I haven't been active too much on Roadfood in terms of posting as of late. Life seems to happen when I'm making plans to post a trip report or work on a review. However, I have been taking the camera with me from time to time and doing some reconnaissance to scope out some possible stops for a spring tour of Manhattan and the other boroughs. I hope to make this an ongoing thread about good eats in the 5 boroughs. I do have to give thanks to the city based food blogs, especially SeriousEatsNY.com, that has put me on to many of these great places.
I've been reading about the The Meatball Shop
on Stanton Street on the Lower East Side for some time and my girlfriend and I finally went to check it out. I was a bit leery as I had heard that the wait to get in can be up to an hour! We walked up and it was packed but being there was just the two of us, we were able to snag a table in five minutes.
The laminated menu is at each table along with a marker. You just mark what you want t=and give it to the waiter/waitress. As you can probably tell from the "naked balls" and "family jewels", the owners have an offbeat/off-color sense of humor and it is definitely reflected on their website. I snickered like an 11 year old listening to George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television" for the first time!
We split a salad of mixed greens, roasted parsnips, walnuts and a sherry vinaigrette. It was very fresh and good but the walnuts were missing and I would have liked the crunch for some added texture. I didn't say anything as I didn't think it a big deal.
Dayna had the vegetable balls with classic tomato sauce over mashed potatoes. I'm not sure what they were made of but they were delicious. It helps not to think of them as meatballs and to not have the expectation that they will taste like meatballs. The tomato sauce was really fresh tasting and I could have eaten those mashed potatoes all night long!
I had the classic beef meatballs with a parmesan cream sauce over fresh-milled polenta. Wow! Talk about stick to your ribs! The meatballs were juicy and had lots of great beef flavor (I wish I had written down the other flavors in them as well). The sauce was very decadent and that polenta was creamy as could be. I do wish the focaccia they give with each meal was thicker and more pillowy as opposed to a strip of bread as it would provide more surface area for picking up any sauce at the end. A minor point though. This was one heckuva meal.
And a close-up.
I spied another table having an ice cream cookie sandwich for dessert and when I saw the size of it and this menu, well, there really was no question.
We split one filled with fresh mint ice cream and here's the kicker, you can choose two different cookies as your bookends. You can't really tell from this picture but we went with the chocolate chip and the brownie cookie. So, so big and so, so good!! The 411
The Meatball Shop
84 Stanton Street
New York, NY 10002
They don't take reservations
More to come...!