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“Identity crisis "french" Spanish with awful food”

Mateo's Cocina Latina
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Ranked #29 of 104 Restaurants in Healdsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 14 - USD 35
Cuisines: Latin
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Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Home Style
Cross street: Matheson St
Description: California, French, Latin
Reviewed 6 April 2018

A group of us went to enjoy the Latin food, expecting the menu from when we last were in town - but found the menu to have less options. Still looked Spanish but when we enquired about why the menu had less dishes (that are pricier than before) were informed "this is French cuisine". Sure enough, the menu says this is California French. However, the name outside is Mateo's Cocina Latina. Add to that, they serve sangria, nachos and guacamole, and other Spanish sounding dishes, and nothing resembling anything French, we were intrigued! So, we stayed to try it out. Several of us order the nightly fish special. Others ordered the steak. ALL of us were very disappointed and were unable to finish the meal -- especially the potatoes. How can one place ruin 3 kinds of potatoes? All of which sounded and looked great on paper but were inedible. The roast potatoes appetizer was served with a grey sauce and the potatoes themselves had texture as though boiled than briefly flash fried. The sauce was ugly and did not improve the dish. None of us enjoyed it. Several of us tried a cod dish served with a poached egg on mashed potato with blue cheese. Sounded intriguing! Fish was smaller than the egg under it, and was overwhelmed with seasoning so the taste of the fish was not apparent. The potatoes tasted like vomit. We all agreed they were horrific. Several others tried the steak which was served with mashed potatoes - this time with black olives. Another taste and visual disaster - they arrived as a grey pile, they tasted awful and the hungry diners left them on their plate. We also tried the guacamole - which had olive oil in, per the menu description, and was way overly oily in taste and texture. Also too many onions for my taste buds (could still taste them the next day). The sangria is only served by the glass but is pretty good. We were very underwhelmed by all aspects of our experience, especially the waiter's insistence that "Chef Mateo is serving French cuisine". This place needs to decide what it is and stick to it. If it's Latin food you want, head to Agave. If French, head to the many good restaurants around the plaza. If you want to try some really weird potatoes and pay a lot for food that is quite foul, this is your place. Sorry, I need to be honest but this was the worst dining experience in years - we all agreed.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank GPToak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7 - 11 of 223 reviews

Reviewed 5 March 2018

Local chefs cook it up here. The food is good with local fare. But, it's sort of spendy and usually doesn't fill me up, but, I like it just fine for lunch and stuff.

Thank Richard G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2018 via mobile

My boyfriend and I were on our way to Mendocino for the weekend and wanted to stop along the way for dinner. We came across Mateo’s and we were so glad we did. The decor as you walk in is very woodsy and quaint. The back patio when it’s warmer out looks amazing.

Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the wines and very thorough with his menu explanation. We chose the wings as a starter and they were delicious. My boyfriend had the crab and squash soup with a scallop, which was superb. I had the beef entree with this unique and delicious olive mash, which was excellent!! For dessert we had the corn tortilla with 3 twins ice cream (one of my favorite brands) and it was DELICIOUS!! Mateo came out to greet us and check-in on our experience. He told us about the quality of food, how he prepares the food and he had an overall very caring demeanor. You can tell that he puts a lot of thought in care into his food and restaurant. He said they had been there for 7 years.

We will definitely be back again!

Thank Chanda L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2017 via mobile

Breakfast on Sunday at Matteo‘s true adventure and eating each dish was better than the last, guacamole was a taste treat, oysters a specialty, lamb hash extraordinary and the huevos rancheros a diners dream! Dont miss an opportunity for Saturday or Sunday breakfast or every day dining.

Thank jinksy33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2017

My husband made this reservation based in large part on the reputation of the Michelin star. The entire meal was disappointing. Plates were brought in the wrong order. Some were tepid at best. Garden salad was served on a plate that was boiling hot (presumably straight from the dishwasher). Leg of lamb that was supposed to be medium rare was cooked well done. "Slider" was undersalted and rubbery and the supposed grilled onions were raw. Server took forever to bring basics such as our daughter's soda, a glass of ice to go with the opened bottle of soda, an Ice bucket for the room temperature sparkling wine, and salt and pepper. So many great places to eat in Healdsburg, and this is clearly not one of them.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Traveler183
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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