cook like matthew mathlage

I like Light Bistro for a variety of reasons, and have often said that if something had to replace Parker’s Bistro, I was glad this was it. The food is wonderful, I love the space and of course, the chef regularly supports local. I’m also a fan of the ongoing events that  chef/owner Matt Mathlage holds, particularly the live jazz on Thursdays, the wine tastings and tapas on select Mondays (at $25, it’s a great deal) and they host a really nice happy hour, too (like a bottle of wine for $10!).

And to top it all off, I especially like that the chef shared a few recipes with us so now we can have a little bit of Light Bistro at home.

Marinated Mushrooms

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon dry sherry
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons ground coriander seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 4 dozen) blue oyster mushrooms, rinsed and patted dry

Mix together the oil, water, vinegar, lemon juice, sherry, garlic, coriander, herbes de Provence, fennel seeds, thyme, bay leaves, and salt and pepper in a large stockpot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the pot, stirring, to coat them with sauce. Remove the pot from the heat and let the mushrooms cool to room temperature in the pot, about 1 hour. Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms to a serving dish. Pour the cooking liquid over the mushrooms. Refrigerate  overnight.

Healthy Crab and Shrimp Cake with Honeydew and Green Curry (each cake contains 3g fat and 80 calories)

8 oz Jumbo lump Blue Crab Meat
4 oz organic Texas Bay Shrimp
2 oz egg whites
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro (chopped)
1 tbsp. fresh chives (chopped)
pinch Grey Sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper

In a blender or food processor puree shrimp and egg whites until roughly pureed. Fold pureed shrimp, crab meat, cilantro, chives, salt and pepper together being carefull not to break up the crab. Form into 3 ounce portions. Lightly sear the crab cake on each side for 1 minute until lightly browned then bake in a 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes until the cake has a firm texture.

For the sauce:

½ honeydew melon
2 tsp. green curry
2 Tbsp. Ohio Honey
Pinch of Grey Sea salt

In a blender puree all ingredients until smooth.  Serve about 1 oz. under each crab cake.

Heinen's Logo PMS 350 & 209This post was sponsored by Heinen’s. When making these dishes, Laurie Toth, a certified sommelier who works in the wine department at the Avon store, recommends pairing with Le Faux Frog Pinot Noir ($9.99) for the mushrooms, and Zaza Rosé ($9.99) for the cakes, which she calls one of the most perfect food wines on Earth.

Particularly, Laurie explains that for this type of menu it’s best to go with  reds, but  a lighter choice that opens up the palate – a cab would overwhelm the taste of the food.

Because the mushrooms are earthy, an earthy Pinot Noir is ideal. Again, it’s a lighter red – the only lighter would likely be a Beaujolais – so it will pair well without being too heavy for the mushrooms, she adds. She goes onto explain that many people look at rose wines as sweet and fruity, but this choice is more like a dry red. It goes with anything and is very versatile – it’s just as good for winter as it is for spring or summer. It’s a good all-around choice if  looking for a red to bring to a party. And, again, it’s lighter, so it won’t overwhelm the flavor of the food.

Both of these are BIN 75 choices and available all Heinen’s stores.


  1. Posted March 17, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    This is great- I love Matt’s cooking! I went to a December wine and tapas tasting event and was blown away. We had 10-12 different dishes, and ALL were fantastic. The $10 bottles of wine are a great deal too!

  2. Posted March 18, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the fabulous recipes! I love love love it!

  3. Lynn
    Posted March 22, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Worst meal I have EVER had in Cleveland was at Light Bistro. I just can’t even bare to try it again, normally I would – but the service, food, price – everything was literally the WORST. Not even just bad – but horrible.

    I definitely admit that these are only my opinions and they are strong opinions. But still – I had to share.