Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano, located on Noblesville’s town square, was the site of the Dining Divas’ latest culinary extravaganza. Chef and co-owner Matteo DiRosa, along with his wife Emily Herner, elegantly deliver a taste of Salerno, Italy to patrons without the hassles of obtaining a passport and braving airport security. In business since 2003, Matteo’s has been the recipient of several awards, including “Best Lasagna” and has been named one of the “Best 25 Restaurants in Indy”.
Matteo’s offers the unique ability to serve a wide variety of diners, ranging from large families to couples looking for a romantic dinner tucked away in a quiet corner. The wine list is impressive, providing a wide selection from the traditional white and red wines, to the extraordinary Dom Perignon and Castello Banfi Poggio all’Oro Brunello di Montalcino “Riserva”, one of the world’s great wines. The cuisine selection is equally as diversified, with Chef Matteo boasting an ability to satisfy the choosiest of diners.
The Divas were quickly engrossed in conversation, so our waiter, Caleb, brought out the complimentary appetizer. The delicious crusty bread, along with grilled eggplant, marinated in olive oil and topped with garlic and crushed red pepper tied us over until we made our dinner selections. Caleb took the time to eloquently describe the multiple specials, and briefly explain Matteo’s history.
Since our waiter so articulately explained the menu, making our selections was a breeze. Most Divas chose the Insalata Mediterranea (a mix of baby greens, tomato, walnuts, and gorgonzola cheese in balsamic vinaigrette), however, one selected the Insalata Giotta (spinach salad served with pancetta, red onion, mandarin oranges, gorgonzola cheese in a vinaigrette dressing). Opinions were mixed on the salads as some felt that the greens were lacking seasoning, and others reviewed the salads as “good.” Many other appetizers and salads are offered ranging from calamari, jumbo gulf shrimp, classic imported cheese plate, and homemade spicy dried sausage with imported provolone cheese, to name a few.
The main course consisted of a sampling of the Linguine Vongole (linguine with a gulf-style clam sauce made with fresh little neck clams, garlic, olive oil and your choice of either white wine or tomato sauce), Linguine Puttanesco (made with olive oil, garlic, capers, calamata olives, fresh basil and crushed tomatoes), Filletto Gorgonzola (an 8 ounce filet cooked in a puff pastry served with gorgonzola cheese and pine nuts) and the signature Chicken Lasagna. The Linguine Vongole was very light but slightly lacking in flavor, while the Linguine Puttanesco was well liked. The Divas who had the Filet were under whelmed with the twist on a traditional Beef Wellington, and one who frequents Matteo’s often felt that the Lasagna was under seasoned and not up to its usual standards. The vast menu offers so many choices that it might seem superfluous to also provide a list of six to seven additional daily specials. One is sure to find something that appeals to his or her palate.
After finishing our main course, we could not pass up the opportunity to try some of the decadent desserts. The Tiramisu was resplendent, the Canolli was perfect, and the Cappuccino Tartofu, a cappuccino ice cream ball stuffed with dark chocolate syrup and served over an espresso/Bailey’s sauce, made the perfect ending to our evening.
We were thoroughly imressed with the atmosphere and service that we received. Caleb was well-trained in Matteo’s history and dishes, and was exceptionally attentive and made sure all our needs were met. We also had the pleasure of meeting co-owner Emily Herner, who only days away from giving birth to her first child, wanted to make sure we were enjoying our dining experience. As pleased as we were with the service, we couldn’t help feeling as if something in the kitchen was slightly off, as many of our dishes were good, but with the seasoning slightly lacking, they were missing that special pizzazz.
Overall, the Divas enjoyed their visit to Matteo’s, the extra personal attention we received most certainly made up for any minor seasoning issues and we will definitely return to Matteo’s again.
Congratulations to Matteo and Emily on the arrival of Matteo Jr.!