Chef Mateo

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Welcome To Chef Mateo

Bienvenue Chez Chef Mateo

E-mail Print PDF

Ha - Lo! Welcome! 

Whether you are a home cook, a chef, a wine lover, or just a foodie at heart, there’s a little spice here for you.  Behold recipes that will jazz up your cooking and stories that will feed your soul.

Join Chef Mateo for wine and cheese tastings, dinner parties, NYC restaurant reviews and more.




E-mail Print PDF

March 13, 2014

by R.A.Mateo

Perhaps one does not think of fine dining when rotisserie chicken is concerned, but some of my fondest memories of meals in France centered around just that. Rotisserie Georgette brings the warmth of the rotisserie to an upper east side landscape occupied largely by sanitized restaurants devoid of any real depth of character. Time will tell if the universal chicken can cross borders here and bring the world that is NYC together. At present, the clientele hail from east of Central Park and seem glad they are not picking up a chicken from Agata and Valentina.

At the foot of the elongated dining room reminds me of a supper club with hushed tones and relaxed energy. Upon entry, the bar, anchored by sleek stone and wrought iron is ripe but does not beckon. There is no shiny element that would lead you to believe there is any mixology, although I had a fine daiquiri one evening while waiting to be seated as the furs were collected from glossy, eager patrons.

Just focus your attention towards the rear, where the 40 year old Portuguese blue and white tiles that adorn the back of the restaurant covering the kitchen dining room walls suggest a measure of home cooking and Mediterranean style. Georgette Farkas borrowed the tiles from her parents who while traveling in through Iberia, purchased the tiles for their own use, only to have been storing it for many years.  Nice touch.

The space looks French, Gascogne in style, with velvet textures and mirrors and hunting items. Certainly the lighting and mood is not arranged for the jet set or downtown crowd. Charlie Bird this is not.

In place of verve and moxy is good old fashioned French hospitality. Dine here often enough and you will be made to feel like this is your spot, your go to bistro for catching up and tearing into poultry with your hands. The staff is friendly and familiar. I have a running joke with them that the next time they will bring me tacos from staff meals. Georgette is omnipresent and can be seen gracefully chatting from table to table in exquisite outfits that only Parisian women can pull off.

A window into the kitchen reveals duck, lamb and poultry turning over open flames, potatoes nestled beneath, benefitting from jus drippings. It is a mouth watering sight to behold, distracting enough to take away from the comfortable environs of French county cooking, a mix of Bordeaux and Bourgogne.

There are classic French flavors threaded throughout the menu, most prevalent in the appetizers such as the consommé de volaille or the cauliflower and Vadouvan curry veloute, soft and elegant notes that are deeply layered in classic French technique and slow cooking. Fois gras terrine will startle no one but belongs on the menu as well as the vibrant pates. A less successful but hearty gnocchi with wild mushrooms resides on the subdued side of the flavor spectrum. Fresh seasonal vegetables abound, such as crisp baby brussel sprouts, winter mushrooms, and Jerusalem artichokes. Naturally augmented by rotisserie potatoes well dripped with jus, or crunchy pommes frites.

Where there is no suspense is in the execution of its namesake. What is going to come out no matter what is a great roast chicken, heralded, succulent and satisfying. The trick is how to build the rest of the meal to accompany the bird.

There are two options for poulet, roti and de luxe, a version which accompanied with wild mushrooms stuffed under the breast and seared foie gras, a bit over kill. Better to keep it simple, provencal herbes and garlic, and let the chicken shine through. In both treatments, the skin is crisp, dark and whit meat moist throughout, satisfaction from essentially coaxed flavors of healthy pasture raised poultry. After an early change of chef, the restaurant is hitting its stride with a roast duck offering too, tender and crispy, doggy bag required.

There is a whole fish and steak option, but why stray from the house specialty at all?

With some advance planning and hungry appetites, a suckling pig or leg of lamb may be ordered, although I feel that whole roasts should be had on picnic tables in the outdoors, rather than a formal setting.  There is a private room if you must.

The wine list is concise and leans on the Bordeaux side, with selections from the 1990’s through the early 2000’s. There is a bit more to choose from in the white category such as a substantial Collio Bianco, or exciting Domaine Sigalas from Santorini.

Rotisserie Georgette is not exactly a French place, but a place with French sensibility, jacket optional, designer jeans suggested, and a willingness to roll up the sleeves. For the Upper East Side, a welcome change of pace from old New York.


Rooster Rating:

PPP (Price per Person):  $$$

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 March 2014 11:15 )


Producer dinners are now live on the Sherryfest website! There are eight different sherry dinners, all amazing and all great opportunities to talk with producers, learn more and enjoy sherry with food and friends. We've booked out the Grand Tasting, seminar seats are nearly sold out and these spots will move quickly — act fast to secure your reservation. Please note when you book your reservation the price is all-inclusive of food, wine, tax and gratuity. Click on the link of each dinner below for more details.

Monday, October 22

  • Pata Negra with Barbadillo & Emilio Hidalgo for a Spanish-style feast of jamón ibérico!
  • take over The Beagle with Sánchez Romate & Fernando de Castilla (featuring both sherry and Brandy de Jerez)
  • private three-course meal at Bar Jamón pairing Michelin-starred Casa Mono food with González Byass & Hidalgo-La Gitana

Tuesday, October 23

  • intimate dinner at Tía Pol with Sánchez Romate & Bodegas Tradición, and a chance to try some older sherries
  • an all-out party at El Quinto Pino with De Maison Selections, featuring El Maestro Sierra, La Cigarrera, Gutiérrez Colosía and César Florido
  • destination Brooklyn! A convivial and engaging evening at Palo Cortado with Aecovi and Lustau

Wednesday, October 24

  • Peter Liem hosts a four-course dinner at Hearth, pairing sherries from Williams & Humbert and Aecovi (get your book signed!)
  • Highly-anticipated new restaurant L'Apicio hosting with the company of Fernando de Castilla & Lustau

This collection of events is unprecedented! Take advantage of the unique opportunity to engage with the producers who have traveled from Jerez to meet you and experience our growing enthusiasm for the wines of sherry.

Thank you again for your participation and support of Sherryfest! We couldn't be more excited!

Best, Rosemary & Peter