I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been to Mateo, but the memory that I’d dug it was crystal clear. And now that it’s right across the street from my new office, I suspect I’ll be thanking it for many a future memory.

Including an ultra-vivid one of this burger,

which pal K & I split (along with an order of the minestrone-like soupe au pistou—the Provençal version of pesto—& a side of kale chips, fried to a crackling transluence & slick with oil & salt.)

I’m not a burger buff by any stretch, but Mateo’s thick-pattied beauty could make me one. It’s everything a burger should be, intensified: the medium-rare Colorado sirloin that much juicier & sweeter in & of itself, enhanced all the more by caramelized onions & a tender, buttery brioche bun; the addition of gruyère (or blue cheese if you prefer) providing a touch of salty nuttiness. The crisp-fluffy golden fries, too, are comme-il-faut, accompanied by garlicky aioli with the texture of butter.

Kicking it all off with Robert Sinksey’s lively Vin Gris of Pinot Noir in the longest-stemmed glass I’ve ever seen

made for a lunch break that was, apropos of nothing, downright celebratory.