The world of wine is a rabbit hole that goes deep and in its depths lies hyperbolic tasting notes and grand Somm’s. At times, haute culture snobbery can convolute that having wine and a meal is about simply enjoying it. At The Meatball Shop they have partnered with a vineyard in France to create a house red that is simply enjoyable, this is in addition to an inventive drinks program.
As would be expected at The Meatball Shop, the experience is meant to be casual. The secret sauce that makes the company, the wine, and also the under the radar drinks, stand out is the Michelin level endeavorment which goes into the pride and preparation behind the companies everyman offerings. The creation of the Meatball Shops wine did not happen on a whim and with a phone call to a mass distributor. It began with a competition and a drinking expedition through European wine country
The company’s senior staff and a member of the wait staff that sold the most alcohol did a vino fueled tour of Spain and France’s Montpellier wine region, meeting with vintners and finding one that could produce a unique and quality product that could be priced for the masses. I sat across from Wade, the alcohol slinging server, at the tasting and in addition to working at the Meatball Shop he produces music which you can find here: www.soundcloud.com/thadiceman.
This trip culminated in a collaboration with Mas de Daumas Gassac vineyard from the Languedoc wine region. The house wine creation is warm, juicy, and pretty much what you would expect should go well with red sauce and is many steps up from the Franzia bag you drank in high school. You will want to buy a bottle and drink it at home.
Wine is not all the Meatball Shop has to offer. The drinks headed up by Beverage Director Rene Hidalgo are not an area of neglect. You can order off of “the whiskey grid” and recipe’s for beverages like the “Watermelon Squeeze” are comprised of Tequila, Watermelon, Yuzu Sake, and Lime which make for a mixologist level cocktail menu. Also worth mentioning is the carafe optional rum based “Fool-Aid Punch.”
The Meatball Shop doesn’t want to take shine away from the star of the show.. meatballs, however they have been upping their bar game for a while. With sorta secret bars like Underballs in Chelsea and the more recently opened Sidepiece in Hells Kitchen, libations continuously are given their own stage. Most recently with bottled cocktails to enable a shameless summer bucket of batched goodness (list below). After having a couple drinks with the staff the primary ingredient that makes this group successful is playful fun and that shines through in the food and drinks.
Bottled Cocktails menu
AMF: Vodka, Gin, Rum , Tequila, Curacao, Lime
Huckleberry Fizz: Vodka, Huckleberry, Bubbles
Strawberry Aperitivo: Gin, Aperol. Strawberry Lemonade
New Summer Cocktails:
Such is Mango Rum (Mango, Almond, Lime), Peach Emoji (Bourbon, Lemon, Peach, Mint, Bitters, Club Soda)
Tequila, Watermelon, Yuzu Sake, Lime
Large format cocktail made with White Rum, Yuzu Sake, Dragonfruit, Coconut, Pineapple, Blue Hawaii Bitters
Meatball Shop Locations:
Hours & Happy Hours vary by location
- West Village – 64 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011
- Chelsea – 200 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
- *Underball’s located beneath the restaurant
- Hell’s Kitchen – 798 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
- *Sidepiece located on 53rd St towards 9th Ave
- Upper West Side – 447 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
- Upper East Side – 1462 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10075
- Lower East Side – 84 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002
- Williamsburg – 170 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211