Meatball Mania

Lord knows I love me some meatballs! I’ve cooked tons in my respectable time on this good earth, and of course I’ve had a few while dining out. In this blog I’m going to give a few pointers on some of the most delicious meatballs here in the city. I’ve tried them all for you! They’re in no particular order, they are all delicious!


On the appetizer menu at this restaurant owned by Lidia and Joe Bastianich, you will find Polpette di Manzo, which are classic meatballs created by executive chef Gallagher. Made of all beef, covered in Sunday sauce and some freshly grated Grana Padano, this is one of my favorites ever. Super creamy and perfectly seasoned, it’s a must at a dinner at Becco.

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Bar Salumi

Out in Brooklyn, which is apparently the new Manhattan, Bar Salumi is owned and operated by Adam Harvey, a former Top Chef contestant. His meatball dish is Bucatini All’Americana, a singular fried meatball on top of pasta, perfected by tomato sumo and fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese. Scrumptious….

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Red Rooster

These meatballs will take you uptown to Harlem. Red Rooster is owned and operated by celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson right on 125th Street and Lenox Avenue. His menu is forever changing, but he always has some sort of meatballs on the menu. On my last visit I had the pleasure of trying these Throwback Meatballs. They are prepared with spiced yogurt and drunken prunes, and yes, you’re welcome, they are a must-try.

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Rao’s is located in East Harlem, and has been a staple of the community since 1896. Good luck getting a table! The 10-table restaurant “sells” their tables to celebrities, sports icons, and other influential people. You’ll have to be one of their guests to be able to dine at one of the tables. With some patience and a little luck, you can get a spot at the bar though. Their meatball is of course famous, made of beef, pork and veal. It’s topped off with Rao’s Marinara sauce and some fresh parsley and Pecorino Romano cheese. Yum.

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Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s

Gnoccheria is a fun restaurant on the Lower Eastside that, as their main dishes, only serves gnocchi with all kinds of sauces and add-ons, and I love it. On their appetizer menu you will find the Popette. They are a simple trio of meatballs covered with tomato sauce and cheese. Simple does it here, they were mouthwatering!

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Meatball Shop

The Meatball Shop has several locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, and they aim to please. The concept is simple and genius. Pick your meatball (beef, pork, chicken, vegetarian), then choose your sauce. You can have them solo in bowl, with pasta, polenta, mashed potatoes, whatever your heart desires. My favorite here are the chicken meatballs with pesto sauce, It’s delightfully different and tastes pretty darn good.

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Meatball Obsession

Last, but definitely not least, there’s this little treasure. It’s a “hole in the wall” kind of place just beneath Union Square. You step up to the window and pick your meatball. You can choose from beef, turkey, and pork, and add your toppings. The popular way to indulge is from a cup, accompanied by a delicious grilled Italian bread. I chose the turkey meatballs (best turkey meatballs I ever had) with Marinara sauce, kale and Asiago cheese. It was so, so good….

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Author: Gotham Foodie

Hello there, fellow foodies! My name is Erica, I was born and raised in Germany, and moved to the US, New York City to be exact, in July of 1987. I have worked most of my time here in the Big Apple as a bartender, but my true love is food. I cook just about every day, I search for good food everywhere, and pretty much always find it. I don't consider myself a food critic, I don't have the culinary background for that kind of expertise. I do however know good food, good chefs and good restaurants. I report back about my culinary adventures, and I choose to leave out my unsatisfactory experiences. We have enough negativity in our daily lives, I don't want to add to that. All the recipes in my FROM MY KITCHEN and DOTW blogs are cooked and prepared by me. All pictures are taken by me. I don't always eat everything you see in my pictures, but you bet your buns, I do try everything. Last but not least, you should know that I am a huge Top Chef fan. I have never missed an episode of the Bravo TV show. I have at this point visited almost 20 restaurants run by Top Chef contestants, and I'm continuously impressed by their skill, drive and passion. So I will continue to seek them out, and I hope you join me in my journey!

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