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.

“Fun and delicious dining experience”
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 #8 of 791 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
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Fun and vibrant atmosphere. Attentive service. Food is good to very good. Can be challenging to know what to order but waitstaff was very helpful in making recommendations. The nice thing about tapas is that you can try several things. Huge bar with lots of drink options.

Can be a bit loud at times, so maybe not ideal for a quiet conversation. Perhaps better suited for a small group looking to have a fun dining experience.

Reservations are a must. Even finding a spot at the bar can be challenging so walk-ins are going to be difficult to accommodate. Would recommend requesting a low-top table as the bar stools at the high-top tables and bar are quite uncomfortable, especially for a long dinner service.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank lmr123012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (439)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

412 - 416 of 439 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2013

I really love the inside of this bar/restaurant. The decor is super cool. It was very crowded but we were able to get a seat at the bar. The food was so rich so a few appetizers (small plates) were more than enough. It's great, high energy atmosphere. Not so great if you are wanting to eat something and then wear tight jeans the next day. I have to also say how nice the clientele was. Even though there was a crazy long wait, a couple who were in close proximity to an opening at the bar gave it up because they noticed we had been waiting longer. It was a nice surprise.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank stevesdaughter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2013

We were in southern Spain in October and were excited to try Mateo to see how it compared to the tapas we had on our trip. Very authentic; however, that means it had the flaws that the tapas restaurants in Spain had! I expected better. Service was disinterested and slow. It was so noisy - even with only 1/3 of the restaurant seated - that having a conversation could be difficult. We were told a soup was vegetarian only to discover when it was served that it wasn't. Food wasn't served hot but more lukewarm. It was also expensive for what you got. So - all the downsides, without the cheap local wine. Probably won't be going back; hope that something with good service opens here, because it is a really cool space.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank helsimon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2012

Service... excellent. Food flowed to the table very quickly as we ordered. Atmosphere - good... a bit crowded and noisy, but energetic.

Food - Patatas Bravas.... simply one of the best potato dishes we've had. Octopus carpaccio was excellent... as was the brussels sprouts salad with pears.

Good wine selection and recommendations. Will be going back.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank wolfonthehill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2012

This restaurant is now one of THE hottest restaurants in downtown Durham. The city has become a food destination in the Triangle, easily beating out Raleigh and Cary. My husband and I had dinner with a couple of our friends. We made a reservation over a week in advance as this restaurant is tough to get in to – it is that popular.
Mateo is located in a historic building that used to be the home of an independent bookstore that was here for decades. Upon entering, you notice the very high ceilings and the fine craftsmanship from almost a century ago. There is a nice bar to the right that was packed. My husband and I went to the bar while our table was being prepped. The bartender immediately came over to get our orders. It was nice to see that service as many bars seem to be slow to serve new customers.
We found Mateo to be a lovely tapas restaurant. Our travels have taken us to Spain and we find Mateo to be very authentic. We felt like we were at one of those neighborhood tapas bars in Old Madrid. This restaurant is similar to the excellent tapas restaurant in Asheville (Cúrate). The food has a gourmet Southern flair to it.
Upon being seated, we were given menus. This was the only negative of the night as the menus are difficult to read. The print is very fine thus in dim lighting we had to strain to read the choices. We started with the ensalada de manchego y manzana. Our waiter stated this is one of Mateo’s two best salads – and we wholeheartedly agree! This version features Bibb lettuce and orange with a sherry-membrillo vinaigrette with a splash of citrus. If it were possible, the ensalada was topped by our chicken skewers with Moorish spices, orange, pine nuts and salsa verde. We could have made a meal out of this mouthwatering and tangy meat! My husband ordered their chicken croquettes which were all right. He also ordered the fried potatoes with aioli and a spicy tomato sauce. We had different opinions on this dish, but that is what makes everyone an individual. One of our friends had the fried calamares with lemon and pimenton aioli. She found that to be okay.
The four of us agreed that we must return to Mateo! Our dining experience did not break the bank as some tapas restaurants do. If you find yourself in Durham, please make a reservation for this five-month old eatery. You will be very happy that 109 West Chapel Hill Street was on your eating itinerary.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank MagyarNC
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