The pomodoro gnocchi at Mastrantos

Image: Isaac Bencid

Mastrantos, the globally inspired restaurant from first-time restaurateurs and husband and wife team Mari and Xavier Godoy, recently launched a new lunch service. On Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. diners can try the street food-inspired menu conceptualized by the Godoys and executive chef Tony Castillo (formerly of Tiny Boxwoods).

Castillo, whose elevated pasta and seafood platters have covered the gamut of global influence, has created an eccentric menu of lighter lunch dishes with even bolder global flare. Take, for instance, the Cuban mi sandwich—a flat-pressed Cubano sandwich with veggies borrowed from banh mi. Or the locally influenced brisket tacos. A sophisticated take on a simple classic, the brisket is given an espresso rub, then drizzled with bright red chile de arbol sauce, topped with red pickled onions and served over corn tortillas. The brisket is tender and unctuous, and the espresso rub adds luxurious notes to its flavor.

The Cubano mi sandwich

Image: Isaac Bencid

Like the dinner menu, lunch employs the talents of Mastrantos's pastry chef Eliu Palacios, who creates scratch-made pastries and pastas in his glass-walled "dough lab" tucked into the corner of the small open-concept dining room. Palacios provides fresh pasta for the lunch menu's three pasta dishes, most notable of which is the pomodoro gnocchi: classic gnocchi tossed in a fresh pomodoro tomato sauce, topped with parmesan and housemade pesto. 

The Godoys added some of their own Venezuelan heritage to the lunch menu with cheese-filled tequeños served with Mari's own cilantro dipping sauce, plus an essential Venezuelan street food: chicken salad arepa tostadas. Another inspired chef's take on global street food, the tostadas are a refined version of reina pepiada arepas: arepas topped with avocado-infused chicken salad. 

With a dinner menu that focuses more on full service fine dining, the new lunch menu adds a refreshing dose of casual to the Mastrantos experience, without sacrificing any of its signature quality or flare.

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