Monday, December 18, 2017
Matadora in Woburn: A Taste of Spain
--William "Billy" Jimenez, Chef de Cuisine at Matadora
I love Spanish cuisine, from Tapas to Paella, as well as Spanish wines, from Cava to Sherry. I've travelled to Spain three times, spending a total of about five weeks in that wonderful country. When I learned that a new Spanish restaurant would open in Woburn, only a few miles from my home, I was excited and curious. How would it stack up against other local Spanish restaurants? Would they serve authentic Sherry? Would they serve some of my favorite Spanish dishes?
The Hilton Boston/Woburn, located on Forbes Road, recently completed a comprehensive renovation, including the addition of Matadora, a Spanish restaurant, which opened on October 30. Matadora was created in partnership with COJE Management, the team behind Boston restaurants Yvonne’s, RUKA and Lolita. The menus at Matadora were developed by COJE’s Culinary Director Tom Berry and are now being executed at the restaurant by Matadora’s Chef de Cuisine William Jimenez, focusing on "tailored tapas and flavorful cuts of meat and fish from the kitchen’s centerpiece – a custom, wood-fired grill."
Thailand. Quite a stunning piece of art.
I was invited, as a media guest, to check out Matadora and I should note that it only has been open for 1 1/2 months so it is still within that stage where restaurants shake out the final kinks. As such, some matters could potentially change at the restaurant in the near future as they determine what works best for them. Overall, I was impressed with the restaurant and feel it is an excellent addition to the local area. I will definitely be returning to try out more of their menu and recommend that my readers check it out as well.
As for Wine, they have 10 choices available by the glass ($10-$14) with 6 Spanish wines, the rest from California and Oregon. These 10 wines include one Sparkling wine, a Cava, as well as 4 Whites and 5 Reds. Though I didn't see it on the menu, maybe an oversight on my part, they have 8 Sherries available by the glass, and all 8 are authentic Sherry including La Gitana Manzanilla and a few bottlings from Lustau. That pleases me very much and I note that they use the Lustau Sherries in their cocktails.
The Wine list by the bottle ($38-$140) is broken down into Red, White and Sparkling, and then further grouped by general region, like North Atlantic Coast & Archipelagos. The list has about 5 Sparkling Wines (all Cavas), 23 Whites and 25 Reds. Most of the wines are Spanish, but with some wines from Portuguese, California, and Oregon. There is a nice diversity on the list with plenty of intriguing Spanish wines and even the non-Spanish wines are generally interesting as well. It was cool to see some wines from the Canary Islands, as well as Spanish grapes like Godella, Mencia, Hondarrabi Zuri, Albillo, and more.
We began our evening with a glass of Cava, the 2013 Gramona “Gran Cuvee” ($13), a delicious, crisp and dry Cava, with tiny bubbles, notes of apples and a hint of toast. A pleasant way to begin dinner.
There is a good diversity of dishes, though I wish they served one of my favorite tapas, Gambas al Ajillo, garlic shrimp. They also do not serve another of my favorite Spanish dishes, Paella, though they had considered it, eventually deciding to concentrate on tapas and wood-grilled items. During my visit, I concentrated on the small plates, and each dish was a nice portion size considering the nature of each item.