If you’re a fan of the classic Italian cuisine that is the infamous meatball, listen, and listen good. Put The Meatball Shop at the top of your restaurant bucket list. The build-your-own style menu offers numerous variations of meatballs to satisfy your inner fat kid.
After a day full of shopping and recounting the previous night’s semi-embarrassing events, a friend and I found ourselves on the lower East Side craving some Italian comfort food and a stiff drink. We decided on The Meatball Shop on Stanton Street.
Upon stumbling into the dim, noisy restaurant, we were immediately greeted by an enthusiastic hostess. ‘Twas a Saturday night, we did not have a reservation, but the adorably tattooed hostess said it wouldn’t be long, so we tamed our burning hunger and decided to wait.
While waiting, we used our elbows to shove our way through the middle-aged tools in suits to get to the bar (safe to say, getting a drink was higher on our list of priorities than shooting game).
We ordered a carafe of the Devil’s Juice Sangria. Made with Lambrusco, pear and pomegranate juices, it was delightful. It was sweet and refreshing, and the hints of pear and spices were lovely.
We were seated at one of the communal wooden tables, and we admired the creepy vintage photos and old meat grinder parts that filled the walls.
Now let’s get to the most important part – the food. We used a felt-tip marker to check what we wanted on the wipe-away laminated menu sheets.
Loyal to its name, the puny menu was centered around one thing: meatballs (any way you want ‘em). They offer five different types of meatball to choose from with six different sauces, and a variety of sides.
I decided to get them “naked ball,” -style choosing the chicken and pesto sauce as well as the market salad (salad on the side, duh). The four meatballs were moist and well-seasoned—complimenting the fresh, earthy pesto beautifully.
My gal pal ordered the meatball smash, or two meatballs on a brioche bun with sauce and cheese. She chose beef with classic tomato sauce, plus some mozzarella cheese. For only $8, it was a pretty substantial sandwich.
While she salivated over the taste, it wasn’t the most pleasant thing to eat. The sauce soaked into the brioche bun and nearly liquefied it, forcing her to go caveman-style and use half the napkins in the restaurant.
Did you think we skipped dessert? That’s cute. The Meatball Shop is famous for their cookie ice cream sandwiches, and we definitely wanted to see what all of the hype was about.
As a fan of the classics, I ordered vanilla ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies. The verdict: I wish I had three more. In some magical, Godly way, the center of the cookies remained soft even while sandwiching the ice cream. My decadent dessert left my sweet tooth very satisfied, and my fingers licked clean.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a new date night spot to bring your sweetie to, trying to impress a coworker, or (like me) you’re endlessly ravenous and appreciate a good meatball, the Meatball Shop is your new spot.
Putting a retro spin on the classic meatball, I promise you’ll walk out satisfied, and tenderly cradling the food baby you’ve just conceived with a delicious Italian feast.
Address: 84 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002
Hours of Operation: Sun-Thur 12 pm-2 am; Fri-Sat 12 pm-4 am
Satisfy your inner Tony Soprano, and hop on the meatball train::