Mateo Granados's farmers' market stall may be familiar to hounds who frequently visit wine country, but that experience only hints at what he can do as a chef. Recently, he's been doing a pop-up restaurant, Tendejon de la Calle, at various locations.
"I’ve had breakfast many times at Chef Mateo’s farmers market stand, but even with that familiarity, I was dazzled by his performance at dinner," says Melanie Wong after a dinner with Chowhounds. The intricately constructed flavors are on a par with the French Laundry's, she says.
"Evolucion de un taco," a meltingly tender concoction of goat-head cheese fried in duck fat with fava bean purée, guajillo sauce, greens, and a tangy raw-rhubarb salpicon, was wearybashful's favorite of the antojitos. Cynsa loved the cured Bolinas halibut and the green corn atole with duck egg, roasted asparagus, and preserved Meyer lemon.
Days after the chowdown, snarkygirl says, "We haven't stopped talking about the duck enchilada. Heaven." It was swathed in a house-made mole sauce that had cooked for three days for a rich, unforgettable flavor. Rabbit also gets the slow treatment, braised gently with what seems like the contents of a kitchen garden. "In spite of the exotic meat and elegant presentation, I was reminded of my grandmother's cooking somehow," wearybashful says. "It was the long slow braising of the meat that created that grandmother's kitchen flavor."
Mateo Granados [Sonoma County]
541 Fitch Street, Healdsburg