Matteo’s Offers An Authentic Italian Dining Experience

Photographer / Eli Beaverson

Adson Franco, co-owner and general manager at Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano, says everything from the menu to the indoor and outdoor atmosphere at his establishment is pure Italian.

“When a lot of people walk through the door, we know exactly what they like – just like in Italy,” he says. “As soon as you walk in you have that feeling that you are in Italy, with the pictures on the wall, and the furniture and everything. In the summer, we have an alleyway next to our building where we do outside seating, and it’s beautiful with the view of the courthouse. It feels like you’re dining in Europe.”

Matteo’s originally opened in March of 2003, founded by Italy native Matteo Di Rosa. He ran the restaurant until 2015, at which time Franco, who previously worked at Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse in downtown Indy, and his business partner joined as co-owners.

The food menu at Matteo’s ranges from classics like chicken parmesan, veal piccata and veal parmesan to main-course options like the Rondelli di Spinaci e Ricotta (a homemade pasta sheet stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach) and the Filletto di Bue Gorgonzola (a center-cut filet mignon baked in a puff pastry).

“Our signature dish is our Tortellini Matteo’s – it’s a homemade cheese tortellini with a white cream sauce, ham and mushroom,” Franco says. “That, as well as our daily lasagna specials, are by far our top sellers. Our ravioli is also spectacular. The former owner is from southern Italy, so the menu has a lot of things from that region. He also expanded to the northern parts, so our menu now is a nice mixture of the northern cuisine and the southern cuisine of Italy.”

The drink menu includes red and white wines from all over the world, with an emphasis, of course, on Italian flavors from Sicily to Tuscany, as well as cocktails and several sparkling selections.

“We have an amazing sweet, red, bubbly wine that is great for Valentine’s Day,” Franco says, adding that Matteo’s will feature classic live Italian music on Valentine’s Day this year. “It’s from Italy. People have really liked it here. We also make our own limoncello in-house – we use that for different martinis and even use it in one of our desserts.”

Matteo’s also offers a separate catering menu for weddings, private off-site events and corporate functions. In December, the eatery catered a luncheon for approximately 1,000 people at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds for Hamilton County employees, for the fourth straight year.

Originally from Itabuno, Bahia in eastern Brazil, Franco is a veteran of the restaurant industry, having worked in Central Indiana food establishments since 2002.

“My mom is a chef and was always involved in a catering business, and I was always around that since I was a child,” he says. “The restaurant business has always been a passion of mine.”

Franco adds that the local Noblesville community has been consistently supportive of Matteo’s since he joined as co-owner five years ago.

“I worked in downtown Indianapolis for many years, and making the move to downtown Noblesville was the best move I could make,” he says. “The community has been so gracious and receptive of us. From the get-go we felt like it was the right move.”

The staff and leaders at Matteo’s stay involved in the local community in several ways, including hosting fundraisers and making monthly donations to local charity organizations.

When asked what helps to make Matteo’s stand out among other restaurants in Central Indiana – even just in Noblesville – Franco has no hesitation in answering.

“It’s the authenticity,” he says. “Most of our items here are homemade – even the cheese that goes on our Caprese salad is made in-house. The bread and desserts are made in-house as well. We take pride in our Italian culture, and that really makes us stand out. Plus the owners are here all the time, shaking hands and getting to know people. We’re very fond of this community.”

Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano is located at 40 North 9th Street in Noblesville. For more information, including hours of operation, a full menu listing and to make reservations, call 317-774-9771 or visit matteosindy.com.

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