THE MEATBALL SHOP – WEST VILLAGE
64 Greenwich Avenue, New York, NY 10014
Date Dined: March 2014
I have two confessions to make. #1 I had never been to the Meatball Shop until now. #2 I didn’t really think it was that great. Oops, I said it. Sorry to all of you meatball fans! I am hoping we caught them on an off day because so many adoring fans cannot be that wrong.
I do respect the vision of the Meatball Shop and I also think that the restaurant décor is spot on with their rustic wood tables, distressed chairs, antique portraits on the walls and the deconstructed meat grinders covering their walls. Their branding is excellent and the menus with erasable markers are creative and fun.
But as soon as we sat down, every few minutes the smell of burning bread would waft over to our table. I don’t really think that is a smell you want coming out of your kitchen. On top of that, we had a variety of issues ranging from cold meatballs to stale bread. Fortunately for me, I think that my order was the most successful of the three at the table.
Having never been before I thought that a sampling of sliders with various sauces would be the way to go. I had a beef ball with red sauce, a spicy pork with mushroom sauce, spicy pork with parm cream and the special lamb ball with pesto. The classic beef was definitely good but could have been hotter. The spicy pork with parm cream was also flavorful and the sauce was a nice cheesy, salty layer. The mushroom sauce on the other pork slider was more reminiscent of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup than a high-end mushroom sauce. I think they may need to go back to he drawing board on that one and maybe try something with baby bellas for example. The lamb special would have been tasty but it was simply overcooked.
Dessert is another story: their ice cream sandwiches are awesome. With freshly baked cookies and homemade ice cream they really nail this part of the meal. I selected the traditional chewy chocolate chip cookie and the brownie walnut cookie with espresso ice cream inside. The ice cream was delicious with tiny bits of coffee grounds to hint at the flavor. If you are eating at the meatball shop, dessert is a must.
I will certainly be back at some point but only wish that my first experience was a better one.