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Nov 19, 2009 01:09 PM

Matthew's, Unionville (Farmington), CT

I'm going to Matthew's restaurant in Unionville Saturday night. It's only been open about a month so I'm wondering if any Hounds have gone there. If so, what did you think? Any special dishes I should not miss or avoid? Thanks.

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  1. Haven't tried the place yet, but I have to say the menu isn't inspiring. It looks like someone went back to the late 90's and dragged a bad wedding banquet place's menu to our times..

    edit: Hell, they haven't even gotten the memo about monkfish being on the 'avoid' list.

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        1. re: moskey

          That's not a review, it's a press release. They don't mention how the food tastes, just mention what's on the menu.

          1. re: ratbuddy

            I liked the atmosphere. Cozy, nice lighting, interesting artwork and acoustics that made it not too loud. My appetizer was quite good. It was a crabmat "martini" with a nice taste and not too many other distracting flavors. The entree, however, was disappointing. I ordered the poached lobster. It came over what the menu said was a shrimp and scallop risotto. The lobster appeared to have been frozen and was dry. I saw a few small shrimp in the risotto but I couldn't really detect any scallops unless they had been chopped so finely that they were not easily seen. The owner goes around and makes tableside Caesar salads. He seems to think himself quite the comedian but to me he was semi-obnoxious....very loud and a little on the crude side. I will probably return to try some of the other entrees....

            1. re: chowmensch

              Glad alcohol was somewhere, because on a Friday night at 6pm, they ran out of 2 types of wines, kettle one, and olives...hello run to the corner store and get what you need....I don't even drink, I was just listening to the waiters and customers order...Not a good sign for a new restaurant.

            2. re: ratbuddy

              The food was average, probably good for Florida which is where the owner is from, not the standard for up here. SERVICE WAS HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!

              1. re: ratbuddy

                I stumbled onto this after googling the new BBQ joint in Farmington and seeing this thread title listed below that one. Reading this one motivated me to join up - no I don't work there ratbuddy.

                My mother in law went for a lunch back in November and praised the place - she's not a foodie at all though so I was sketchy. Later that afternoon when she gave me the menu I knew I would have to go check it out. NICE CREATIVE MENU - and very different from what you would see in this area. I have been a chef all my life since formal training at J&W in mid 80's. In my early days I sailed many seas working on private yachts and in several states at resorts and restaurants. My favorite work was in french Quarter, New Orleans and across Lake Ponchatrain in Lacombe at La Provence. I'm loving that this menu rocks out some classics from that area. I'm excited to go eat at Matthew's - something I needed because lately nothing in this area excites me. I've looked at the menu again and again - now I hope it lives up. I'm out to lunch today with some pals and we are thinking of that BBQ but I may have to steer the group here instead.

                1. re: GalleySlave

                  Just had brunch with another couple that said they were horribly disappointed with everything and would not recommend or return.

                  1. re: Tinkerbelldee

                    That's not what I was hoping to hear....

                    1. re: GalleySlave

                      Matthews boullibaise is awesome. Somehow, somewhere he gets fresh gulf giant prawns in winter. The 2 of them perched atop the stew bowl are the most exquisite lagniappe you can imagine! Plus the fish is impeccable. I have been there 3 times since Nov.!.

                      1. re: rdesmond

                        Last Saturday I experienced Matthew's in Unionville for te first time. I had been urged by several people in recent weeks to check it out, so I did. We ordered or drinks at the Bar and were surprised to see how many people were eating multiple course meals, A good sign. we were shown to our table and promptly received a welcoming course, parmesan panacotta. absolutely delicious. Off to a good start we ordered the Caesar to made by the owner, Matthew. It took what seemed like forever but was about twenty five minutes. We watched him do his "Performance" at other tables. Slowly mixing the salad as he potificated to his starving customers. This being said, avoid the caesar salad. It wasn't neither memorable nor cute to be engaged by this person or his tired schtick. Our server Jose, was tentative and a bit overwhelmed at times, but managed to get the food to us quickly and hot. I had the Coquille St. Jacques. An interesting item from the days of yor. This particular version was"deconstucted" and absolutely perfect. Beautiful in it's symetry and presentation, ephemeral in its textures and sweet briney flavor. My Partner had the tuna tartar, another demonstration of finesse in the kitchen. It was fresh and glistened like jewels on the plate. My second choice was the eight hour braised lamb shank that clung to the bone just long enough for me to take the first bite. It's favor and sauce were the best I ever had, have it if you go. Our other entree was the poached lobster with seafood risotto. The presentation was world class. The tail and claw precariously perched above the fluffy risotto and its flavor was unmatched. Rich, creamy and loaded with shrimp scallops and mussels. Clearly Matthew's Chef knows what he's doing and executes beautifully. By the end of our evening we were thrilled at this quirky little find, we have our opinions about the owner's persona, he seemed to be caught up in limelite and quite buzzed during by the time we left. All told, if yo love great food go, it's worth sitting through the sometimes uncomfotableness of the show.

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