It’s been hard to hear much buzz about Maison Mathis because of how many ways people have pronounced it… it sounds like there are 4 new Belgian restaurants on Broadway. Don’t worry, we checked with the owner to be sure—may-ZOHN mat-EESE has finally arrived. The interior is beautiful and refreshing- not like any other restaurant around campus. Its tiled floors, lighting, and country-themed décor actually channel what I’d imagine to be a Belgian café, while the exposed piping, marble-topped tables, and window into the kitchen add a modern touch. The restaurant has wifi and plenty of seating, so we can see it becoming a favorite Yale study spot. Bass Café may have pastries but it doesn’t serve wine and beer on tap…
The menu at Maison is pretty dynamic, from breakfast foods like a mushroom omelet to lunch and dinner items like a croque monsieur, a chicken salad sandwich, or a spinach and goat cheese salad. For our first trip to Maison during its soft opening, we stuck with what they had ready for us: their signature Belgian waffle, bread, and dessert. We’ll give you the scoop on the rest of their menu items once they become available (hopefully early next week), but keep an eye out for gluten-free bread options, hot sandwiches, and more waffle varieties, just to name a few.
First: the waffle. Maison’s waffles are served hot off the griddle sprinkled in powdered sugar and topped with freshly-made whipped cream and a rich chocolate sauce. YUM. They aren’t messing around with these things. The best part is that you know it’s all homemade and high quality. This goes for all of their dishes — you get what you pay for.
As Maison is known for its freshly baked bread (one of the owners was “knee deep in dough” when we asked to speak with her), we had to get a loaf of it. Choosing what sounded most authentic, we ordered the Zwieback, a multigrain bread that tasted fresh and hearty and was under $5.
We then sampled some desserts: a tart with apricot and frangipane (almond filling), a slice of cherry and chocolate cake, and a coffee éclair. Each was delicious but the chocolate and cherry cake was our favorite, with its soft texture and powerful chocolate flavor. The cherries kept it moist and changed up the texture every few bites, and overall it was a quality dessert for $4 a slice. The tart had a light buttery crust and soft frangipane filling, topped with fresh apricots and slivered almonds. The éclair was a topped with sweet icing and had a rich, creamy coffee filling . Maison will be rolling out gluten-free and vegan desserts soon, so Claire’s will have some competition. And just in case you were concerned that the 50 froyo places around campus will suddenly run dry, not to worry – Maison has its own froyo machines too.
We also saw, but didn’t get to try (yet), salads and sandwiches, chocolate truffles, a wide array of pastries, and coffees and teas made to-order.
In the time we were there, about 20 people came in and out including a college master with his son (shoutout to Master Pitti) and Carl the Bartender from Box, so you know Maison is gaining street cred. So stop by, grab a waffle and some red wine, and relax…as Maison likes to remind us on one of their many chalkboards, “you’re on Belgian time now.”
P.S. Click the image below to see their “soft opening” menu!