Tag Archives: Ristorante Mataro

Ristorante Mataro, Where Everyone is Family

25 Aug

Gemz users can earn Gemz with any purchase at Ristorante Mataro, and get a FREE appetizer for 7,500 Gemz! Get the Gemz App on your iPhone today!


If you want to be treated like family at an Italian restaurant, go to a Turk.

Carpacio: Thin sliced beef with arugula, capers, Dijon mustard and parmesan cheese

“Mr. Brown always likes to sit at table 10. He takes a Prosecco, but hot water first, with ice on the side, and his wife always enjoys a Pinot Grigio.” Turkish born Ibrahim’s familiarity with his customers shows. He’s great with customers.

In the 12 years since arriving in the States, Ibrahim, along with his cousin and co-owner of Ristorante Mataro, Cumhur, has worked with Italian cuisine for most of it. That’s one reason why they opened a place of their own a little less that a year ago. The other reason two Turks opened an Italian restaurant, instead of Turkish? “I’m too good of a cook. I’d put my brother-in-law out of business!” Ibrahim laughs, referring to the Sultana just blocks away.

The staff is full of good friends and family, all pitching in equally to add to the restaurant’s virtuosity. Ibrahim’s wife Oznur is in “the dining room” with guests, his aunt Hanife is in the kitchen, good friend Razi is always helping out… I lost track after that. But what otherwise might look like nepotism is actually much more benign at its root: the people at Ristorante Mataro are all so close because it’s fun, and they like it, and because they want to embrace you as family, too. Really.

Ibrahim appreciates his restaurant’s place in Menlo Park. He appreciates the value of the loyal, local customer base that a small

Happy customers at Ristorante Mataro

community can provide. Working hard to reward that loyalty, Ristorante Mataro provides at least five new specials every day, as well as menu favorites like Capasante with jumbo prawns, a well guarded recipe for Douglas Ravioli, and Lamb Pasta (“No

one else has lamb pasta!”). They even serve gluten free pastas and pizzas.

Ristorante Mataro has a trim, upscale atmosphere, with just a touch of romance. Reservations are recommended, especially weekends, and perhaps on Tuesday nights, when live music adds a little more zest to the evening. Right now you can enjoy any appetizer on the menu for 7,500 Gemz. And if you’re a new customer, Ibrahim will give you 500 Gemz just as a thank you for coming by and trying his good food.

You can follow Ristorante Mataro on Twitter and Facebook.