The Meatball and Wine Bar

October 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm (American, Bar, Italian, Melbourne CBD, Victoria)

Flinders Lane has definitely become the go-to place when you’re feeling peckish but aren’t really sure what you want for dinner.  S and I went for a wander after work and found ourselves at The Meatball and Wine Bar, which has replaced Breadwell Cafe.  The name says it all; artisan meatballs are the centrepiece of the menu, which also features cheeses, charcuterie and jerky, along with a wide selection of wines, spirits and craft beers.

 

Matteo Bruno’s new venture is a tribute to fine produce, utilising local, seasonal ingredients and meats sourced from Sydney’s Victor Churchill, widely recognised as a veritable shrine to meat.  Currently, there are four meatballs on offer; Byron Bay Kurobuta pork, O’Connor Black Angus beef, Lilydale chicken and vegetable balls, with daily specials for a little added variety.

To drink, 2011 Sardinian Vermentino; crisp and summer-y, would have been great with a salad.  Instead, we had some Ninja jerky, which had a good texture, not too dry or chewy, and was quite subtle in flavour.  Little wooden fork not so effective though 😛

Next up, meatballs! You simply choose your balls, select from red, white or green sauce, and then pick something for the balls to sit on.  Or, if this is all too difficult (too many delicious-sounding options!), the special is the way to go, which is what we defaulted to.  Mushroom, marsala and veal meatballs were served on a triangle of grilled white polenta and topped with herb aioli.  The coarsely ground veal gave the meatballs a great texture and there was a good amount of sauce, enough for mopping up with focaccia bread at the end.  The polenta was very smooth and creamy in middle and nice and crunchy around the edges.

For something a bit different, we ordered pork meatball sliders.  Three cute brioche mini-burgers arrived on a wooden board.  The sweet buns, tangy pickled tomato and fennel, sage and orange pork balls worked wonderfully together, however there wasn’t quite enough sauce to prevent the burgers from being dry.

On the side, a fennel and orange salad provided a light, fresh accompaniment.  However, I wasn’t a fan of the honey and walnut, which can be best described as teeth glue.

Finally, we had to try the one dessert on the menu.  Introducing the Whoopie Mac; your choice of ice cream sandwiched between two macarons.  Amareno cherry ice cream was delicious but the chocolate macarons were way too dense.

So, The Meatball and Wine Bar did some things well, some things not so well (probably just teething issues).  Regardless, I think it’s a good venue for a fairly inexpensive meal, which you know is prepared with fresh ingredients, or even just a drink and something to nibble on.  The space is stylish, with warm lighting and wine racks decorating exposed brick walls for a bit of rustic charm.  I’ll be trying some cheeses and charcuterie next time and am also curious to see how the breakfast menu comes together.

 
Meatball & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon
 

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