Tasty food, cozy atmosphere draw diners to Mathilda on Wiesbaden’s Luisenplatz
Stars and Stripes February 1, 2024
A dinner last summer at a neighboring restaurant on Luisenplatz in downtown Wiesbaden led to the discovery of a place called Mathilda.
With tall glass windows and the glow of candlelight emanating from them, and the dark furniture inside, it looked quite cozy. After browsing through the menu, we put it on our list of restaurants to try.
Mathilda boasts on its website that it serves creative classics, fresh and newly interpreted. A restaurant review site calls it German-Italian cuisine, which we found to be rather accurate.
We ordered drinks — Mathilda offers a wide range of organic wines — and studied the menu. It is very manageable, with just over 20 items divided into starters, salads, entrees and desserts.
For starters, my wife chose the house bread served with butter and homemade Frankfurter gruene sosse, or Frankfurt green sauce, while I went with the bruschetta with marinated cherry tomatoes and goat cheese.
The bread was dark and crusty, speckled with various seeds. The green sauce, a specialty not only of Frankfurt but also much of Hesse, was smooth and tasty.
To earn its name, it must be made with at least seven herbs — usually borage, chervil, cress, parsley, salad burnet, sorrel and chives — which must be grown in or around Frankfurt.
My wife enjoyed the dish, especially the bread, but said she likes the chunkier version of the sauce from northern Hesse better.
The bruschetta was, for my taste, perfect: three slices of fresh bread, covered with arugula and tomatoes, topped with firm but creamy goat cheese then drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
It was so good that I could have ordered another plate and skipped my main course.
The entree choices are a veritable mix of German classics, pasta and vegetarian dishes.
The green sauce made two more appearances on the menu, once with fried eggs and potatoes, and again topping a schnitzel.
The cordon bleu at Mathilda was stuffed with Italian taleggio cheese. There was also a dish that sounded interesting to me that contained Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, potatoes and Parmesan with bearnaise sauce.
But I ended up choosing the pasta with smoked trout, peas and horseradish. My wife went with their version of Caesar salad, served with turkey breast, Parmesan cheese, croutons and a slice of crisp bacon.
I was glad I passed on a second plate of bruschetta. The linguine was delicious but perhaps a little dry. The al dente noodles seemed to have sucked up a lot of the cream, but the fish was not overcooked, and the bite of the horseradish was what really made the difference.
The Caesar salad was also scrumptious. The dressing was creamy, the turkey breast juicy, the bacon indeed crispy. The croutons were crunchy and tasted homemade. My wife said it was one of the best Caesars she’d ever had, at least in Germany.
There were only three dessert choices and one of them, apple strudel, was out, so my dinner companion took the ice cream and espresso and I tried the warm little chocolate cake.
Our server poured the espresso over the scoop of vanilla, which came in a champagne coupe. The hot, unsweetened espresso was smoothed out by the cold ice cream, making it a delicious comfort on a winter’s night.
The chocolate cake was little, as advertised, and came with a scoop of ice cream. Both it and its molten chocolate center were quite rich and enjoyable.
Our initial trip to Mathilda resulted in a satisfying dinner. That calls for an encore so we can sample other dishes and soak up the restaurant’s cozy atmosphere again.
Address: Luisenplatz 2, Wiesbaden, Germany
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, noon-10 p.m.; the kitchen is open noon-2 p.m. and 6-9 p.m
Prices: Starters run from 7.50 euros to 21 euros; Main courses, including salads, are 15 euros to 34.50 euros. Wine and soft drinks start at 4 euros.
Information: Online: mathildas.de; the Luisenplatz parking garage is right underneath the square and the entrance is from the left lane.