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Restaurants & Bars

Matilda report - Tusc-Mex in the East Village

clembeauchamp | Oct 28, 200709:37 AM     8

Matilda, for those who don't know, is the new Tusc-Mex place opened by a couple of folks from I coppi. We tried it last night and, while the place still has a few kinks to work out, we'll certainly go back. The menu is refreshingly unique yet simple.

First off, a warning: Service is very slow and not particularly professional. It seemed our waitress had never waited tables before and it took quite some time to get everything from menus to wine to food to the check. That said, she was very sweet and we'll just hope she gets a knack for it eventually. Looking around at the other tables, it appears that service is a problem throughout the restaurant.

But now on to the good stuff....

Drinks:
Small cocktail list but everyone around us seemed quite pleased with the generous mojito-like drinks. My husband and I went for wine and, while the list is much smaller than that of I coppi and somewhat on the young side, there were a few interesting bottles to choose from.

Food:
Bread comes with olive oil with hot pepper. Delicious with a nice kick.

We started off as follows:

Tuscan take on guacamole, which, as far as I can tell, just means adding sweet pepper and basil to avocado. Nothing terrible but quite bland. I'd skip this.

Fennel, mango and jicama salad with hot pepper This dish does not look appetizing - lots of white strips on a white plate - but the flavor combination worked beautifully.

Mexican bruscetta. This was our favorite dish, a spicy but simple take on the Italian, with lots of tomatillo and jalepeno.

For an entree, I had fusilli with squash blossoms and chayotes (a sort of Mexican sweet squash). A great dish, although a bit on the sweet side for my likes. The husband had the lamb shank with tequila and orange with a side of broccoli rabe, The dish was quite homey and, like just about everything else, simple but delicious.

No dessert, for we were stuffed, but perhaps next time. I think the entrees are about $20 and the starters are closer to $10.

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