The Meatball Shop

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and I got together on Saturday morning for a download.  2010 appears to be on the right track. I got to taste the newest product that should hit the stands sometime this Spring.  Had a bite of the new and improved, crisper S'mokra.  All good.

We opted for lunch at the nearby The Meatball Shop that recently opened on Stanton.

Great space.  Nice wrap around bar, lots of tables, open kitchen.  Simple new Italian vibe.  The owner,  Michael, was behind the bar.

Rick and I did a smorgasbord of meatballs.  There are a variety of ways to have them.  In a bowl, on a slider, mashed up or in a hero. You can also pick the sauces you want to pair with your meatballs.  I love options.  Since we were really just interested in the meatballs more than anything we went mostly with the classic bowl that comes with a sauce and small piece of focaccia on top.

The owner ordered for us so I assumed he created the combo that he likes best.  We missed out on the experience where you take a sharpie and check what you want on the laminated menu to give your server.  Very clever.  Next time.

We tried four different meals balls and two sides. 

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Spicy pork with mushroom sauce.  This was good but my least favorite.  A nice bite on the meatball but the mushroom sauce was a tad overwhelming.  Made me think of Thanksgiving. 

The classic beef was quite delicious.  Flavorful and served in a nice tomato sauce.

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Lamb meatballs were the special of the day.  You could taste a little bit of mint in them.  Excellent.  They came in a tomato sauce with the Parmesan sauce on the side (Ricks request). 

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The last we tried was the chicken.  We had them as sliders with the Parmesan sauce over the top.  Yum.  Different and a nice kick too.  Probably my fave.

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For the sides we had the sauteed kale which was nice and simple. 

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We also had the roasted butternut squash with shaved ricotta salata cheese and walnuts.  Nice side but a bit heavy handed on the salt. 

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We also had the mashed potatoes which are rich and heavenly.

The place was packed by the time we left.  Loved the place.  Great concept.  The small plates that they serve everything in is perfect.  The meatballs are the perfect texture.  You can cut through them with a fork and they stay together but they are still light and not too dense.  A really clever concept.  I know there is garlic in the food because I saw food being delivered to the kitchen but you can't taste it and it doesn't come back to kick you in the ass as the day progresses.  That alone, for me, is HUGE.  It means the recipes are good and the chefs know how to cook.  Garlic is used to enhance not to be used as a flavor.

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Michael treated us to dessert.  His wife makes the ice cream.  Obviously a family business.  He has a partner but if he was there, we didn't meet him.  Brownie sandwich filled with serious mint ice cream.  The cookie, perhaps a signature, is a meringue walnut chocolate chip.  Tiny tiny chocolate chips in a very light crispy cookie that is perfect for dipping in coffee.  There coffee is very good.  That is key in my book.

Will I be back, you betcha.