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“Very good but not outstanding”
Review of Mateo Bar De Tapas

Mateo Bar De Tapas
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Ranked #5 of 780 Restaurants in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Spanish
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Reviewed August 17, 2013

Having lived in Spain, I relished the prospect of real Spanish tapas and not just "small plates" that so many restaurants serve under the guise of tapas. Yes, there are some North Carolina additions, but there are plenty of authentic offerings on menu. Noisy, but what tapas bar in Spain is not noisy? Nice choice of Spanish wines and sherries. The one thing that held my review down from excellent was the service. No courtesy, greetings, cordiality, it was like they were doing us a favor by serving us. With the abundance of good wait staff around, they could do better. Pricey, but, hey, what popular restaurant isn't these days. Also, only bread was Pan con Tomate, waiter finally said they "could bring me some bread" after asking for it. I would go back though because the food was great.

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Thank bellar1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (421)
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349 - 353 of 421 reviews

Reviewed August 14, 2013

Having lived in Barcelona and travelled extensively in Spain, to find this kind of restaurant in Durham was a real plus. we have been living here for over a year, and this was some of the most imaginative food we have had since we came. The atmosphere is loud, the service is not as attentive as other places (but being European, this was no big deal!), but the food was, in the main, outstanding. I felt they excelled in the more imaginative tapas, and some of the everyday stuff, such as patatas bravas, were just ok. We had morcilla (blood sausage), a real favourite of ours and it was fabulous. My one complaint was that the meal ended up being a bit heavy on my digestion, but that was more the fault of my over eager ordering than the restaurant - next time I will order more judiciously!

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Thank ukncfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Mateo is quite a novelty for Durham and a breakthrough with a place one would expect to find in a larger city. It has great energy and the space is impressive. I found the service to be cordial enough. The noise level is absolutely insufferable. It made it very difficult to have a relaxed dining experience and to properly digest the meal. And digest I didn't: I believe I was food poisoned by the sweetbreads, which made for a very memorable night. I was not looking for any consideration, but when I brought it to the attention of the staff two days later, they were very indifferent about the matter. The tapas are frightfully expensive, so one needs to be prepared for serious sticker shock. I will be interested to see how much of a rage this place js after the newness of it wears off.

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Thank doodle1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2013 via mobile

Hi energy, eclectic, fun, interesting, great wine list, great service....not sure what else to say.

Good was mostly small plates, creative, Spain meets local ingredients....

Go

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Thank Richard N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2013

The Tapas were great and a lot of variety.
The staff were friendly.
However, beware that it is extremely noisy. It is very difficult to hear someone unless they are right next to you.

Thank CJDVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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