Among the lively strip of restaurants and stores in SoNo stands Match, a hot location offering a thoughtful take on New American cuisine. The architecturally stimulating, funky atmosphere and unique open air seating options accurately reflects the inviting personality of the restaurant.
A testament to Executive Chef and Partner Matt Storch’s creativity are the many enticing selections. Fortunately, my ordering process was enhanced by the knowledgeable waitstaff who were eager to recommend suggestions, and impressively rattled off ingredients without hesitation. The establishment is incredibly accommodating to dietary restrictions, living up to their promise made on the menu.
The appetizer I chose was aptly named ‘Summer on a Plate’. The striking presentation included delicate zucchini blossoms that were lightly battered and fried. Upon piercing the crisp coating with my fork, I released a river of herbed ricotta that poured onto the plate, enriching buttery corn which had slid right off the cob. The silky Bufala mozzarella playfully danced with a garden caponata of vinegar soaked tomatoes and simply charred eggplant, while bright herbs and micro greens added another dimension of clean, seasonal enchantment.
My next course was the wood roasted and blackened block of swordfish, cooked to perfection with a winning combination of Asian five spice, paprika, chili powder, garlic and cayenne. The savory hint of heat was an ideal compliment to the sweet and tangy golden raisin and pine nut glaze. The hearty ash-roasted fingerling potatoes and tender baby carrots mopped up the sauce, creating a flavor symphony of harmonious components. Creamy, pressed jalapeno studded guacamole added an element of richness while allowing the fresh fish to shine. An incredibly well-balanced dish that makes me wish their summer menu would remain year-round.
Already getting full, but determined to persevere, I tasted the handmade goat cheese agnolotti, rolled in pine nut-pistachio butter and laced with rosemary scented summer beans. A generous topping of melt-in-your mouth tomatoes were breaded and fried in bite sized sandwich-like form. When paired with the decadent pasta filling, wilted arugula and shredded parmesan, it offered characteristics reminiscent of a gourmand grilled cheese. Comfort food at its finest.
For dessert, I started with a classic stack of warm, ‘just baked’ chocolate chip cookies. While it takes about 20 minutes for this gooey indulgence to come out of the oven, it’s well worth every second of the wait. If you thought this childhood favorite was good on its own, wait until you try it taken up a notch with velvety chocolate peanut butter gelato, caramelized bananas, a spray of crunchy chopped pistachios and fluffy whipped cream. It’s a trip to dreamland you won’t want to return from.
Happy to be wearing a loose-fitting dress, I dove into my final plate. A sensational cinnamon-sugar doughnut muffin was the best of two worlds. Warm and buttery, served with a cider-brandy-caramel ‘dunk’ and fresh whipped cream. Possibly, a nod to the upcoming fall weather, I will take my scarves out of storage if it means I get to taste this again.
To wrap up an already memorable evening, Chef Storch made the rounds to introduce himself to patrons and oversee the dinner scene. In this cutthroat culinary world, it’s always a pleasure to meet a chef who isn’t only a master of his vision, but also dedicated to creating new dishes for his customers. Smart move. It’s no wonder they’ve received numerous accolades for best service. Overall, a fantastic meal and standout dining experience.