Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
Spanish Heart / Southern Soul from the crew at Vin Rouge.
Durham, NC 27701
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, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Mateo Ratings and Reviews
I have been to Mateo twice now and each time it exceeds my expectations. The service was outstanding both times but our server this past visit, Sarah was just amazing- hip, sweet and attentive but not intrusive. Took a rough morning and made my day with a little extra added kindness and caring. Food was great- chicken croquettes and chicken liver pate are awesome.Will come back every time I'm in Durham. This restaurant tops the list of places to eat in NC for a reason!
The food at Mateo was, as always, excellent. We dined upstairs, which gave us a larger table and substantially reduced background noise. The service was excellent, present but not hovering. And the food! Don't miss the Brussel sprouts, even if you think you hate them.
Very good Tapas Caliente - Calamares, Feature Pollo Croquetas, Patatas Bravas and Brussel Sprouts were excellent, Pollo Frito and the Pork and Shrimp Albondigas just pretty good. Service was outstanding - knowledgeable, warm and attentive, even on a busy Saturday night. I personally don't think the Sangria benefited from putting Cheerwine in it, but I respect the devotion to the NC-Spain fusion approach. We'll be back!
Booked this for my husband's birthday as we'd never tried it before and it got great reviews. The booking process was perfect and the system generated reminder worked well. I called into the restaurant to let them know that it was my husband's birthday and they returned my call acknowledging that they received the message. Saturday night was packed and I was glad we had requested a table upstairs, where it's a little quieter. Fun variety of tapas and a fairly extensive wine menu. Our server was attentive and prompt with suggestions and everything we tried was good - with our favorite being the dish with the bomba rice and duck. The only disappointing note was that when they brought the dessert to the table, we had ordered two, they had stuck a candle in one of them and that was it. No mention of "Happy Birthday," or comment of that nature. They just set it on the table without a word and left.
Went here because of all the positive reviews on yelp. Some of the dishes were amazing some were good at best. For the price, size and quality of food I wasn't as excited as those folks from yelp. Very hip place went after 9pm. Felt neglected by wait staff and would have ordered more and drank more had they been O
My first time here. Menu can be overwhelming but our server was helpful. Large wine list and if not familiar with wine lingo ask for help. Descriptions are good and bottle we got was good. All food was good some was outstanding. House cheese was fantastic on the bread they served with it.
Great place to try for something different.
The food and the service were excellent. The ambiance was eclectic, casual and entertaining. The tables were a little close. Its a little distracting for conversations, especially private ones. Even getting in and out seemed slightly uncomfortable. But a definite must try!
Mateo has been a "hot" restaurant ever since it opened. There's a reason - it's great! We had a group of 6 so tried quite a variety of the tapas plates. Best? The smoked swordfish special (you hope they have it - wow!). Must have? The dates and the patatas bravas and the queso frito. Nothing we had was short of absolutely delicious. The wine list, all Spanish, is great, and so was the wait staff. Very highly recommended! Make a reservation (but you are at Open Table, aren't you?)
Wonderful, authentic cuisine in a lively atmosphere. The small plates (tapas) format allows you to taste a wide variety of food. Some of the dishes like the roasted Brussel sprouts w/ lemon curd, shrimp in wine sauce and oyster mushrooms in truffle butter were fantastic. But be forewarned, portion sizes are tapas (small plates) so with wine, feeding a table of four adds up. We left with a $200 bill (+ 20% tip). However, we had 2 hours of great food, conversation and they have a solid and interesting wine list.
The good - We had 6 dishes and 3 of them were so good that they will go on our mental list of the best food we've had. The best thing about Mateo is the food, and it did not disappoint. With that being said, the food is also the only good thing about Mateo. Which brings me to...
The bad - Our server was terrible. After being seated with our menus for 10 minutes, he came to pour us some water and told us to look at the board for the specials and then started to leave. We told him that we'd like to oder some food and he just shrugged and said, "okay". That set the tome for the meal. Every time we finished a dish, he would collect the empty plate and then leave. We would have to wave him over and tell him that we wanted to order another dish. Given that the dishes are so very small that some of them are only four bites of food, it should be obvious that we want to order another one when we finish. But no, during the entire meal he never once asked if we wanted to order anything. Six dishes and we had to call him over and ask to order every time. He also told us nothing about the specials, the menu, the drink menu, nothing.
So yes, the 3 amazing dishes we had were amazing, but the other three we had were just okay and the service was so poor that we will not be back. Given the amazing food scene in the Triangle, you can find just as good food at other places where you don't have to put up with terrible service.
Food was great (lots of selection) but, they brought us two things we didn't order. One they took back and put on another table (yikes!), and the other we started eating thinking it was a dish we ordered. Thankfully they didn't charge us for that one. The waiter (Larry) was great, funny guy. Prices were too high, luckily we had a gift certificate (found out later that's normal for tapas). Finally, the noise level was too high (music too loud) I had to lean across the table to hear what my husband was saying.
Atmosphere and food were excellent. The dishes were delicious and entertaining. A couple of the small plates were not quite as good as others, The waitress not as communicative as she could have been about describing the food. Since the dishes are complex, it would have helped to understand a little more about what we were ordering.
I've now had two meals at Mateo and nothing about the second outing tainted my initial opinion - this is a wonderful restaurant. The menu is fun to explore and the wait staff was very knowledgeable during both visits. The food is stellar and eclectic. Foodies will flock here for some time to come. Highly recommend trying the nightly specials.
Service was very poor. Our server was not exactly friendly and agreeable to begin with, but when we told her my wife had an onion allergy she made us feel like more of an imposition than a welcome customer. Only visited the take maybe 6-7 times in the almost 2 hours we were there. I know they had food and drink runners, but that's to allow servers to give their tables more attention not less. No one asked how anything was. The food was decent, but definitely sub par from what I was expecting, given price and reputation. We ordered about 8 different items, and a common theme was that they had good intentions but either did not think it through or it was poorly executed. All minor details, like wiping the edge of a plate, covering the entire plate of otherwise delicious venison carpaccio with a pool of overly bitter olive oil instead of using less or a higher grade olive oil, stating that their food is perfectly seasoned through a lack of salt and pepper shakers on the tables, then getting food that is lacking in any salt (not under salted, but entire lack of). Not placing a listed accompaniment to a dish on a plate, putting a hot espresso drink in a glass instead of ceramic cup making it difficult for someone with kitchen hands to hold due to the heat of the glass. I honestly don't remember it all. I'm not trying to sound snooty or picky, I'm a chef of 20 years and hate picky reviews myself, but it was little details where a restaurant up for a James beard award, and where I'm spending over a hundred dollars on dinner for two, should not drop the ball.
We had a great meal at Mateo on 2/15 prior to seeing a show at DPAC. The food was outstanding. We shared small plates that consisted of dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon, roasted brussel sprouts, beet salad, bomba rice with duck, and the spare ribs in pepper jelly. All were fantastic with our favorite being the bomba rice. The restaurant is very popular, so reservations are a must unless you want to take a chance of snagging a spot at the bar. The night we were there, the bar was full when we arrived at 6:30. Service was excellent and our server helped us with a couple of selections. The only negative to Mateo is that the noise level is extremely loud. It took us a while to adjust to the high level of noise so that we could carry on a conversation. Other than that, this place rocks!
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