With fire comes smoke…
and with smoke comes flavor…
and for smoky flavor, people come to Matadora.
“I have guests every day come up to me and say we walked in and that smell took us by the hand and just pulled us in for dinner. It’s a delicious smell.”
And you can take in all the smells, steaks and Spanish tapas at this stylish spot.
Matadora Restaurant is located inside the Hilton Hotel in Woburn.
From the outside, the giant sign and mural will grab your attention.
And as soon as you step inside, the giant bull sculpture, open kitchen, and soaring ceiling will have you in awe.
Because according to General Manager Christopher DeStefano, instead of trying to separate its dining room from the hotel, Matadora embraces its unique location.
“We’re situated right in the heart of the hotel. So we are smack dab in the center of the atrium, and if you notice there are hotel rooms, all around us so not only do our guests in the dining room get to experience the feel of the hotel all around them, but so do our guests who are in their rooms get to enjoy and experience the feel of Matadora.”
And at the center of it all is Chef Ethan Wyatt’s open kitchen.
“We have a beautiful open restaurant here with an open kitchen so you’re eating in my kitchen. You see every ounce of action that happens. When you walk in this front door, the first thing you hear and see are the sounds of the restaurant. The first thing you smell is that beautiful wood fired grill as soon as you walk in.”
And nothing makes Chef Ethan happier than cooking on that blazing hot grill.
“I was like a kid in a candy store getting it set up. I was like this is going to be the greatest thing ever. So much flavor that we can get out of just one piece of equipment, and it’s go so much versatility. You can raise and lower these grates here as you can see, to add the charcoal or to get rid of the charcoal, but you can also do different cooking styles, so if you want a slow roast, you raise the grill up. If you want to get hard grill marks like I am doing to this chicken, you lower it back down onto the fire and let it go. It’s the greatest thing that I could ever imagine inside of a restaurant.”
The menu at Matadora is part Spanish tapas and part Steakhouse and most dishes are kissed with smoky goodness straight from the grill, including starters like the Basque Street Corn; a dish so delicious, it’s always on Christopher’s mind.
“The street corn? I dream about the street corn. It’s 4 pieces of corn that are on skewers to make it a little easier for eating. And I think with a combination of the crumbled cheese on top and the herbs, and the sauce, it’s so delicious.”
Other must orders include wild shrimp in spicy saffron butter served on garlic toast, beautiful boards of imported charcuterie and Flaming Chorizo, that’s grilled, then set on fire before it’s taken to your table.
“It’s a mild chorizo, so it’s not overly spicy. As I said, this grill has so much flavor in it, that all you got to do is grill it with a little butter, and then we serve it with a spiced piquillo honey mustard and light it on fire right in front of your eyes.”
Of course all of the grilled meats at Matadora hit the mark. Like the dry aged ribeye eye, a pristine cut that rivals any downtown steak house.
“It’s a ninety day dry aged, sixteen ounce, boneless rib eye. We put it here on this wood fire grill and it creates the perfect sear and crust on the outside while leaving the inside with this delicate smoke and sweet beef taste that you don’t get anywhere else.”
Another grilled beauty is this massive Long Bone Pork Chop.
“Our pork chop is about 4 1/2 inches thick. That’s a good piece of pork, about that big. It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever had in my life, flavor-wise. You get sweetness, you get saltiness, you get savory, you get buttery. It just makes your taste buds go crazy.”
Of course one of the best grilled foods of all time is a burger and Matadora’s grass fed version gives that all American classic some Spanish flair, topped with jamon serrano, queso de bola and roasted garlic aioli.
“Where you might have cheese and bacon, we have a Spanish style cheese and we have jamon, so it’s not your traditional American bacon, so we jazz it up with those Spanish elements still keeping true to kind of the style of Matadora.”
When it comes to dessert, you could simply suck on the Chupa Chupa lollipops that come with your check.
But you really ought to order the hot housemade churros.
“We make our churros every day, we pipe them, we cut them, we fry them. And then we make our own homemade chocolate sauce to go with them. They’re light and fluffy, they almost have a cake feel to them. Where else in this area are you getting homemade churros?”
And where else are you going to find a meal this delicious in such an unexpected setting.
“This is what I like to say. We’re not a hotel restaurant, we’re a restaurant inside a hotel. So we’re trying to recreate what you feel as hotel restaurant dining. We want you to walk into this restaurant and not even see that there’s a hotel, just experience the restaurant for itself and experience the fact that we’re giving you the best quality food at a decent price with great cocktails, great wine, great beer selection, and unbeatable service. As well as the most amazing meal you’ve ever had in your life.”