The Meatball Shop

I recently attended the holiday party for Webgrrls and dropped my business card in a glass bowl for the various prizes being raffled off that evening. You know the drill; hearing everyone else’s name but your own, for the really cool prizes you would love to win. Well lucky for me, I did win the perfect prize for me. The Meatball Shop Cookbook and a $50 giftcard to the restaurant. It didn’t take me long to try it out.

The Meatball Shop has 3 locations, but I choose to sample the original on the Lower Eastside. This cozy restaurant isn’t large, so be prepared to wait. I timed it perfectly for lunch, and got a seat at the bar.

There is a long wooden communal table down the center with smaller tables on the perimeter. The place was hopping by noon and I was starving. I glanced at the menu with a bit a confusion. There seems to be a secret code to ordering and this is my first time. The server/bartender behind the bar points out the options. Choose your ball – Pork, Beef, Chicken, Vegetable then your sauce – marina, spicy meat, pesto, alfredo etc and then build around it. Sides, sandwich, salad….oh my. With my marker, I check off beef meatball bowl with tomato sauce over polenta. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

I look around and noticed the specials on the board. Ball – Lamb,  Veggie – Braised Brussels Sprouts & Maple Glazed Beans, Risotto – Saffron Chive, Market Salad – Arugula, Endive & Pear with a Sherry Vinegarette topped with Candies Pecans, Cookie – Cocoa Peppermint, Ice Cream – White Chocolate Caramel, Drink – Thyme Lemonade. Nope…still happy with my choice.

Soon a bowl of Sunday supper is set down in front of me. One whiff and I’m in heaven. Picture it – 3 meaty and juicy meatballs covered with a sweet tomato sauce over creamy polenta with snowflakes of parmesan cheese on top. DIVINE. I’m sure you’re thinking; “What’s the big deal about meatballs?” Answet – They are the perfect nibble that is so simple, yet so complicated. My Grandfather made the BEST meatballs and to this day, I haven’t been able to replicate them. Damn you Nannu, what’s the secret to your meatballs???? I digress…

These meatballs, did not disappoint. A close second to my Grandfather’s. The Polenta, however, was BRILLIANT. Creamy, cheesy and velvety. I can’t wait to try their recipe at home. Needless to say, I cleaned my plate.

My server asked if I had room for dessert. “You must try our signature ice cream sandwiches.” You don’t have to ask me twice, but before I could get my order out….fullness and guilt set in. Going to pass but will leave room next time.

My Italian feast cost only $11 and with the money still left on my giftcard, I have an excuse to come back again. There’s an ice cream sandwich with my name on it. 🙂


Happiness. $25 and under.


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About The Author

A fierce love of food and twin careers in real estate and fashion taught Rose to look for the hottest item and the hottest deal. Perfect attributes for creating When friends and clients needed a great meal at a great price, she could rattle off restaurant names the way a sports nut ticks off batting averages—but with a lot more home runs. Now it’s all at Cheapeats, where you’ll find “Happiness, $25 and under.”


2 Responses to “The Meatball Shop”

  1. Liz Nelson says:

    Hi Rose,
    Makes me wish I still lived in NYC. I will use your website when I visit. Great job!!! Liz

  2. Rosemarie says:

    Hey Liz, how are you? Thanks so much. The plan is to expand it to other cities, so hopefully you won’t have to wait for NYC to use it.

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