Whether gussied up or exactly as your Nonna used to make them, these meatballs are sinfully delicious. For a stunning new look at this classic dish, sink your teeth into any one of Luxury Attaché’s favorites.
1 Locanda Verde
The hardest question facing diners at Andrew Carmellini’s consistently packed Tribeca stunner is what not to order, as every single item on the menu is utterly enticing and impossible to pass up. Take these little lamb-packed meatballs for instance. Loaded with flavor, smothered with garlicky tomato sauce and creamy Caprino cheese and wedged between oh so palatable mini buns, it’s no wonder these chart topping lamb sliders stand up to other favorites on Locanda’s rotation like the Sheep’s Milk Ricotta or Blue Crab toast. Don’t just take our word for it--head there now and order them all. Now.
379 Greenwich Street at North Moore Street
2 Osteria Morini
Let’s face it, there’s nothing Michael White can’t do. Amongst a flourish of his new NYC restaurant opens, Osteria Morini still holds court as a consistent power player in the White empire, consistently churning out delicious Italian fare to the hungry masses. Accompanying classic dishes such as pasta pie and terra cotta baked polenta, comes this this moorish plate of polpettini hidden in the antipasti section of Morini’s vast menu. An enticing, flavor-rich blend of prosciutto and mortadella, these very meat-y meatballs are then baked to perfection in a bath of cheese-flecked tomato sauce. Enough said.
218 Lafayette Street, between Kenmare and Spring Streets
Everything’s better with bacon, even meatballs, just ask Chef Gabe Thompson at this downtown rustic Italian hotspot. Not only are these pork meatballs infused with heavenly spices and served atop a silky smooth, parmesan laden polenta, but Thompson substitutes bacon for the guanciale typically found in Amatriciana sauce, making for rich, smoky undertones that beg to be devoured. It’s decadent, it’s memorable, and it’s served up with a touch of whimsy, not in a typical bowl or plate, but atop a wooden plank, or spianatora in Italian. Add a touch of parmesan to complete the utterly transformative experience.
13 East First Street, between Bowery and Second Avenue
4 Meatball Shop
With a name like this, the quality of these meatballs better be on point and quite frankly, out of this world. Well, nothing could be closer to the truth. With a daily rotating selection of unique specials at their different locals around Manhattan, such as bratwurst balls with beer mustard, bbq pork balls, chili Relleno balls and oh so much more, these guys know how to pack a wallop of flavor and more than a touch of fun into their ever-changing plates. Classical mainstays, like chicken, lamb and spicy pork meatballs can be mixed and matched with flavor-rich sauces and sides and are served up in sliders, heroes, atop a salad or in a specialty “smash”, which is literally a mouth-watering combination of smashed up meatballs, a sauce of your choosing and either mozzarella or provolone inside a toasted brioche bun.
While it may not be the fanciest place on the books, this East Village mainstay is simply outstanding. Known for their brussel sprout-laden pizza, as well as their riff on classic Italian meatballs, diners line up around the block well into the wee hours of the morning to snag a seat at this intimate spot, or rather, in typical NYC fashion, place an order (or three) for the road. Chef/Owner Mathieu Palombino never ceases to dish out one of the best and most authentic iterations in town, simmering plump, juicy meatballs with a savory blend of nutty parmesan and rich tomato sauce. Tender and perfectly sized for one to two bite consumption, these babies are worthy of a repeat visit alone, but are even better alongside that perfect slice of pizza.
349 East 12th Street, between First and Second Avenues