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Matyson, Chef Ben Puchowitz and Owner Butch Puchowitz's BYOB on S. 19th and Ludlow Street in Rittenhouse Square

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heading up to philly presidents day weekend and wanted to have a nice dinner. had thought to settle on marigoild's kitchen or django, until i finished reading the thread. anyone have other recommendations?

While I haven't revisited Marigold or Django lately, since they've had a chance to settle their chef and ownership changes, I'd say that Matyson is definitely at or near the top of the BYOB scene.

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While I haven't revisited Marigold or Django lately, since they've had a chance to settle their chef and ownership changes, I'd say that Matyson is definitely at or near the top of the BYOB scene.

I am going to be at Matyson this coming Saturday night and will report back. The online menu looks good and I cannot wait. Now to think about what wines I should bring. (Suggestions welcome smile.gif )

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Had a very good dinner at Matyson on Saturday night. Everyone enjoyed their meal and everything that I tried was delicious. The short ribs and whole grilled branzino were the standouts. This place has some of the best desserts that I have had anywhere. They have this coconut cream pie that is a take on an Almond Joy. Light, flaky pie crust is lined with dark chocolate and filled with coconut custard. This is covered with whipped cream and topped with slivered almonds. The double chocolate bundt cake looked like it was going to be rich and too heavy, but it was absolutely light and full of rich chocolate flavor.

The menu on their web site is not up to date so have them fax you one. Dinner for 4 (apps, mains, dessert, and coffee) was $190 incl tax.

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My experience past weekend at Matyson was not as good as yours. The service was fabulous. The food was good but I would not return because (1) there are much better restaurants at similar prices in Philly and (2) there are restaurants in DC, such as Corduroy, that prepares better scallops and lamb.

I am sorry to hear that you did not thoroughly enjoy your experience crazeegirl. I have been to Matyson about half a dozen times in the last two years and it has never disappointed, either in food or service. I usually leave thinking "Wow!" And they take reservations through OpenTable - a big plus when coming from out of state. The menu is constantly updated, but last time I was there I had a wonderful oyster po'boy app with pancetta on brioche and also tried a bit of grilled quail with poblano pepper and chocolate cherry sauce. For main I had a grilled bronzino with toasted garlic, anchovy and sun dried tomato, and also got a small taste of the veal sweetbreads, and jumbo lump crab and artichoke risotto. [accompanied by a '01 Robert Pecota - Arrowhead Vineyard Merlot - unfiltered.] All were as good as anything I've tried at Corduroy, although the preparation is fussier than Chef Power's straightforward preparations. The chef's wife, Sonjia is in charge of desserts and they really are divine - especially her chocolate pastry confections. A three course meal will run about $40-50 per person. Maybe next time I'll try the scallops and take a photo for a side by side comparison with Corduroy's tongue.gif .

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FYI about Matyson: they do tasting menus every week, Mon-Thur. $45 for 5 courses (!). If you sign up for their email list they'll send you the menu every week. This was this week's menu:

-Beautiful Beets-

Monday, March 6th-Thursday, March 9th

Warm Beet Soup

creme fraiche, Israeli caviar

Beet Carpaccio

seafood salad, truffle jus

Grilled Smoked Trout

roasted baby beets, spinach, horseradish dressing

Roasted Rack of Lamb

beet raita, tabouleh, curry oil

Chocolate Cream Pie

white chocolate ganache

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We've got reservations at Matyson and Marigold Thursday and Friday and was wondering if there were any must-haves or standby's that stay on the menu b/c of popularity. Matyson has a Passover tasting menu that I doubt we'll try so at least there we'll probably be ordering off the regular menu.



Tom Sietsema's 10/7/07 Postcard from Philly which includes Matyson.

Edited by DonRocks
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I had dinner at Matyson last weekend. Consistent with the views upthread, the meal was excellent. Unfussy preparation of great-tasting ingredients. Hard to ask for much more.

We started with rock shrimp tempura with jumbo lump crab salad and mango mustard for the table. The shrimp was fine, not a huge portion, but the accompaniments were enormously refreshing. My appetizer was the grilled spanish octopus with roasted fingerlings, dried chorizo, and lemon anchovy aioli. The octopus was very slightly overcooked, but otherwise awesome in every way, especially the diversity of flavors and textures. My main course was the roasted Moroccan spiced lamb loin with lamb sausage, creamy polenta and dried fruit chutney. The lamb was melt-in-your-mouth good (which I've rarely experienced with lamb), and the chutney complemented the spices beautifully. Dessert was the lemon souffle tart with raspberry sauce. Decent enough, nothing spectacular. Service was excellent, and I loved the butter that came with the bread.

That said, I would recommend that you go to Django because it's a tougher reservation to secure (at least in my limited experience). And it remains the best dinner I've had in Philly. Then again, I haven't been in two years and there are rumors of slippage in quality. Bottom line is that you probably can't go wrong with either.

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We have friends coming up from DC this weekend and I have a bit of a puzzle. I'm trying to figure out how to equate Matyson to a DC restaurant. I know comparisons aren't always useful -- and it drives me nuts when people ask for "the Citronelle of Philly" or the "Vetri of DC" or whatever -- but I'd like to equate Matyson to somewhere the friends have been, so they can make a choice between there and somewhere else.

So, those of you who've been to Matyson -- what DC restaurant would you equate it to? Best I've come up with so far is a "more casual Mendocino", but that's not quite right cookingwise. Cookingwise maybe it's closest to Wabeck-era Firefly?

I would say Corduroy with slightly more creativity.

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[These paragraphs were copied from The Mother Thread as part of larger posts.

Use the Snapback Function (the little icon at the top-right of each entry) to view each post in its entirety.]

I've had a great meal at Matyson maybe 3 years ago on New Years Eve, but I've also wanted to go to Cochon for a while. From my limited knowledge, I'd say if you want something lighter, I'd go with Matyson. For something heavier, so with Cochon.

I second hitting up some BYOBs as well, highlights being:

Matyson - I went there for an early New Years Eve dinner a couple of years ago, but I remember excellent, simple food.

Matyson is definitely delicious, and still a good option even after Matt & Sonja's departure. Lots of wood and brick, so I'm not too surprised it was loud at lunch. I haven't noticed it being loud at dinner. If you're there during the week and they have a tasting menu on, it's a great deal. 5 courses for $45, I think.

Well, this thread helped more than pay for the subscription fee to this site b/c we batted 1.000 for our meals in Philly. Thursday evening we chose Matyson over Django and couldn't have been happier with our meals. We started with the highlight of the night (and maybe weekend), fried soft-shelled crab. Little did we know that they just came in season, but we got one of the last ones from the kitchen and it was perfect. The table seated after us had to settle for tempura shrimp, which seemed to use the same breading, but you can get that year-round. I also got a bowl of the matzoh bowl soup since it was a special from the tasting menu, but it's tough to measure up to Max's Kosher Cafe matzoh ball soup. Good but not "wow" (though I liked the dill added). Our entrees were seared scallops and a potato-crusted halibut, both of which were perfect. Scallops are potentially my wife's favorite food, and she thought they were the best scallops she's ever had. We ended with apple crepes and coconut cream pie, but the small amount of chocolate that we had in the pie showed me we made a mistake by not getting the chocolate creme brulee. Great start to the vacation.

Maybe one for lunch and one for dinner? Matyson's menu changes too frequently to speak in anything but generalities - I have had excellent fish, seafood and lamb, and all of Sonija's desserts are wonderful, especially her chocolate ones.

Matyson: Lunch here. I had a cavatelli special as an app, which was fantastic. My wife had parsnip soup with Duck Confit, which was ecxellent. Mains were Steak Frites for me, and a goat cheese and crab crepe for my wife. She loved the crab crepe, however my steak frites were badly overcooked. The kitchen was responsive to this mistake, and a new dish arrived shortly thereafter, perfectly medium rare. The fries were a bit over truffle-oiled as well. Matyson was our only average meal on this trip - everything was fine, but not incredible.

Quick weekend trip to rainy Philadelphia to join spouse on business led to two wonderful meals. Went to Matyson for the first time, and can see what all the buzz is about – it was terrific. Awfully small and tables close together, but the ambience is calm. Food was great. The current theme was corn, which appeared in some form in almost every dish. The crab and corn risotto appetizer was small and pricey, but delicious. An heirloom tomato, arugula, corn, and ricotta salata salad was summer personified. Main dishes included pan-seared scallops with a lightly truffled corn jus sauce, which was delectable for its tastes, textures, and smells. A steak frites was perfectly done with an expert char; not quite up to Ray’s standard, but delicious nonetheless. Our dessert was a selection of sorbets and ice creams, including a corn ice cream to carry the theme. Love the BYOB concept (we brought a nice Oregon pinot), which Matyson complements by providing decent glasses. Interesting watching the table of elderly diners next to us, who had brought a thermos of cocktails!

My experience past weekend at Matyson was not as good as yours. The service was fabulous. The food was good but I would not return because (1) there are much better restaurants at similar prices in Philly and (2) there are restaurants in DC, such as Corduroy, that prepares better scallops and lamb. For apps we had: asparagus salad, clams & ham, chick pea salad and a duck confit salad. For mains: lamb loin, scallops and something else that I can't remember at this moment.

I didn't get a chance to try out their desserts since I was adamant on getting the warm chocolate cake at Rouge, under my old apartment.

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