Matthew's is a restaurant in Ocean Beach on Fire Island. Their food and service is excellent, and the sheltered outdoor dining area offers beautiful views of the Great South Bay rain or shine.
Hidden away behind a fish market and completely invisible from the street, Matthew's Seafood House Restaurant draws little attention. The entrance, located at the end of a narrow alleyway, is more intimidating than inviting, and so I've passed right by this restaurant many times without taking much notice. Turns out I've been missing quite a bit.
I finally took the plunge and made reservations when I saw Matthew's listed on the Taste of Fire Island restaurant list. Mathew's is one of 5 restaurants in Ocean Beach participating in the deal.
Hard right at the end of this walk gets you inside Matthew's.
Down the alley we went. A sharp right at the end brought us to the hostess who checked our reservation and had us seated at a table by the bay. As with most restaurants in Ocean Beach the view is beautiful, but somewhat obstructed by docks, boats, and other diners.
The covered deck. The Bay is to the right.
The outdoor dining area is covered by translucent panels to provide shade and light, and to allow foul weather dining; something I look forward to doing here next rainy day.
The bar is outside, and although the bar faces away from the bay, it was standing room only. There are tables inside the restaurant for those who can do without the water views.
A scenic sunset view in spite of everyone else.
We ordered Sam Adams Summer Ale, the only craft beer on tap, which was served cold, but should have been colder. I asked for a glass of ice on the side to cool it off a little bit. Other tap brews offered were Peroni, Yuengling, and Presidente Light (a Dominican beer).
The wine list offers 2 Long Island whites and an assortment of reds and whites from California, Italy, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.
Matthew's also serves up 64 ounce (as in one half gallon!) frozen margarita's.
Matthew's is primarily a seafood restaurant, but their menu does include a small selection of chicken, steak and ribs which seem to be prepared with as much care as their fish.
Since were here for Taste of Fire Island we ordered from the special prix fixe menu. Starters offered were a garden salad and both New England and Manhattan clam chowders.
A pretty good chowder.
A salad never really works for me as an appetizer, so in spite of the summer heat I had the New England clam chowder. This was served nice and hot, and was rich, but not too thick. The clams were tender, but I would have liked more of them in the soup. On the overall though, this was pretty good chowder.
Next up were our main courses. Karilyn had the ribs and I had the mahi-mahi. Both were served with fresh vegetables topped with a balsamic vinegar reduction. The vegetables were bright, crisp and flavorful.
Excellent ribs, vegetables, and rice.
Karilyn's ribs were excellent. Matthew's served up a full rack of tender barbecued baby backs lightly coated with a thick, smoky BBQ sauce. These ribs were tender, moist, and not drowning in the sauce.
My mahi-mahi, a fancy name for dolphin fish, was also very good. Matthew's runs it's own fish market, so the fish served here is as fresh as it gets on Fire Island.
The mahi-mahi was offered three ways: grilled, Cajun, Mediterranean, or General Tso. Mahi-mahi has a very firm, sturdy texture that can stand up to the Cajun treatment or just about anything else you'd want to do to it, but like most fish it has a very delicate flavor that is easily hidden by strong seasoning.
Grilled mahi-mahi with pineapple-cucumber chutney, vegetables and rice.
I want to taste the fish, not the spices, so grilled is what I asked for. The portion was large and filling, and the fish was cooked medium well the way most people like it.
The fish was topped with a fantastic pineapple/cucumber chutney that really surprised me with how delicate it was. The pineapple was very mild and the cucumber added a hint of garden freshness. Together they worked very well with the fish, and after my fish was gone I scraped the plate for the last little chutney bits.
The cake and apple pie were great deserts, but we were so full...
Desert was apple pie and tiramisu cake. Both were very, very good, and the portions were larger than my stomach at this point in the meal.
Our college age waiter was polite, efficient, always smiling, and very familiar with the menu. Other tables seemed to get good service as well, as wait staff buzzed around the restaurant like bees in a hive.
This is another restaurant we'll be visiting again. I may even try a 64 ounce margarita...
Matthew's Seafood House
935 Bay Walk
Ocean Beach, NY
Boaters: Matthew's is south of buoy 15 and directly in front of the water tower. Slips are $30 for 2 hours. No credit/voucher applied.