If this seems like an entrée-heavy review, it's because entrées make up the bulk of Mathew's menu. There are only a handful of appetizers: baked goat cheese, a soup of the day, soft pretzels from local institution Gus' served with a cheddar-Dijon dipping sauce. The "Not Pizza" is the best of these, a thin and lightly chewy crust, topped with roasted tomatoes, feta cheese and caramelized onions and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

If your comfort-food feast leaves room for dessert, more comfort awaits in the form of apple strudel or, if you prefer, bread pudding studded with blueberries.

Unger's sojourn in California wine country left him with a deep appreciation for the region's wines, and his list offers nearly nothing but. It's not a large selection — a dozen whites and twenty reds, most priced from $30 to $70 (a few boutique reds cross the $100 threshold). Though most of the wines available by the glass are the sort that make you wonder if every restaurant shares the same distributor (Honig sauvignon blanc! Ramsey cabernet!), Unger takes great pride in the bottle list and happily chats with diners to direct them to a bottle they'll like.

Steak and spinach salad: feta cheese, red onion, roasted tomatoes, grilled beef tenderloin and balsamic dressing. See more photos from Mathew's Kitchen.
Jennifer Silverberg
Steak and spinach salad: feta cheese, red onion, roasted tomatoes, grilled beef tenderloin and balsamic dressing. See more photos from Mathew's Kitchen.

Mathew's Kitchen seems to still be finding its feet on a dish-by-dish basis (more clever Rice Krispies batter, please, and less baked cheese). But that kind of personal touch gives it a leg up on the countless other new restaurants content to fit themselves into the cookie cutter.

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1 comments
Fred L
Fred L

This is truly an accurate review. Mathew has many good ideas and I expect him to refine his concept and food constantly. Fortunately, the place is busy every time we go there.

That "across from Bishop Dubourg High" location is not quite correct...the restaurant is on Hampton but the high school is around the corner on Eichelberger. The high school is actually behind Mathew's.

 
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