Those looking for a truly unique dining experience need not look further. Try out the Tusc-Mex cuisine at Matilda, where the flavors of Tuscany and Mexico are flawlessly fused in plates like Guacamole Toscana and chipotle-braised lamb tacos.If you've never heard of Tusc-Mex, the fusion between Tuscan and Mexican food, well, you might not be alone. But it does mean you should get to Matilda, the East Village restaurant that came up with the cuisine four years ago. Not only is it a deliciously inventive menu, it's probably the only restaurant inspired by the birth of a child.
Merging their individual cultures, married couple Maristella Innocenti (of Tuscan background) and Esteban Molina (of Mexican background) had Matilda, their Tusc-Mex daughter and, after seeing how wonderfully their backgrounds came together to create a child, they realized how perfect a combination it would be in an eatery. So, naming it after their little inspiration and creating a playful, colorful environment with her in mind, Matilda—the restaurant—was born. And, we must say, it's pretty remarkable no one had thought of it sooner. Menu items seamlessly blend the herbs and spice levels of both palates to create dishes like Guacamole alla Toscana (made with basil instead of cilantro and red peppers instead of jalapeños), Tacos alla Fiorentina (with rosemary medium rare filet mignon, arugula and shaved grana padano) and Ravioli in Salsa di Huitlacoche (goat cheese stuffed whole wheat ravioli in a creamy huitlacoche, corn and pico de gallo sauce). Of course, all is meant to be washed down with a glass of wine or a signature Prosejito, a mojito with a Prosecco base.
As Esteban puts it, "It's a lighter, fancier version of Mexican food and a much more fun version of Tuscan." If we ever meet Matilda the child, we definitely need to shake her hand.
Guacamole alla Toscana, $9
Whole Wheat Goat Cheese Ravioli, $17
Tacos alla Fiorentina, $12
Monday - Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Friday, 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.