Ladies and gents, haven’t you always been in search of the biggest, juiciest, and most savory balls in Fairfield County? Well, let’s face it, finding the perfectly sized and shaped balls is no easy feat…let alone finding ones so good you moan in pleasure as they enter your mouth. Are you still in search of that meatball that will be yours forever, that tried and true love that will stay with you through thick and thin? Ah, then you’ll definitely want to attend the first ever The Meatball Challenge of Fairfield County hosted by Savor Productions that’s being held on 6/5/14 from 6-9 at The Factory Underground in Norwalk.
Tickets to attend are now on sale for $60 and that includes infinite tastings of meatballs and a side dish from each restaurant involved, beer from Two Roads, plenty of wine, as well as water from Perrier, San Pellegrino, and Resource. In addition, you’ll be given the power to decide whose balls are best in Fairfield County with the power of a vote. The chef that wins will not only win the prize of “Best Balls,” but will also pocket a hefty 500 bucks. And, not that you needed any more reasons to attend, but a portion of proceeds from this event are going right to PAWS of CT who continues to rescue homeless pets, provide vital services, and helps place animals into their fur-ever homes.
Well, let’s look at the competitors and see why their balls just might be the best:
Bobby Q’s: A sure way to enjoy some balls is enjoying them low and slow, so you could imagine that Bobby Q’s of Westport will keep ’em nice and juicy. What it all comes down to is they really know how to handle their meat…that’s really what makes up a good ball.
Bar Sugo: Having tasted Chefs Pascarella and Failla’s balls many times (in fact, just this past Sunday), we can say that they are going to be tough to beat. Their major strengths coming into the contest are a solid understanding of what a classic meatball is supposed to be like and skill in using various meats and cuts such as venison, oxtail, veal, and even rabbit.
David’s Soundview Catering: Chef David Cingari is a major front-runner in the contest here. While we have enjoyed harassing him about tasting his balls, his skill in catering for hundreds of people while keeping the quality top-notch makes him a major force to be reckoned with.
Have a Ball: These guys are totally new to us, offering catering out of NYC. Can Fairfield County’s balls stand up against balls from NYC? Ah, the endless debate can finally be ended. An advantage they do have, it seems, is the creative variety of options of meatballs such as the Hangover Ball and Beach Ball.
The Local Meatball: Mike DiStassio has seen as his ball business grow, starting with just a tiny little cart, slinging his balls all over Fairfield County. Having sampled has balls many times, we have been more impressed each time. Mike’s strength, like Chef Cingari, is being able to put out tons of balls while keeping things consistent. Will Mike’s food truck fare take home the big prize?
Match: Chef Matt Storch is a major force to be reckoned with, especially due to his mastery of all things Italian. But, he also has some tricks up his sleeves, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see some Asian influence in his meatballs.
Meatball & Co.: Like Bar Sugo, Chef Joe Criscuolo has an amazing variety of meatball options at the restaurant, even highlighting things with a Ball of the Day. Plus, think about it…his entire restaurant is devoted to meatballs, duh.
Saugatuck Craft Butchery: They ain’t just butchers, or bakers, they are also meatball makers…they are also making quite a name for themselves with their dine-in menu and their special themed dinners. Will their balls stand the test, shutting out the other restaurants, chefs, and caterers in the contest? We can’t wait to see!
The Spread: Chef Carlos Baez definitely has some major balls for being the leader of one of SoNo’s busiest restaurants. His dishes show control, yet also highlight often overlooked food and meats like lamb tartare and beef tongue crostini. Will he be showcasing his famous balls (Veal & Ricotta with polenta), or will he think more out of the box? We can’t wait to see…he is a sharp competitor, nearly winning first place at his first Chowdafest competition this year.
Strada 18: Chef David Raymer is well known for being a master of Italian cuisine, so he’s going to be a strong and solid baller. It will be especially tough to match Chef Raymer with his sides, so this very well could be his day to claim victory.
Well, let’s take a preliminary vote…who do you think will win?