It has arrived. The day when The Meatball Shop opens and I transform from The Skinny Pig into The Fat Pig.
As most of you loyal readers know (Mom), I have been following the progress of The Meatball Shop on Bedford Ave pretty closely, so what kind of dedicated food blogger would I be if I didn't drop in the day of opening?? I came from a dance class straight to The Meatball Shop. Meatballs post-workout? THAT is dedication, my friends. Or infatuation.
It was around 8:45 pm and as expected, it was full, but not packed. The space is MUCH bigger than the one on the LES - a huge plus for those waiting for tables – but being that I was sweaty and by myself, I figured I'd head straight to the Takeout counter. The friendly hostess gave me a menu and said "I take it you've been here before? So I don't have to explain?" Umm…Miss Cleo? I don't know how she knew that but I'd rather not tug at that thread.
I actually had some leftover pasta primavera at home that I made the night before, so I wanted some balls to add to it. I didn't want tomato sauce (since the pasta is sauceless), so I opted for the spicy pork meatballs in pesto sauce.
As I toted my little bag home, I was practically skipping. Did I mention it's 3 blocks from my apt? Yea. Addictions tend to follow you. Anyway. I surveyed the little box and I thought…this is it? Then…I opened it. The garlicky aroma stung my nostrils (in a good way) and I saw four good-sized meatballs COVERED in basil pesto. I am a sauce person, but I will say they might have gone a tad overkill on the pesto. Still…I was hardly complaining.
I lined up three of the meatballs next to my pasta and dug in. Sweet relief. I love these balls. Yea I said it. Michael Chernow and chef Daniel Holzman have the best balls in town. The pork is slightly spicy and juicy, the basil pesto is studded with pine nuts and garlic, and they give you a small piece of bread for soaking up the sauce. As I pointed out before, I think I would have needed a whole loaf of Ciabatta to soak up that sauce, but fortunately I don't keep too much bread in my apt or that might have happened.
I think The Meatball Shop on Bedford will be a great addition to the neighborhood, especially since this Meatball Shop has something the one on the LES doesn't: a full liquor license and a cocktail menu! Utilizing the same method as the food menu, you pick your poison (vodka, gin, etc) and then check off a house-made mixer (like grapefruit juice and muddled cherries). It will be a great spot for a date, a casual dinner with friends, or in my case…a post-workout snack. Meatballs ARE protein after all.
The Meatball Shop Williamsburg
170 Bedford Ave (btwn North 7th and 8th)