I invited my friend Brett to head out to Somersett and check out Babe Matteri’s with me. I called it late lunch, he called it senior citizen dinner—like there’s anything wrong with having a meal at 3 p.m. so I could get home to enjoy my programs and be in bed by 7. When we arrived, we were greeted warmly while I sheepishly looked at the ground and requested if it was possible to have dinner this early. Luckily, they were more than happy to accommodate this request and led Brett and me to a booth. As it was late for lunch and early for dinner, we basically had the place to ourselves, which gave me a chance to appreciate the beautiful interior that’s decorated in dark woods, red accents and old pictures of San Francisco. The space is upscale casual and divided into three sections with the bar in front and restaurant in back. Behind the restaurant is a gambling area closed off from the restaurant.
For whatever reason, I believed that Babe Matteri’s was an Italian restaurant—my age catching up to me I guess. The menu offers many more options than simply Italian. Fish and chips, burgers, seafood and pork chops were just a few options available. I was in the mood for Italian food, so I went with the mushroom and spinach raviolis ($14.95), which were listed as being house-made. I also decided to start with a Caesar salad ($6.25) and asked them to split it between Brett and me. He decided to go with the Black Angus steak ($21.95).
On our waiter’s recommendation, we decided to go with a bottle of Tre Done Barbera ($32). The wine was excellent. The flavor was smooth and rich, and it took a lot to not finish the entire thing off before the food arrived. Luckily, the Caesar arrived along with a plate of toasted sourdough bread. There was oil and balsamic on the table for dipping, but why bother when Babe Matteri’s serves the bread with garlic parmesan butter. The butter was creamy and garlicky, and I basically started eyeing everything to see what I could spread on it. The Caesar had a nice flavor but was slightly overdressed. The split salad was more than enough for both of us.
When our entrees arrived, I was pleased with the large raviolis placed in front of me. They were stuffed with Portobello mushrooms, spinach and cheese and lay in a bath of brown butter. I loved the flavor of the raviolis, but I felt there was actually too much butter in the dish because it masked the flavor of the pasta a bit. Brett’s humongous Angus steak (12 ounces) was perfectly cooked and tasted amazing. This was probably one of the best steaks I’ve had. He added sautéed mushrooms that were tender and plentiful. The steak also came with a side of vegetables and mashed potatoes, which were all fine, but the potatoes were a bit runny. The steak was so good that the issues with the potatoes seemed minor. Brett and I ate every bite off our plates.
When we finished, the chef came out to speak to us. He was very gracious and said that Babe’s is going through some changes in the menu and confirmed that initially Babe Matteri’s was an Italian restaurant, but it’s trying to expand the menu to offer more of a variety. I think the changes are working because I enjoyed just about everything about my meal at Babe Matteri’s, and I would definitely come back again.