Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mathew's Kitchen

By now you probably know that Del Pietro has been replaced by Mathew’s Kitchen, and while I am sad that a long-time St. Louis restaurant is no longer there, I did want to give the new restaurant its fair shake.

The restaurant is still beautiful on the inside with plenty of room up on the second level, including a separate room for a private party too. I felt like I was in someone’s home walking upstairs and I think that fits well with the “comfort food” theme.

FEAST magazine hosted its July tasting there so we got to try a number of items off the menu. We started with a crab cake, one of my all-time favorite appetizers, and the creaminess of the cakes went well with a crisp, sauvignon blanc. On the menu, they’re called “sliders” even though it’s not a mini-hamburger, and they’re made from roasted corn with cilantro lime aioli.

Mathew’s Kitchen has quite a few piggy options so of course there were two bacon-themed items on the tasting menu for that night as well. Another appetizer menu item, the second course consisted of the bacon jelly on top of a crostini and paired with a pinot noir. Again, this was another well-balanced pairing since the pinot tamed down the sweetness of the jelly and helped to mask some the bacon flavor for me. The bacon jelly can be found under the “sad pig” menu label and comes with bleu cheese crumbles.

The third course was Mathew’s interpretation of meatloaf, wrapped in bacon and a light spread of BBQ sauce. As usual, it was easy to strip the full piece of bacon around the outside, but then you also lost a lot of the BBQ sauce. I overheard Mathew say that he was not much of a fan of meatloaf so he came up with his own creation. With such a meaty course, a red zinfandel with high tannins was able to stand up to this dish and balance out the sweetness of the BBQ sauce.

Last but not least was the dessert course: apple strudel with a Fess Parker Riesling! I believe Fess Parker is one of the wineries I got to visit while out in Santa Barbara a few of years ago and both were equally paired with the same amount of sweetness.

My friends and I stayed for dinner but I have to admit, I really was not hungry at all. There were a lot of meaty items on the menu so I was most interested in the lighter fresh fish of the day, but I was smart and stuck with the appetizers that we shared at the table. Mathew’s specialty is the pig wings, which luckily didn’t have too much piggy taste to it but my favorite was the “cheese and crackers”: baked goat cheese in a tomato basil sauce. I could have eaten it as a meal by itself with a big spoon but I was courteous and spread the gooey sauce on the crostinis it came with.

Resources:

FEAST magazine = http://www.feaststl.com/

Mathew’s Kitchen = http://mathewskitchenstl.com/