Gerry Glynn of EatDrinkJax.com interviews Chef Medure.
Matthew's - Cheese Plate
photo courtesy Paul Figura.
19. You have an extensive wine list at both Matthew's and Restaurant Medure that's been recognized by Wine Spectator. Do you select the wines?
On and off. I run the business now so I'm not in the kitchen as often as I was anymore. And in the early days I was much more involved with selecting the wines and setting the standard. At this point I only get involved for higher cost items.
Our cellar tends to be pretty well rounded. I think we're a little bit light on the French. We have some real gems but overall it's not as much of an emphasis for us. We're heavier on California, Washington, Oregon, Spain and some of the older world wines. Some of the Alsatian wines go well with our first courses so we have a good selection there as well. We try to bring in things like Rieslings that go well with our food. The list does change. I like to hire wine stewards and let them do their thing. Depending on who's running things it can go really heavy in one area.
Matthew's - wine rack by Jeanne Ciasullo & Angel Torres
Wine rack at Matthew's. Photo courtesy Jeanne Ciasullo & Angel Torres.
20. Can you tell us about the lounge you put into Matthew's?
I've rebuilt this place 4 times. I think I have ADD. Every 3 years I rebuild the place. I just did it again - I put in new lights, art, carpet, chairs, tables, and kitchen. People are telling me to just put the money in the bank. I just like to see it fresh.
After 10 years being here we were finally able to get a liquor license. It had been tough because we are right next to a church. We'd been really good neighbors so they finally said that if we keep things in our name they wouldn't fight our application. So, then it was "boom," and I was able to to change one of our rooms into a lounge. Then I put a 65 person private dining room in the back and that made the restaurant well rounded.
Matthew's - M Lounge
21. Do a lot of people come to the lounge prior to dinner, or do they use it on its own?
We don't have a waiting area so my original thought was that people could come and relax in the lounge before dinner. But mostly it's been people who come in and hang out in the lounge itself. They'll eat and drink in the lounge itself. For the bar, we have the best bartender, Quentin, he's so good. He's one of the best mixologists I've ever seen. He really makes incredible drinks. Guests will come and sit and watch his wizardry.
22. Are you ever tempted to get back into the kitchen to take a break from running the restaurant?
You know, I am. I really do cook a lot still, but more on the catering side. We do a lot of catering and until I can find someone who can run that side of the business well I'll handle it myself. Our catering is high quality and it's hard to do for 300 people. We do a lot of weddings and corporate business. We stay pretty busy on the catering side. I would love to be in the kitchen every day at the restaurant. I think it's my true craft. That's where I started and it's what I do best. I just can't seem to get in there right now - we're pretty busy running the businesses and we're in the process of building a new M Shack.