Good Taste

Posted: February 14, 2008

I worried that the plates would slide at one of my favorite BYOBs when Matyson founders Matt and Sonjia Spector moved to California, but a spectacular recent dinner, highlighted by this inventive "scallop sandwich," has allayed my fears.

The Spectors sold to their partner and relative, Butch Puchowitz, and the entire staff is still in place, including Puchowitz's talented son, Benjamin, 23. Spector's longtime kitchen sidekick is now running the dinner service, and helping design the themed tasting menus that, for $45, remain among the city's most stellar gastro-deals. A recent shellfish menu produced this stunner: a huge seared scallop sliced through the middle and stuffed with a chip of bacon and a ribbon of pineapple. The smoky crunch and tart fruit set off the sweet succulence of the pristine shellfish, like an exotic BLT, with a roasted scallion mayo adding a silky note of green. I liked it so much, Matyson agreed to put a two-scallop appetizer on the regular menu for $11.

Matyson, 37 S. 19th St., 215-564-2925. - Craig LaBan

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