Old Stone: A succulent steakhouse in Belmont

By Molly Reitter
dining@lakenormanpublications.com

BELMONT – Matt Matinata was supposed to be a lawyer.

(Molly Reitter/MIM photo)

He had only been practicing law for a year and a half when his father passed away in July 2012. His father had successfully opened and operated Old Stone Steakhouse in Belmont.

Matinata had a decision to make. In large part due to the amazing head chef Matt Klepp, he decided to leave law and operate the restaurant. He knew immediately it was the right decision.

“This is way better than law,” Matinata said, smiling.

Matt Matinata’s father, Vince Matinata, owned two Dairy Queen restaurants in Richmond, Va., for many years. He moved to Belmont in 2006 and started looking for space to begin a restaurant.

Vince Matinata saw that the old police station and jailhouse was for sale on Main Street. The building had only been occupied for a short time and was in disrepair, but Vince Matinata saw immense potential and decided to buy it. He employed an architect from Virginia Tech, which is Matt Matinata’s alma mater, to draw up plans. The result is nothing like a police station or jailhouse and perfectly complements Belmont.

The front of Old Stone Steakhouse has a slightly off-center column with numerous types and colors of bricks, creating a mosaic patchwork that extends higher than the roof. The colorful bricks also flank the bottom of the entire building. Crisp awnings in green, white and cream cover windows on both sides. Open the heavy, wooden, gothic door to enter a steakhouse that would please any member of the Rat Pack. The same colorful bricks run throughout along with dark wood and chrome accents. The place gives a rich, relaxing, snug vibe; customers will want to sink in, sip a rich, red wine and take their time with the excellent menu.

Old Stone Steakhouse was doing brisk, steady business from day one due to Vince Matinata and Klapp, the chef. Klapp has been cooking since he was 5 years old. His mom couldn’t cook at all, and he claims this made learning to cooking a necessity.

“My mom and I joke that it was necessary for survival,” Klapp laughed. “She takes all the credit for the chef I am today.” Klapp worked at Outback Steakhouse and with restaurateur Nick LaVecchia. The menu was created by Vince Matinata and Klapp and is full of quality, steakhouse options.

A menu is only as good as the meat, produce and other ingredients. Klapp works hard to ensure that only the best beef, chicken and fish are used at the restaurant.

“I talk to the fish guy about two times

a day,” he said. “It’s all about relationships and making sure that vendors know you expect the best.”

The restaurant is open for both dinner and lunch and does a brisk business for each. The lunch menu has salads, high-quality burgers, sandwiches and steaks. The dinner menu boasts more entrée items such as pasta dishes, as well as more seafood and steak options. There is a full bar with an extensive wine list able to accommodate any food option.

Wendy and David Hostetler, of Belmont, eat at the restaurant at least once a week, sometimes more.

“The food here is so good,” David Hostetler gushed. “I’ve honestly never had a bad meal at this restaurant.”

Matt Matinata is justifiably proud of the restaurant.

“I live close to Uptown (Charlotte) and I’ve tried all the high-end steakhouses there” Matt Matinata said. “And I’d put us on their same level any day. But we’re less expensive!”

Patrons are starting to clue in on this, driving from all areas of Charlotte to dine at Old Stone Steakhouse.

Matt Matinata proudly looks over the restaurant.

“We’re a staple in Belmont,” he said. “It is truly heartwarming to be part of Main Street.”

Want to go?

Old Stone Steakhouse

23 S. Main St., Belmont

704-825-9995

www.oldstonesteakhouse.com

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