OK, first, I have to mention the highlight: the service was excellent. Our waiter was a real pro; he engaged us in conversation, and bent over backwards to accommodate our slightly unusual BYOB situation. We brought some home brewed beer to taste for the first time, and he kept the bottles cold, chilled glasses for us, and made sure we had everything we needed to enjoy our brewing efforts. He even recommended some places to buy brewing ingredients! A+ on that front.
The food was a bit of a different story. It was by no means bad, but while a lot of things on the menu sounded delightful, both our entrees and appetizers were a little flat. You know, just missing that "je ne sais quoi."
The decor is tasteful, though you forget about it a quick second after you get there. It's somewhere between high-end fine dining, and the more rustic feel of a Mercato or one of those BYOBs where you use your fingers more and tablecloths less.
Overall, both the decor and food lacked a robust identity, and they suffer for it. However, the service alone was worth the visit.
The food is really wonderful here. We were seated for dinner rather late, 9pm. In fact, we were the last couple to leave. however we did not feel rushed to eat and go. I would recommend the sweet breads, foie gras and the duck breast.Our server was very knowledgable on all of the items on the menu and could really speak in depth of the origins of the ingredients and the inspirations behind the plates. It was a nice little restaurant- perfect for your romantic evening.
Pros: great food and service
Cons: parking, small space
I've been to Matyson a few times, once for dinner, a few of times for lunch. The food is good, but to me it has never been a standout compared to other BYOB's in this city. However, it is open for lunch, takes reservations and is conveniently located.
We went for a holiday office lunch (party of 6) and had a 2 PM reservation. Once we sat down and had wine poured my boss started to give a year in review toast. The waitress interrupted a nice moment to tell us that we should order now because the kitchen closes at 2:30.
We ordered bottled water, appetizers, meals, dessert and coffee - a complete meal. Upon serving the desserts the waitress came to our table and told us that she knows that we only just received our desserts, but we needed to be done before 4 (this was 3:45). She then came over just before 4 and hustled us out. It was disappointing that they would take a lunch reservation for 2:00 and then make our party feel as though they resented us taking the reservation.
Unfortunately for Matyson there are now 6 people who will not return there for another meal and will not be shy about telling others.
Pros: Takes Reservations
Cons: Poor Service
My co-workers and I had our holiday luncheon with our boss who is one of the VP's at our company. We were given a 2pm appointment only to be told five minutes after arriving by our waitress that the "kitchen closes at 2:30pm".
Right after dessert, she informs us that at 4pm they have to get ready for dinner service. There was another party there in the place and when they left, she came back to us at 3:55pm to inform us that we had to leave so they could prepare for dinner service.
After walking out, we just looked at each other in amazement, saying how rude she was. I mean how long does it take for you to clear one table for dinner? Needless to say, our boss stated he would never come back again. There are too many nice restaurants in this city for people to be treated in such a fashion. I hope the owners of Matyson's reads this review.
I went to this BYOB with three friends. We ordered every course - apps, entree, desserts. We brought ourselves wine for the meal and desert wine. After we finished dessert we paid our tab and were finishing our dessert wine when the hostess brought us our coats. We explained we weren't done our drinks yet and didn't need our coats. She proceeded to bring our coats three different times in a course of fifteen minutes. When we brought this to the servers attention he said he needed turn the table and we were done our meal. I don't expect to be rushed out of my seat after eating over three hundred dollars worth of food at a restaurant. The food was ok...nothing special that makes it worth the awful service.
Pros: Food was ok but not worth the terrible service
Cons: Rude host and ignorant servers
the food was very good here however, i was very dissappointed in the service. waiter was mediocre at best and we were asked to leave, to accommodate another reservation, before we were even finished with our coffee. plenty of other byo's in the city that know how to treat customers...
Pros: good food
Heard great things...and it delivered. I want to be a regular so a dish can be named after me. I want to bathe in the pea soup...I want more braised short rib....more seared scallop....
Pros: Best soup I ever had...it was the pea.
Matyson is consistently one of the best BYOBs in Philadelphia. The menu is creative yet accessible, and always expertly prepared. The weekly tasting menu is a steal at $45, and a fun way to explore different dishes and themes. My only complaint is it can be hard to get a table - so go mid-week if you can.
Pros: food, creativity, byob, price
Cons: hard to get in
As with nearly every meal at a well-rated restaurant I have had in Philly, the appetizer was excellent and then the remaining courses slid sharply downhill from there. First came a slice of fois gras over a cube of very hot crispy polenta surrounded by dried fruit chutney; the polenta was overly spiced and salted by itself, but combined with the sweet dried figs, everything worked very well. Due to many poor fois gras experiences I could not attribute the success of this dish simply to its containing this expensive ingredient. In this case its texture was wanting but the flavor, entirely free of gamey or sanguinous overtones, performed well. For the main course, four seared scallops looked dumbly out upon the pile of curried chickpeas and blood-orange salad that they surrounded. The scallops were cooked properly, the oranges nearly tasteless and the chickpeas sat, voluminous, waiting to be eaten. The dessert, hazelnut crepes burdened by so many ingredients (hazelnut toffee, 'vanilla' ice cream, yet more blood-oranges, chocolate shavings, possibly some kind of caramel sauce..) that only a vague impression of candy came through, failed. Service was excellent though nearly snarky, and so compared to the average place in Philadelphia I consider it quite good.
I was very disappointed in Matyson after hearing such great things about it. Unfortunately for me, with a food allergy, the restaurant was absolutely unaccommodating. I asked about a couple of items on the menu and whether they could be modified slightly for my food allergy. After the server checked with the chef, the report back to me was that the chef would make me something off-menu that was "special." I suppose it was "special" if special = not good. What the chef prepared for me, he obviously did NOT taste. It came out so over-salted I couldn't eat most of it.
I just think that restaurants need to accommodate those with food allergies. After all, there are plenty of us out there! The whole point in going to a restaurant is to have a choice of entrees off the menu. In this case, I was TOLD what the chef would/could make me. No choice. I eat at restaurants frequently, and this was a first for me.
Those eating with me weren't exactly impressed, either. Mainly because of the very small portions.
The only positive about this place, in my opinion, is that it is one of the only BYOs in the city where you can make a reservation.
Pros: Able to make reservation at this BYO
Cons: Not able to accommodate my food allergy, cold, small portions
Went with a couple of gals for one of their 21st birthdays. Food quality was delicious. I had the lamb with was perfectly cooked; so juicy and succulent it just fell off the bone. My other friends ordered the red snapper and the scallops. Not as well cooked but yummy. Waiter was friendly and extremely well versed on the menu. The half shell oysters were too DIE for. The space is relatively tight and the bathroom isn't too big. But the atmosphere is cozy and there are fresh lilies in the bathroom that smell beautiful. Most expensive entre was $27. Most expensive appetizer probably $12. Appetizers (with exception of oysters) were not as good as entres.
Negatives were that they accidentally gave us the wrong appetizer at first. We weren't paying attention and started dividing it up when the waiter suddenly came saying it was the wrong dish and took it away. He even took our personal plates that had some on them. Not like they could've served it to someone else after we touched it. Waste of good food. ...Wish we could've had it on the house for their mistake.
Also, we sat close to the door so there was a nasty breeze. There's a thick curtain blocking off the door to minimalize the draft but it was still cold.
Pros: Waiter & Food
Cons: Cold Cold
The noise level was a problem. I ordered the bass as a dinner entree and while this was tasty, the portion size of between 2- 3 oz was unacceptable at $26. The server also rationed out 1/2 slice of "artisan" bread. and never returned. At $40 per person not including my BYOB the meal was a rip off
I'm not a fan of Matyson's chef. The menu is too small, first of all. I ordered a sandwich and the only flavors I could discern were salt and grease. If I want that I can get fast food and pay less. Overpriced and overrated, I say.
Pros: good lemonade
Cons: everything else
I've eaten lunch here a few times. The menu is somewhat creative, but in the end, the food just isn't very good. The sandwich I ordered last time was way too greasy. There are lots of great places in center city -- this just isn't one of them.
Pros: Good location
Cons: The food
This is the best food I have had in Philly since moving here. We had the foie gras and sweet breads to start, the braised lamb shank and steak frittes as entrees, and the coconut cream pie for dessert. Everything we ordered was perfectly cooked and delicious. The service was also great. If you have not tried this place make your reservation now. I can't wait to go back!!!
This was a truly delightful experience! The restaurant was clean and spacious and had a very friendly waitstaff. Matyson is a BYOB so we had the privilege of picking out our own bottle of wine at the liquor store right around the corner. The menu selection isn't huge but it has a variety of choices so your sure to find something you will like. I am a very picky eater and was adventurous and tried the pork chop entree that was perfect. It was a large portion of a perfectly seasoned pork chop and bacon chedder and chive grits atop a delicious homemade BBQ sauce. My guest had the red snapper atop chick peas and also loved it. For dessert we shared the absolute best coconut cream pie I have ever had in my entire life! This is a restaurant owned by husband and wife and the husband is the chef and the wife is the pastry chef so on the menu the dessert variety is just as scrumptious and varied as the entree menu. Overall this was a great place to go for a night out. It was a Tuesday and packed so make sure to call ahead or leave plenty of time to wait. Matyson not cheap by any means but worth every penny! I will be back!
Pros: Dessert menu and BYOB factor
Cons: if there has to be one its price even though the price fits the food
delicious, romantic, slow/cold service, but surprising combinations are always yummy...cute space...
I went to Matyson last night after hearing how good it was for quite some time and knowing that there was a 55-minute wait at a nearby bar. Even though it was nearly 10 (when the kitchen would close), my date and I were graciously shown to a table. And despite the fact that we did not bring a wine bottle with us, our water glasses were never empty.
I ordered the chicken and was impressed at the reasonable portion that arrived on a bed of bacon and chipotle mashed potatoes. I could not believe, once I took a bite, how delicious and perfectly seasoned the chicken was. And so tender! The potatoes were a perfect complement.
For dessert, my boyfriend and I split the peanut butter chocolate bombe with carmelized bananas. It was a decent-sized desert--not so big as to require sharing, but not so small as to make sharing silly. The bombe was good (a little dry in some parts, as it was layered), but the carmelized bananas were like heaven on earth.
Overall, dinner was innovative while still being really delicious. I will definitely come back.
Pros: Food and service
Cons: Closely pushed together tables, mediocre decor
I stumbled across this restaurant just walking around Philly for the very first time and decided to visit. The menu outside looked reasonable and I was hungry. I was seated at a small table and was instantly offered a menu, bread and water. The menu was a bit limited but when I asked for a suggestion between the steak and the pork the waitress said the pork was wonderful. I took her suggestion and tried to order some wine only to find out the place was a byob place. No big deal, they kept the water glass filled and the clients were entertaining. It looked to be a place for a romantic dinner or a place where groups of old friends got together for a special meal. I received my pork in about 15 minutes and was immediately impressed with the serving size (sometimes restraunts like this only give a little taste and this one had just the right size portion for a grown man but not too much). The pork itself was truly outstanding being perfectly cooked and seasoned. I eat out on business often and this was the best pork I believe I've ever had. The spatezle was flavored with bits of bacon and slices of poached cinnamon apples. It was an incredible combination together with its reduction sauce and I ate to complete satisfaction. This is the first time in several years that I've stumbled across food this good at a restraunt thus I'm writing my first review. Next time in Philly I'm definately coming back.
Pros: Fantastic food
Cons: Sitting very close to next table
This is the first time I am writing a review but not the first time I visited this place . I read about this restaurant as being "The best place for lunch" and decided to try it.
I think this place is amazing, food is outstanding. I was there for a few times, they changed the menu but food is great! I highly recommended! I will visit again and again!
I'm torn between Matyson and La Viola for best BYOB but either way the food here is outstanding. Traditional meals are prepared in variety of styles, some french, some asian, some spanish influences to their menu make it well diversified. A little pricier than some others but the ambience and the food are worth every penny. Some BYOBs have gone to uncorking fees but this is truly a BYOB
My girlfriend and I ate here this past weekend. We began with the lobster gnoci and our dining experience went into high gear immediately! My girlfriend had the striped bass with raspberry sauce, I had the seared lamb. Wow! We have become spoiled by the great CC and South Philly BYOB's, our dinner pampered us to the max. Everything was cooked to perfection; the veggies were fresh and crisp, I was able to cut the lamb with my fork, and the bass was tender and succulent. We ate the sinful desert so fast, I can't remember what we had. We made reservations and were seated promptly. The place was filled to capacity about half an hour later. The staff was friendly, professional, and did not try to be trendy-cute. The crowd was pleasant as well.
Pros: a true dining experience
Cons: too many tables jammed in
Just ate there this weekend, the food was wonderful. Taste, preparation and presentation all top notch. The service was less than stellar and I witnessed perhaps the worst service faux-pas ever.
Two people in our party of four had thier meals delivered. While waiting for the other two, one person tasted the edge of the dish. The food runner soon arrived to say it was the wrong table soon the runner is off with the plates. Only in one minute to return to the table next to us and deliver the same dishes. We had to say something. Long story short the waiter soon arrived and apologized to both tables (briefly). Our confidence was shaken in the integrity of the staff, Never saw the manager or owner...and only after ordering two deserts to share..did the waiter mention that the desert was on the house due to the error.
Great restaurant with delicious food, friendly service and nice environment (if skewed a little old). The prices are up there, but worth it for a nice dinner out.
Pros: Food, Service
We choose matyson and couldn't have been more satisfied. Food was absolutely spectacular.
We had numerous apetizers (Foigria, crab& avacado salad, new asparagas salad, etc.) Our entrees, were wonderful( Duck, Lanmb, New York Strip, Etc.) Of course, dessert was a wonderful finish as well. It ended up being $50 a person + gratutity, wich was a lot less then expected for the quality of food we ate. We brought along great wines with us, and if we had purchased the wine from the restaurant, our bill would have been doubled. A great place for friends!
Pros: Food was great, Reasonably priced, right steps of servic
Cons: Server not happy
It's certainly a shame when one bad apple rots the bunch. While the servers were lovely and sweet, we were haughtily shown the door last night by the manager who whined at us to leave because a large group had arrived. As we waited for a friend to return from the loo, our coats were slapped down on her open chair (rather absurdly, which I do admit made me giggle). We decided that if we had tipped poorly, complained widely, muddied up our surroundings or were otherwise impossibly taxing on the staff, we may have deserved a thumping. Yet we were remarkably well behaved and thus rather crestfallen as we left. We enjoyed the marvelous oysters, superb tuna, savory chicken and luscious crème caramel, but would choose another restaurant in the future in the hope of avoiding having to bear witness to another tantrum thrown by the philistine manager.
Strangely, I went to Matyson during the same week as one reviewer below, when corn was the featured ingredient, and I agree 100% with him/her. You wouldn't expect corn to be so exciting and satisfying, but it most definitely was. One of my best meals in Philadelphia.
Cons: price (but well worth, it), very crowded
The best part of the meal was the coconut cream pie - it was the best I have ever had!! We ate on a Thursday and are going back on Saturday night since it was so good. We had the monk fish and scallops and both were wonderful. Overall a delightful BYOB!
Pros: Dessert, Service
Cons: Seating close togethe
The last best meal was in 1992 so this really had some tough competition. I had the tasting menu, 5 courses featuring Corn! Lobster Clam Chowder, Soft Shell Crab, Sauted Scallops, Lamb Chops and...Corn Black Pepper Ice Cream. I was in absolute heaven. The corn was sweet and complemented all the dishes in such an incredible. Way I cannot wait to go back and try the next tasting menu!
Pros: Mid Week Tasting Menu, BYOB
Cons: Little loud
Had a great meal here. Only bad thing was the seating is very close together. They don't make any $ on the liquor so they have to put a lot of people in the place + it is small but very attractive.
Would go back again any time!
I went for lunch with a few friends. The service was pretty good, but nothing great. The Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli's were great. They were the highlight of the meal. I had the lamb. It was flavored all wrong. It was bitter. Way too sour for my tastes. My friends had the duck and the quiche. They said the duck was good and the quiche was so-so. $75 for three with a 20% tip wasnt bad, but the food was overall just average.
I heard wonderful things about this place - but I found it to be VERY, VERY average. The food had exciting descriptions, with all the right 'buzz' words ('reductions' and 'demi glazes' etc.) ... but I found the taste to be dull and mediocre. They didn't infuse enough flavor or excitement into the cooking. Plus, I thought the service was average to slow. For the prices that they charge, I would not recommend this place to anyone. It's just not worth it.
Cons: Food not flavorful, Service slow
Wednesday night and packed to the gills. The food was tasty (where do i get the recipe for the spaetzle that accompanied the duck breast?) but i felt the desserts were over-hyped. Expect dessert, not throw-your-world-into-a-spin-bon-appetit style dessert. Definitely worth a visit in this Philly Land of culinary wonders but wait a few weeks (today is 3/23/05) for the buzz to settle.
I ate here on a Saturday night with a party of five. Everything was delicious from start to finish! We each had an appetizer and an entree and we shared two desserts for $45 per person. Especially good were the mussels with mango and black beans appetizer, mushroom risoto appetizer and the chocolate tart with brown sugar ice cream for dessert. The fact that it's a BYO makes it feel very homey. The service was just okay and it took a while for the waitress to first come over to our table once we were seated but we didn't mind. It does get a little bit noisy but it still has a very good vibe and warm ambience. I will definitely be back!
Pros: Great food, Love the BYO
Cons: Average service, Hard seats, A little noisy
Dining at Matyson the other night really wowed me from start to finish. The service was attentive, friendly, and relaxed. The food was all outstanding and every bite worth savoring. My companion tried the Brazilian tasting menu of the week (5 course, $40), and thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked the fact that both parties were not required to get the tasting menu, and in fact they encouraged us to share tastes (and even said the dessert could be changed to anything on the regular menu!) I loved my chick pea soup ($6) and Bronzino with squash and mushrooms ($24). Will eagerly return to try more dishes.
Pros: excellent food, friendly service, good portions
The night I dined here the food was very good: very tasty (spiced just right), served with enough flair and presentation. The wait staff was passably attentive. The maitre d' was considerably less than indifferent. And it was extremely noisy. There are plenty of other BYOBs in town that offer equally good food, minus the drawbacks.
Cons: Service, Noisy
A wonderful evening on all fronts except one: our server really detracted from the experience. Our party had to ask for everything throughout the evening from opening another bottle of wine and requesting spoons for our soup to clearing our plates and chilling our white wine. He also exuded NO warmth or personality and seemed uncomfortable most of the evening. We'd definitely give the place another chance because the food and atmosphere were lovely, but we'd certainly request a different server next time.
Definitely one of my favorite restaurants, BYOB or not. Equally deft with meats and seafood. Scallops were delicious, although a little small on the portion. The bbq duck was perfect, as was the skirt steak. Desserts are not to be missed either! Solid service and reasonably priced.
Pros: Food, Value