Every chef has one dish that sets him apart from the crowd. When asked to name his, Matthew Jones smiled playfully and replied: “They’re all signature dishes.”
He wasn’t kidding. Through the years, Jones has perfected several recipes as chef in some of the valley’s most beloved restaurants. The best of his labors have landed on the menu at Matthew’s, the first place Jones can truly call his own. For indecisive gourmands, this presents quite a tasty challenge.
Jones’ sweeping description of his cuisine is “new Californian with a heathy gourmet touch,” and it’s his Pacific Rim-inspired dishes that really stand out. Awaken the palate during the first course with calamari, lightly breaded and sauteed, tossed with a cherry pepper chardonnay sauce. Each bite zings with a citrus intensity while the chardonnay’s buttery quality soothes.Move on to the grilled Big Eye Hawaiian Tuna over toasted coconut sticky rice. Or, go for the Pad Thai topped with crunchy gigantic coconut shrimp.
Jones is a from-scratch cook. His secret ingredient? Freshness. Like Wolfgang Puck, a chef he admires very much, you’ll find no cans in Matthew’s kitchen. The lemon pepper pasta dough for the lobster ravioli, served with a Brie cream sauce, is rolled, cut and stuffed every day before dinner service.
The basil he muddles into pesto to top the rich pasta is organic, because in addition to freshness, Jones believes in quality. All the meats on the menu are free of hormones or any other additives, like his all-natural beef filet, wrapped in applewood smoked bacon and served with Bearnaise sauce, whipped potatoes and asparagus. When it’s feasible, he’ll feature organic produce, too. Jones pairs his cedar plank grilled salmon, topped with a pineapple beurre blanc, with an organic arugula salad. Diners can even choose from a small selection of organic wines, a section of the list that’s expected to grow, Jones said.
When Jones’ wife, Elena, also the general manager, was at home with the kids, she longed for a restaurant she could quickly pick up healthy meals to-go. The Jones family answered their own prayers.
Matthew’s has a separate entrance and menu for all day to-go orders, although customers can also order anything off the dinner menu. Zoom in and pick up Matthew’s organically grown chopped salad and a blackened natural steak sandwich. In the future, Jones hopes to offer partially cooked comfort foods, like lasagna, for people to pick up and finish in their oven at home.