I’ve been to Via Matta once or twice before, quite some time ago. I knew it was classy and had great food but just couldn’t remember much else about it, or more importantly, what I had ordered. Thanks to Groupon/BuyWithMe/whatever coupon Erin & I purchased, we essentially received $50 off our meal which was a great start.
Bread: It didn’t come to our table until moments after our appetizers were served. I was starving and pretty annoyed, but the bread runner apologized repeatedly. Luckily it was delicious; great, hearty, fresh bread served with a side plate of EVOO.
Menu: Quite an extensive menu with 18 Antipasti options and 16 dinner options between Pasta and Secondi Piatti. I casually skimmed the online menu in the days leading up to dinner and noticed they had a Bolognese dish. I honestly hoped that my favorite meal wouldn’t appear on the menu come dinner night b/c I become weak in the knees at the sight of “bolognese” and never want to order anything else! I desperately wanted to try the Agnolotti with Maine crab, avocado, and cherry tomatoes and was stressing every second up until I had to make my decision…
Warm Shrimp with spicy watermelon, pancetta, avocado and basil
I normally do not enjoy shrimp but there have been a couple of shrimp dishes in the past that have changed my mind, and I can now add this app to the list! The watermelon had just a bit of spice, I love avocados in/on/with anything, and basil is my favorite herb. Really tasty and refreshing.
Crispy Meatballs with spicy tomato-basil sauce
I’m really picky when it comes to meatballs since I grew up eating Gram and Dad’s homemade ones. But I have no complaints here; crispy outside, soft on the inside.
Tagliatelle alla Bolognese
At first sight it appeared perfect: massive amounts of meat with a nice tomato sauce. Don’t get me wrong, the dish was really great and I just about finished the whole damn thing, but the noodles were too soft for my liking. I prefer an al dente pasta and this seemed almost like an egg noodle. Other than that, I really did enjoy it.
Bathroom: The restroom has a few stalls, 2 sinks, with clean and shiny walls and countertops. The giant tissues boxes threw me for a loop b/c I assumed they were in fact tissues and spent more time than I would have liked searching for the paper towels! Quite tricky…
Service: It took way too long to get our drinks and the bread came after the apps which is a big no-no. But after actually speaking with our waitress she was really helpful when we were deciding what dishes to order. Another gentlemen helped us later in the evening when Erin asked if she could order ½ of a dessert (just the cherry gelato) to go. We had a laugh with the guy since it was a bit of an odd request. But he was hilarious and more than accommodating, and even provided her with a real spoon so she could eat it in the car!
Overall: The food was really excellent. Matt & Rany devoured their meals (they both got the homemade Chitarra with rabbit, morels, asparagus and parm). I would consider Via Matta more of an upscale/fine dining experience, with entrees ranging from $18-$34 and apps running $10-$18. I recommend it and would not hesitate to go back, esp. if someone else is paying! 😉
The Perfect Bite: I have honestly been dreaming of what could have been had I ordered the Agnolotti. I love each and every component of that dish but the damn Bolognese won me over again. It was great, but I just wasn’t crazy about the noodle consistency. So believe it or not, I’ll go with: shrimp, spicy watermelon, avocado.
I went back to try the Agnolotti dish and oh my goodness… one of my favorite meals in all of Boston! I could have used a couple more actual pieces of Agnolotti, but the stuffed ricotta/avocado mix was smooth and creamy as can be, the crab was sprinkled throughout the dish and there was something about that tomato sauce that was unreal. Loved it!