Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Meatball & Wine Bar

I've just returned from a glorious (and much needed) road-trip holiday to South Australia with lots of winery stops along the way. Consequently, my posts have been even less frequent than usual, but the disconnect was good for me I swear!

In any case, before I left, Libby, Ames and I caught up for a warming dinner at the Meatball & Wine Bar. In organising this, it turned out Ames had just been there, but was happy enough to go back for seconds. 

The Meatball & Wine Bar
We'd arranged to catch up for a fairly early dinner (6 pm) but it was pretty busy by the time we got there, so we ended up sitting outside.Thankfully, the cold Melbourne weather wasn't hitting as hard as it could have.  
 
The Meatball & Wine Bar
As the name would suggest, this restaurant serves up a lot of meatballs. The standard way of ordering is to choose a type of meatball (Pork, Beef, Chicken, Fish or Vegetarian), a sauce (Red, White or Green) and then something for the balls to sit on.  

We ended up ordering two serves of meatballs. 

Chicken Meatballs with White Sauce and Homemade Pasta
Beef Meatballs with Red Sauce and Potato Smash
Going by memory because I didn't take notes, I'm fairly sure I've gotten these dishes right. In any case, the meatballs themselves were tasty and filling, with good amounts of meat. The sauces are fairly rich and flavour packed, but the one thing I didn't take a fancy to was the home-made pasta. I've had some great home-made pasta in my time, and have even tried my hand at making some myself, and this dish just wasn't the same quality. Which is a shame really, because I really liked our non-meatball dish. 

Ribs with Apple Coleslaw
Ribs. The delicious special of the day. The ribs were sticky, slightly fatty and very satisfying to eat without the help of utensils. I'm still looking for the perfect American ribs in Melbourne and while these aren't going to take out that honour, they're a pretty decent dish. The coleslaw was on the bitter side, but I had a heap of it regardless. 

We'd saved some room for dessert and ended up with the panna cotta special, although the Whoopie Mac did sound ridiculously tempting as a grown-up version of a Maxibon.

Grand Mariner Panna Cotta  with Figs, Blood Orange and Pistachio Crumb
I must be getting old - my memory is failing me on exactly what type of panna cotta we had. There was definitely some liquor involved which made generally light dessert more serious and decadent, and we all enjoyed the refreshing ending to a meat heavy meal. 

Overall I had a good time at The Meat & Wine Bar; great company, good food and generally efficient service (although paying for a meal turned out to be more complicated than it should have been). The wine list looked pretty impressive although I abstained for the night. Do have fun with the meatball dish combinations - the 'choose-your-own-adventure' aspect is half the fun! This place gets pretty busy though and doesn't take bookings for groups less than 7, so get here for a very early or very late feed if you can. Otherwise you'll be waiting for half an hour or longer to get seated. 

The Meatball & Wine Bar
135 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Mon-Fri 7am-1am, Sat-Sun 11am-1am

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