We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Love Mateo”
Review of Mateo Bar De Tapas

Mateo Bar De Tapas
Reserve with OpenTable
Mateo Bar De Tapas is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #5 of 774 Restaurants in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
USA
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Love Mateo”
Reviewed October 28, 2012

I had dinner at Mateo last night and loved everything. As my dinner was a vegetarian we ordered all vegetarian dishes and it was fabulous. I can't wait to go back to try non veggie dishes. We walked in at 8 pm on Sat and did not have a reservation. We found a spot at the bar within 5 minutes and had dinner there. I tried a flight of sherries which was wonderful.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank halfgreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

418 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    239
    119
    47
    13
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Durham, North Carolina
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Our New Favorite in Durham”
Reviewed October 9, 2012 via mobile

Just amazing! Couldn't believe they had fried/salted pimientos de padron, just like in real Spanish tapas joints in Madrid... Spanish tortilla... Empanadas.... Croquetas... Pan con tomate... Gambas (shrimp)... Everything we tried including the wine was created with authenticity, creativity, and elegance... Ambiance here is also incredible... We tried so much that it did get pricey, but can't wait to go back for another experience here. Some dishes took a slightly local and/or fancier twist on a Spanish tradition, but they were so delicious that we didn't mind that... I tend to think of tapas (from our experiences in Spain) as delicious but often fairly honest/simple and inexpensive recipes; once you order multiple plates here and wine, you will wind up spending a good bit for a night out. It would have been great just to get a basket of toasts, and a few more options on the menu geared to big group sharing, not just individual crafted plates. We will be enjoying visiting again soon I hope. We definitely look forward to seeing how Mateo evolves. This place is extremely impressive overall. Bravo!!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Cheadrk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
247 reviews
148 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Great food, but not totally authentic”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

Hurray for Spanish food in Durham! This restaurant is way too small for the crowds it is commanding, but the crowds are there because the food is great. The prices are also very reasonable. My only disappointments were the noise level and the lack of 100% authenticity. For example, we expected olives and picos when we sat down at the table. But to Mateo's credit, it's putting a nice spin on traditional dishes.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank modernlizbennet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
187 reviews
123 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Great addition to the local restaurant scene”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

There is nothing locally that can compare to Mateo for drinks and tapas. We sampled a bit of everything, from the fried okra to salads to ham and chicken croquetas. Everything was amazing. The atmosphere was charming, the crowd lively and John our waiter was most attentive, a real professional. We will certainly be back.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mary L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Just average - not for a date night”
Reviewed October 5, 2012

I really must not have had a similar experience as the other reviewers. We had a gift certificate given to us by a friend so we decided to try it on a Friday night as our date night locale without the kids. I was advised to make a reservation and I am glad I did. The hostess told the couple in front of us that it would be a 3 hour wait for a table (so not worth it)!

To say that this place was really, really, really noisy would be an understatement. It was quieter on the street next to traffic than inside the restaurant! I am not kidding when I say that my husband and I resorted to iMessaging each other what we wanted to order and we were at a small bistro table for two. I think a large part of the problem is that it is a small space with a very large bar. On a Friday night, the bar was 3 people deep so it contributed to the noise and the bar is not segregated from the dining area. It was also a very young, hipster crowd. We're 40 so maybe this just wasn't our scene.

We waited 24 minutes for someone to take our drink order and another 14 minutes to take our food order. The lighting is so low and the font on the menus so small (maybe 8 pt font) that we had to get our iPhones out and shine them on the menus to see. The specials were written in cursive in colored chalk on a chalkboard by the front door that was impossible to read from the table. The waiter was not very informed about the menu or maybe he was just too exhausted to explain because the waitstaff was clearly slammed. The other diners around us were also complaining about the noise, the wait and the lighting. I know because it was impossible to not overhear their conversations as close as the tables were and as loud as everyone had to shout to be heard by their date! Several people complained about the lighting (or lack thereof) and got the response "yeah, we get that a lot".

The food was very mediocre and way overpriced. For 4 plates and 4 glasses of wine, we spent $100. I don't mind paying for good food but this was a total disappointment. There are so many other great places to try in Durham, I advise skipping this for now. It has only been open about 2 months and I think their instant popularity outpaced their ability.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Kelly P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Mateo Bar De Tapas also viewed

 

Been to Mateo Bar De Tapas? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing