On a quiet corner in the East Village, in the midst of Alphabet City lies a masterpiece of the culinary world. To call it a restaurant simply won’t do. Created by owners Maristella Innocenti and Esteban Molina, Matilda is the first Mexican/Italian fusion eatery to grace the streets of New York City.
Matilda, first created in 2007, was named after and dedicated to the owners’ daughter, who represents the fusion of their two cultures. Inspired by their “Tusk-Mex” daughter, they decided to create a restaurant where they serve a fusion of Tuscan and Mexican cuisines.
As it’s a family owned restaurant, the owners are always present which gives the atmosphere a more personal feel, never mind that the entire establishment is based on their daughter, from the food right down to the architecture. Matilda (the restaurant, not the girl) is, simply put, amazing, evoking the blending of two cultures.
As this is New York City and New Yorkers are a tough crowd of people to please, it speaks volumes that this restaurant is the first and only of its kind. To be able to bring something new and innovative to one of the most diverse and cultured cities in the world is remarkable and can’t be done by just anyone. That being said, the owners of this humble East Village favorite had their share of practice in the kitchen before gathering the courage to take a leap into the business world on their own.
Both Innocenti and Molina were chefs at another Tuscan restaurant, I Coppi, also located in the East Village, which just so happened to be owned by Innocenti’s sister. They had years of experience in the kitchen together, which is where they realized the many similarities between their native cuisines. They had a crazy idea to share this discovery and after their daughter was born, their idea became a reality. Now they have a restaurant where they dish up a funky but delicious combination of Tuscan and Mexican fare, inspired by food they cooked for their daughter as well as the delicious food they remember from their own youth.
Matilda offers and eclectic menu, filled with all the finest aspects of the two cuisines. They complement each other in an exciting new blend. It’s like eating the food you’ve always loved and being pleasantly surprised by new, delicious flavors that were never there before. The possibilities are endless with two cuisines as vast as Mexican and Italian.
However, as delicious as the food is, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you get the bill and it says nothing about trading your limbs and/or unborn children just for a bit of good grub. Matilda has found a way to accommodate everyone in this challenging economy that we live in. it’s refreshing to know that even in this city, there are still places you can go for some quality food without worrying about breaking the bank.
Whether you’re looking for deliciously affordable eats, a comfy atmosphere or just someone friendly with which to have a chat, Matilda has something for you. After all, in a place like New York, it’s nice to go to a place where someone remembers you.