantastic! They have a great wine list, interesting specials and staples that will keep you coming back. The flavor combinations are awesome and they have very traditional tapas, where other “tapas” style restaurants just offer a lot of heavy appetizers.
Sat for twenty minutes at our table before anyone even took a drink order. Ordered our food at that time because we knew the kitchen would be backed up. After another twenty minutes of not getting anything, we asked our server if he could check on our food. He did and one of our orders did finally appear.
I do not blame the server, as he was clearly overwhelmed, and had been sat too many tables at once, and was doing the best he could. I blame the management for not supporting their staff, and placing them in such a difficult situation. Unfortunately the servers are the one's who are impacted the most economically when lack of staffing makes it impossible for them to provide adequate service.
Although most of food was still tasty, the portions are smaller and of poorer quality than when the restaurant was new.
Frankly after twenty minutes of no one waiting on us, I was ready to leave, but we had been given a gift certificate from a friend that we wanted to use. They gave me the gift certificate because they knew that Mateo was my favorite restaurant. Needless to say, that is no longer the case.
While the dishes we ate were quite creative and delicious, the atmosphere was terrible. The tables are tiny and you are continually worried about knocking something off. The noise level was unbelievable. We absolutely could not have a conversation.
When we first arrived, there was some confusion about who was to wait on us apparently and it took a long time to get any service. After that it was fine as far as the service
The food here is good, and the service is prompt as small plates are delivered in a stream of regularity. However, somehow this wasn’t as splendid as in past visits. While it had been awhile since our last visit, the thing we missed most were the churros and thick chocolate sauce. Donut holes and thin chocolate sauce are not the same. Good and interesting foods here, but in the past we’d always considered this place stellar.
I love this restaurant for the food!
However we are considering not returning for special occasion meals becajse of the issue with tables so close together. This last visit, the proximity was just too close. We felt uncomfortable with the table next to us. They actually were listening to our conversation.
It is so much better upstairs but that room was closed.
My friend and I had been to Mateo once before, so we were excited to try it again. I made a reservation a week in advance and we arrived early and sat at the bar and had wine and an appetizer until it was time for our seating. There were plenty of nice tables available, but unfortunately we were seated at the table closest to the kitchen, where right next to us bus people were wheeling out crates of clean dishes, glassware, etc. This was noisy and uncomfortable and made it a bit hard for us to hear each other and our server. The service and the food, on the other hand, were simply wonderful. Not sure why you'd give someone who took the time to make a reservation the worst seat in the house! It kind of colored my experience :-(
I'll start by saying that I never ever leave restaurant reviews. It was mine and my husbands first time visiting Durham. We asked around about good places to eat and Mateos was recommended to us. After checking out their menu online we decided to go ahead and make a reservation. The food was amazing, probably the best meal I have had in months. The waitress was very knowledgeable about the dinner and the wine menu. We had a lovely experience and are looking forward to eating there again in the future.
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