The Meatball Shop
84 Stanton Street, LES
I have to admit, I was supremely skeptical when we decided to go to The Meatball Shop….I am forever wary when there is a lot of buzz around a new restaurant, and I generally don’t like one-trick pony types of institutions, but I was very pleased with our experience eating these balls!! These are not your typical balls…..the fun is in choosing how you want your balls…..they give you a menu and some dry erase markers so that you can decide if you want them light (over salad), as a meal (over polenta, mashed potatoes, risotto, etc) with great sides (lovely market fresh veggies, and super-crisp salads), or if you want them traditionally in a hero, or as mini-sliders (1 ball sandwiched between super-cute brioche mini-rolls). You get to decide your sauces and cheeses and even whether or not you want white or wheat bread. Overall, this is a great pleasure, for you can really get to control whether or not you want a heavier dining experience, or a super-light lunch or snack.
I ordered the chicken meatballs, while the hubster went for the all-out-and-out traditional beef meatballs. I decided to have them over their risotto of the day, which was risotto with peas and mushrooms, with their market salad of the day on the side (a wonderfully crisp salad with cabbage, arugula, chives, capers and a light vinaigrette dressing). The hubs went for the hero, the meatballs sandwiched between deliciously crispy bread loaded with provolone and tomato sauce. It’s served with an accompanying arugula and apple salad.
The balls were delightful….really, some of the best I’ve ever had in my mouth! (Yes, the ball jokes must abound….really, how can they not??) The chicken balls were just as wonderful as their beef, which really is saying something….they are wonderfully seasoned and moist. The vegetables are stunning….they really seem to purchase the best produce right from the greenmarket.
This place is run by two young guys (Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow) who have grown up in the culinary world in NYC and they really know what they are doing. Yes, there will definitely be a line when you go, but it moves quickly, and is quite worth it.
Also, I must mention the ice cream sandwiches….they are a definite must in all of this hot weather! Try the peanut butter unbaked cookies filled with their homemade vanilla ice cream…..amazing!!
Definitely try this place out….it’s worthy of the buzz and offers a more complete meal with delicious fresh options. I will eat these balls anyday! These balls even get a golden bonzone.