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Jan 27, 2013 08:01 AM

DineLA at Matteo's - Bait and Switch?

Matteo’s and I go way back. In their hey day they were a fine Italian restaurant with lots of celebs and buzz and great food. They fell into a time of decline but I heard that they had been restored. When I saw that they were on DineLa and featured a fillet with porcini (for me) and my wife loves swordfish, I made an early reservation for Saturday night. Upon arriving, I was pleased to see and feel that the old place had been restored to once again a beautiful, classy, quiet dining room.
Everything sparkling clean and new. We were promptly seated in a generous booth and ordered
our drinks. When I asked for the DineLa menu, I was told “that’s only during the week, not on Saturdays.” I did NOT see such an such exclusion on their website. Did I miss something? Seeany exclusions? do/restaurants/matteos-restaurant

It clearly says Restaurant Week (1/21/-2/1)....nothing excluding Saturdays.

I didn’t want to make an issue of it so we just ordered off the menu and I assumed that I had
missed something. It’s the kind of place I’d like to return to, but left a bad taste in my mouth.

Question to experienced and/or professional hounds: Do I have any recourse? Of course I could
have gotten up and left, but we had already valet parked, sat down and ordered drinks. I don’t
mind spending for a good dinner, but I don’t like the feeling of being “had.” What say you?

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  1. Did you ask to speak to the manager? Did you ask the manager, or anyone else along the way how you could have known in advance of their policy of Saturday's "Die 'n LA" rather than DineLA? I would suggest you either call or write to them with your question and see how they respond.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg

      Good advice. I plan to call the manager today. I even checked their printed brochure which didn't say anything about excluding Saturdays. Upon arriving, I did have a nice chat with the manager about how good it felt to return to Mateo's after all this reconnecting with an old friend. It caters to a mature clientele who enjoy a quite and elegant experience. Certainly not a trendy, noisy, crowded "hot spot." I think the manager will remember me.

    2. I too checked Matteo's DineLA page ( and there were no exclusions mentioned at all. The dates they gave were Restaurant Week (1/21-2/1): Call them.

      1. not an answer to your question, but i went to Lukshon last night and they offered the dinela menu to me there.

        1. In the past DineLA used to have a Saturday exclusion but I think they eliminated it because it caused so much confusion and created situations like yours. It might be a case-by-case situation currently but I don't think so.

          1. Not experienced or professional, but.... ;)

            Depends on who your dining companion(s) are. ;) If they're people w/ whom you're comfortable, I would've informed the server immediately that there were no exclusions to your knowledge and would've asked for clarification from the manager prior to ordering any food. And, had they been unable to produce any "evidence" of there being a printed exclusion, I would've quietly and politely left had they not been willing to offer the DineLA menu (again, assuming that this was a possibility w/ your companions).

            No matter the situation, I'd *definitely* tell the manager afterward that there was no exclusion on the website and that, while you had enjoyed your experience, the restaurant had put you and your dining companion(s) in a rather awkward situation (since I imagine that the DineLA was considerably cheaper and you had already made the effort to get there) and left you feeling dissatisfied overall....

            You could still call or e-mail the manager and say that you've checked the DineLA and restaurant website (no exclusions listed) and that other participating restaurants don't seem to have any hidden exclusions, either....

            6 Replies
            1. re: ilysla

              Thanks for your input. Quite correct. I intend to call the manager ASAP. My state of mind was that I just wanted a pleasant evening and to give an "old friend" a try. I wasn't bargain hunting, but the DineLa did sound like a good deal. I wasn't about to get up and leave or have an "argument" with the management the time I wasn't 100% sure that I was right and they were wrong. Now that I've conducted a thorough investigation (not a trace that Saturday was excluded) I can seek my "revenge' which, is often served cold.
              They were WRONG! Let's see what they're willing to do about it. They know about "yelp" and all the rest.

              1. re: Baron

                Its amazing that they are still in business. Once upon a time this was a very good place. been 20 years at least.

                1. re: Thor123

                  Ive been enjoying the food and staff at Matteo's for years...mostly during their "years of decline." they were still making classic East Coast, red sauce Italian and still keep those faves on the new good a baked ziti & sausage as ive had out here!

                  1. re: lapizzamaven

                    The food at Hoboken is just as good and about 1/2 the $$