My girlfriends from college and I go on a GNO every month. Not to date myself, but we’ve been doing this since the late 90’s and it has been such a great way for all of us to catch up with each other. At our GNO’s we’ve announced engagements, pregnancies, job changes (or eliminations!) and divorces. Besides having amazing girl bonding time, the other great part is taking advantage of all the great restaurants in NYC. We are definitely partial to the downtown west-side restaurant set, just because the majority of us live in that vicinity or live in New Jersey. Some months, we venture out of the downtown west side are and are pleasantly surprised. That happened this past March when we went to The Meatball Shop.
The Meatball Shop , located at 84 Stanton, is this tiny restaurant that has a great, cool vibe. And now that my friends and I are a bit on the “older-side” (read: late 30’s), being in a “cool vibe” place is kinda fun. So, The Meatball Shop is a no-reservations restaurant, so it’s best to get there on the non-peak hours. We were a table of 5, so we waited about 45 minutes, which, since we didn’t have any kids with us, wasn’t a big issue – just more gabbing time with the girls. Once you do get seated – The Meatball Shop is an amazing eating experience from start-to-finish:
- The Menu: Menus are laminated and each table has a stack full of dry-erase markers. You choose by checking of what you want. If you bring the kiddies – they are going to love this.
- What’s On The Menu: Every kind of meatball imaginable from the Classic Beef to Vegetarian to their Daily Ball (I had a Reuben meatball with pastrami, sauerkraut and a Thousand Island sauce…delish!). You choose the ball(s), choose a sauce and choose how its prepared, whether its in a bowl with pasta, slider style, hero or smashed. I had the sliders, because you choose 3 different meatballs – which was perfect because I couldn’t decide!
- The Sides: The sides are fresh and seasonal. We had white beans, roasted cauliflower, roasted kale, mashed potatoes, and polenta and their market salad. All were exceptional.
- The Dessert: Saved the best for last. Their dessert is just brilliant. Its do-it-yourself ice cream sandwiches. You choose one kind of cookie for the top, one kind of cookie for the bottom and then choose your ice cream flavor for in between.
Bottom line, the total bill for each of us came to $27 (!?!?!?) . That was with 6 sides, 5 entrees, 5 desserts and 5 non-alcoholic drinks (It was a school night). The Meatball Shop is perfect for a casual, cool night out for a GNO or date night. If you end up going with the kids, make sure to go as soon as it opens or on off-peak hours. Otherwise, bring a big bag of crayons, books and toys to entertain while you wait for a table.