Chef-owner Matt Kelly is celebrating a decade since he opened Mateo Bar de Tapas — his Spanish tapas restaurant with a Southern soul in downtown Durham — with a fall menu offering diners’ most requested dishes. 

“Any time you get to celebrate a milestone — you take the opportunity. Ten years is a milestone. We feel so fortunate to have made it to the other side of the pandemic,” Kelly says. “We appreciate the support. We listen. We heard what dishes you have been asking for.”

Kelly opened Mateo Bar de Tapas in August 2012 after working at such restaurants at The Inn at Little Washington, The Fearrington House, Four Square and becoming a partner at Vin Rouge. He also owns Saint James Seafood and co-owns Mothers & Sons with chef Josh DeCarolis.

The Greatest Hits menu, which will be available through the end of the year, includes both dishes that have been on the menu since the restaurant opened and returning favorites. Kelly also revived the dining room’s daily specials board, which was halted during the pandemic. Some of the guests’ favorite dishes returning to the written menu include:

  • Datiles (fried goat cheese-stuffed dates wrapped in Serrano ham and served with Romesco sauce and a small salad of frisée and radicchio.)
  • Pate (chicken liver pate with a Pedro Ximenez gelee, pickled okra and toasted baguette.)
  • Pato y Arroz (braised duck leg meat folded into Calasparra rice with caramelized onions and Maitake mushrooms and topped with seared Porcini mushrooms and garlic aioli.)

Those join menu stalwarts, such as Pan con Tomate, Patatas Bravas, Queso Frito, Tortilla Espanola, Huevo Diablo (a deviled egg wrapped in chorizo), Pollo Frito (a fried chicken breast stuffed with Mahon cheese and Serrano ham), Alemejas (N.C. little neck clams cooked with jamon and boiled peanuts) and more

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