In March of 2003, Matteo DiRosa and Emily Herner opened Matteo's Ristorante Italiano, but it was a long road for both of them before the restaurant became a reality.
Matteo grew up in Sarleno, Italy, very close to the city of Naples. In 1999, he came over to the United States as his brother started Amalfi's Ristorante Italiano in Indianapolis. In the early 1999's, he came back with his brother Arturo, who also started an Italian restaurant in Indianapolis. Working as a waiter for his brother, Matteo met Emily Herner who was also employed by Capri, and through a budding romance, they decided to open their own Italian establishment.
Instead of focusing on the downtown districts of Indianapolis, they wanted to be just a bit outside the city and give both city and country Hoosiers and chance to sample their wares. When a restaurant property came open in Noblesville, IN, they jumped on it and Matteo's was opened in 2003. The night before opening day, the two watched the movie "The Big Night", a film about the opening night of a restaurant and the pitfalls that can come with such an undertaking.
Steadfast, the couple navigated the nerves of opening day and have stayed strong in over two years of business - though Matteo will tell you that every day feels like opening day all over again. "I feel like I am trying to win customers every day, whether they are regular customers or new ones. We always want them to come back so I feel like we have to do the best job we can to make them come back," says DiRosa. The restaurant has also had much success, both critically and financially. Only in their first year of business, the restaurant took home Best Lasagna in the 2003 "Best of Indy" competition. The following year, Matteo's placed in the top 50 of the Best Restaurants in Indianapolis. And this past year, they were named a top 25 restaurant in Indianapolis. All of their critics agree, the accolades are very deserving.
"Matteo's is so charming with its high tin ceiling, bracing pumpkin-hued paint and Dean Martin music that we're smiling before we even order. The Noblesville newcomers entice the hard to please diner with a relaxed atmosphere, moderately priced, hearty Italian cuisine, and glasses of Chianti filled to the brim." - Jodi Wright - Indianapolis Monthly
"With a sure eye for design and an even keener eye on the limits of his customers' wallets, Matteo has created a welcoming and fairly-priced restaurant." - Neil Chandler - NUVO
"The young owners are enthusiastic restauranteurs who want to bring interesting dining experiences to Indiana." - Susan Guyett - Indianapolis Star
Join the critics and find out why Matteo's Ristorante Italiano is one of the best restaurants in Indianapolis.