Spanish Heart / Southern Soul from the crew at Vin Rouge.
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, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
Mateo Ratings and Reviews
Service tends to suffer when this place ...
Service tends to suffer when this place is really packed. The bartender was great; she was attentive and served drinks quickly. Our server, not so much. She neglected my party of 2 for her bigger group.
Place is also super loud bad acoustics. Dining on a weekend reminded me to eat here during the week instead.
Our dinner at Mateo was great. It is ver ...
Our dinner at Mateo was great. It is very popular. We dined at 6:15 and had a reservation. By 6:30 it was completey full. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal, especially the cold dishes. We sampled two small plates (dates and Spanish olives). Both were outstanding. We also tried the bread topped with a dice tomato spread. It was also fantastic. The 4 hot dishes were good but not great, except the spareribs, which were awesome. The fried potatoes, fried okra and pork and beef meatballs were solid but not exceptional.
We will definitely go back, but will probably try the Spanish cheeses and ham combo plates next time. They looked wonderful.
Fantastic, local, seasonal, great servic ...
Fantastic, local, seasonal, great service, my favorite restaurant in Durham. This is saying a lot, as there are many great restaurants doing good things here. We opted for upstairs, which is a bit quieter and more intimate this time. In any case, make your reservations early, and you should put your trust in your server: they are trained on the wine list, they know the food and they'll serve you well.
Food selection is very good, but if you' ...
Food selection is very good, but if you're a "meat and potatoes" kind of person (like we had with us that night), it might not be your first choice for dining. First time we've dined upstairs and I prefer this - much easier to carry on a conversation. Downstairs can be quite cramped. Strongly recommend making reservations.
I love this place. The food is always in ...
I love this place. The food is always inventive and delicious. They use high quality fresh
ingredients and the dishes are consistent week after week after month. Specials are always very interesting, and sometimes I hesitate, to try something, but I usually am delighted if I try it.
Weekends are tough to get reservations, but you can usually sit at the bar.
We love traditional Spanish tapas (like ...
We love traditional Spanish tapas (like Curate in Asheville) but really enjoyed the Southern twist on favorites. The chicken croquettes with aioli and local honey were amazing! Cocktails are fun and inspired. Love Mateo!
We had a fantastic meal at Mateo last Sa ...
We had a fantastic meal at Mateo last Saturday night. It, the service and ambience had us thoroughly enjoying ourselves for a good four hours. Matt, our server, was a pro with a great sense of humor. What stood out were the smoked trout and caviar and bone marrow tapas. We'll be back!
Took my boyfriend here as a surprise for ...
Took my boyfriend here as a surprise for his birthday dinner. We've had this place on our list for so long and have heard great things. We tried Taberna Tapas (very close by in Durham) last summer and liked it, but agreed Mateo topped it. Having gone to Spain and loved the food, I was thrilled to find some more authentic dishes on the list. We're both trying vegetarianism so it was a little more limited, but there were plenty of options regardless.
We ordered the farmers cheese and pepper jelly (outstanding), an appetizer special of cooked Spanish green peppers, the tortilla Española which had oysters and yellow squash, and the patatas bravas with tomato sauce and 2 aioli sauces (the last 3 all popular in Spain). It was just enough to be quite full but not stuffed and have some for leftovers.
I found the bill very reasonable considering we both ordered a drink, and the service was absolutely wonderful. I requested a more secluded spot so they put us upstairs right next to a window that overlooked Durham. Definitely recommend sitting upstairs- it's a more intimate and quiet atmosphere, but still the same decor as downstairs. Also considering their menu and ingredients rotate slightly based on season, we would definitely go back!
Very nice Spanish wine. Not a good resta ...
Very nice Spanish wine. Not a good restaurant for a vegetarian; even classic Spanish dishes that are normally without meat included meat here (like tortilla espagnola). The chef seemed unable to very simply modify a dish of green beans to make it vegetarian.
This was our second visit to Mateo. Cons ...
This was our second visit to Mateo. Considering all the restaurants in Durham we still want to try, that says a lot about our first experience. This time was equally memorable! Lots of fun spending a couple of hours going through a couple of small tapas plates at a time. Our server was patient and accommodating as we worked our way through the extensive menu. Our journey included fried artichokes, pickled anchovies, sweetbreads, croquetta, chorizo deviled eggs, calamari, and a few others I can't remember, other than they were all delicious! Next time we want to try Matthew Kelly's Italian restaurant right next door - Mothers & Sons.
The food at Mateo was amazing - some of ...
The food at Mateo was amazing - some of the best, most unique tapas I've ever had and each dish was better than the one before. Our server was not very friendly or helpful, but beyond that, we had a wonderful experience and felt like we got such a high caliber evening of food at a reasonable price.
Service was prompt, efficient, and helpf ...
Service was prompt, efficient, and helpful. Still thinking about the octopus with smoked mussels in salsa verde sauce. That was amazing! The chocolate mousse was also exceptional. Highly recommend for diners who like the opportunity to enjoy something different, and for those who are a bit more conservative in their dining there are still choices that would appeal to them too.
After hearing Alton Brown call this the ...
After hearing Alton Brown call this the best tapas bar in America, my expectations were high. We chose tapas based on the recommendations of our knowledgeable server.
The bone marrow was more like the fatty drippings off a crockpot roast and not like the smooth butteriness of marrow I have had in the past. The ribs were quite good as were the ham wrapped figs (though prosciutto wrapped is better I think). Everything else foodwise was a bit lackluster.
Great ambience and a good beer selection. It was boisterous without being noisy and our 2 week old slept well.
They need to step up their game as I have heard similar experiences from my friends. Maybe narrow down the options and nail those?
We brought friends from out of town as M ...
We brought friends from out of town as Mateos has been a favorite, however we will not plan to come back unless it is just the two of us. We had a reservation for 8 and still had to wait 35mins standing at the door in the way. Hostess and waitresses were rude?! Completely different experience than we have had before. Disappointed.
The food was good but not quite as good ...
The food was good but not quite as good as I expected, possibly due to my lack of familiarity with Spanish food. The waitress was fantastic and really helped make the whole experience much better. She had good knowledge of all of the dishes and helped us make our selections.
Great tapas - love the small plates and ...
Great tapas - love the small plates and the varied choices. Even my kids were thrilled. The duck risotto (pato y arroz) was the big winner in our family though the octopus dish and clams dish were also delicious. Dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in proscuitto was my 12-year-old fave. We'll be back. My only suggestion is that I wish there were more veggie choices.
Immediately upon arrival we were shown t ...
Immediately upon arrival we were shown to our table which was in the more private upstairs area. Service was on point and every dish was amazing! When we left, the downstairs had completely filled up and was very energetic (noise level was moderate-to-high, but in a good way). Some of the seating downstairs along the banquette was very close, so not great for privacy. Highly recommend- it was a great experience.
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