Quality of food: Excellent
For a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, Matthew’s Trattoria & Bar is conducive to your social appetite.
Located at 153 E. 13th Street in Erie, Matthew’s is a 10-minute drive from Mercyhurst College.
On two separate occasions, I dined at this bar, which has all the high ceilings, brick walls, comfortable couches and huge windows of a New York City loft.
My first visit to Matthew’s occurred on a snowy Saturday evening with three friends. Upon entering, the entire customer population seemed to be staring at us since we were younger than the bar’s typical demographic of working adults.
We sat at a table with a couch and comfortable chairs. Our server immediately greeted us and took our drink orders.
Since Matthew’s is known for being a martini bar, my friends and I decided on the Pomango and California at Midnight martinis. I ordered the pomegranate and mango or “Pomango” martini, but I also tried my friend’s California at Midnight martini which had coconut, mango and pineapple flavors.
Pink and garnished with a lime, my Pomango martini was surprisingly satisfying because it was a perfect balance of sweet and tart. Matthew’s does not skimp on the alcohol content, so I advise drinking any of their martinis slowly and responsibly.
Since each martini was $7, we decided to opt out of trying one of Matthew’s many “tapas” or small dishes until our next visit.
A week later, I introduced Matthew’s to a different friend of mine. We arrived at 7 p.m. and sat ourselves at a table with full intention of taking advantage of their tapas. I raved to my friend about the delicious martinis so she ordered the California at Midnight martini.
Much busier than the first night, our server was extremely slow to greet us and took half an hour to bring my friend her martini. He even took our meal orders before he delivered her drink.
Slightly annoyed, we each ordered a small dish. I ordered the Volcano, a bread bowl filled with hand-rolled meatballs and topped with melted mozzarella and sauce. My friend ordered the Putanesca, shrimp tossed with dry vermouth, butter, garlic, sweet basil and onion, pepperoncini and a pinch of spicy red pepper.
After another 10-minute wait, our food finally arrived. Both meals were presented very professionally and appealing. My volcano was exploding with sauce and gooey mozzarella cheese. The meatballs were tasty but I was not impressed.
However, my friend’s Putanesca was cooked, spiced and prepared to perfection. The shrimp was so fresh and buttery it melted in her mouth.
By the end of the night, my friend and I were satisfied with our meals but very disappointed with Matthew’s service.
We felt as if our server purposefully abandoned us because we did not order a huge menu and he assumed we were poor college students who would tip poorly.