The Meatball & Wine Bar launches Smithballs in Collingwood
Iconic and eclectic Smith St Melbourne has welcomed the addition of Smithballs, the latest in the Meatball & Wine Bar "balls dynasty". With the "balltearer" success of the first two restaurants in CBD and Richmond, Smithballs brings top notch meatballs with tantalising variations, a superb wine list, and an abundance of chic conviviality to Collingwood.
The World Loves Melbourne was invited by Zilla and Brook to the launch of Smithballs, knowing the parties thrown by these "balls behemoths" are becoming legendary.
A sense of playfulness pervades...
Upon entry we were served Aperol Spritz with Prosecco, and a choice of beer and wine. We understand Aperol Spritz served with Prosecco is a popular combination in Italy, a growing trend in recent years. The wine list at Smithballs is impressive, including an abundance of Italian style wines.
The mini Charcuterie boards and bags of Wagyu Beef Jerky were a cheerful starter, as the foodie crowd mingled in a dimly lit large space. Methinks the lighting will be amped a little for dining.
In any case the ambience at Smithballs, with its exposed brick walls and neon signage, not to mention an expensive copper bar, is one of the best in Melbourne.
The Meatball Sliders served all evening were a hit, with each slider a quality experience and surprisingly filling. We were treated to Beef Sliders, Chicken Sliders and Veal Sliders, and even a selection of ice cream sandwiches...
The standout at Smithballs is the $21 option, where you choose your 3 balls (from Pork, Beef, Chicken, Fish, Veg), then choose a sauce, and finally something for your balls to sit on (homemade pasta, creamy polenta, super MB potato smash, Italian Beans, something veg). This is affordable dining, with a sense of playfulness and high quality ingredients in a simple but compelling meatball dish. Again, very New York...
Says Meatball & Wine Co. of their meatballs -
"All our products are lovingly prepared by artisans using time honoured traditions. At The Meatball & Wine Bar, we use only the finest quality ingredients. Australia produces some of the best meats in the world and we are proud to use these products in our balls.
We want you to taste the beef in beef balls, so pretty much all that goes into these beef balls is beef: 100% pasture fed Black Angus beef from O’Connor in Victoria.
Our Pork balls as so incredibly delicious because we only use pork from the Black Berkshire pig, which is considered the Wagyu of pork. This pork is hand reared from a family farmer in Byron Bay.
Our fish balls are from line caught white fleshed fish from the waters of Australia. We endeavour to use fresh farmed fish like mulloway in South Australia whenever possible.
Our chicken is grown on a Lilydale property and is certified organic and free range and we only use trimmed thighs for our chicken balls.
Our Vege balls use all home grown veges which are locally sourced when in season."
Stefano De Pieri the famous chef and restaurateur from Stefano's in Mildura is partnering with Matteo Bruno from The Meatball & Wine Bar in several culinary projects. (We are seeing some heavyweight collaborations in Melbourne to produce spectacular restaurants and culinary destinations.)
Stefano De Pieri also brings his wine and beverage products and experience to the table. Here is Stefano congratulating Matteo and giving a colourful opening speech to the partygoers...
Mozzarella is a feature at Smithballs and we were priviledged to have fine Italian chefs on hand for fresh mozzarella making. The mozzarella was wonderfully warm and chewy...
The Meatball & Wine Bar is expected to be a popular destination on Smith St in the wake of its current balls success. Talking to the foodie crowd at the launch there is high praise for the Meatball & Wine Bar experience. This is not a confused concept, but is customer driven with a high degree of customisation and flexibility.
Personally I've only ever been to the CBD location and found it to be rewarding. I'm looking forward to visiting Smithballs in all its glory after this April 18 launch.
As Stefano said, it takes "balls" to open three meatball restaurants in Melbourne, and TV producer and restaurateur Matteo Bruno's courage is proving the time old addage, "no balls, no glory".