Tag Archives: meatballs

Best Balls? You Decide! The Meatball Challenge of Fairfield County Plops Down June 5

29 Apr
Oh balls, this looks magical...

Oh balls, this looks magical…

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.

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PopShop Market Taking Over New Haven w/ Food Trucks + Shops

2 Apr
PopShop Market April 2014 New Haven

Lots o’ food trucks!

PopShop Market is back for some more awesomeness here in 2014 and their biggest and baddest spot ever:  The Shops at Yale!  This one day free event on 4/27/14 from 11-4 pm is a continuation of a series of events that PopShop Market has held in Fairfield and New Haven Counties, featuring an excellent variety of personally curated vendors.  

Not only will you be able to find whatever you need to get ready for spring, there will also be a ton of food options from some of CT’s best food trucks  for you to make your own lunch/brunch.  And, who doesn’t like to get a bit saucy during the day?  Of course ya do, it’s the weekend and you’ve earned it.  So, get ready for PopShop’s Signature BarCar that will feature spring-inspired cocktails and a CT brewery.  Details on this haven’t been revealed yet, so make sure to like them on FB and follow them on Twitter to get first dibs on the info.    

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Get a deal on some juicy balls this Valentine’s Day…

14 Feb

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Nothing says Valentine’s Day like balls, lots and lots of balls.  And, just as The Local Meatball says, you’ll “Ball in Love” with the deal they’ve got going on starting today and going until 2/16!  If you call Mike and co. up at (203) 258-6317 and set up a catering job, they’ll get ya a sweet deal…you don’t even need the specific date yet.  If you’re planning on ballin’ it with up to 25 guests, they’ll give you a $50 discount and you’ll only pay $400.  And, if you’ve having a big party for 25-50 people, they’ll drop the price down $75 to $800.  You don’t just get a choice of 3 meatballs, either.  You’ll also get rolls, drinks, and the guest of honor gets a The Local Meatball shirt!

Kick in da meatballs from The Local MeatballIf you take advantage of this order, you’ll have their tried and true variety of meatballs that have been taking Fairfield County by storm, but there will also be some new additions.  Mike DiStassio, owner and head-baller, told us that they’ll have two new balls available:  a Bacon Cheeseburger and Sausage and Peppers balls.  In addition, for catering only, they’ll be introducing their gluten-free ball!

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The Local Meatball Expands Meaty Empire with Second Truck

22 Jul

Mike DiStassio’s The Local Meatball has seen lots of success even though he’s only been ballin’ for just three months.  He has sold out of balls while being parked in Fairfield and various events throughout the state, and he’s been to lots of parties along the way.  But, running out of his meatballs might soon become a thing of the past with the creation of Grinder, aka “Big Ball,” their Red Nissan Cargo Van.  They’ll be able to take out Big Ball to festivals and keep the crowds fed while Little Ball can hit up smaller stops like the Fairfield transit station.

And, he has also taken Two Roads Brewery by storm.  Perhaps the best way to show Mike and co’s devotion to the art of the meatball is their first day at Two Roads.  Yeah, it was raining like crazy, but they just put up their umbrella and pushed through the day.  Emily of Two Roads told us during out last visit that she was amazed to see how many people came and had some meatballs despite the rain.  And, wouldn’t you know it, The Local Meatball was there when we visited recently.  Although we were a bit disappointed with the Serious Balls (their original Saugatuck Craft Butchery beef) the first time around, we tried them this time and they were excellent.

Congratulations on all your success!

Oh, and make sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter so you can keep up to date with what’s going on and where they’ll be appearing!

Darien Will Soon Have Balls: Meatball and Co. Opening Soon!

15 May

Darien has definitely been shaping up as a culinary destination with the recent additions of Estia’s American and Bodega, as well as the solid Scena Wine Bar & Restaurant.  And, it’s about to become even better sometime near the end of May or the beginning of June when Joe Criscuolo opens up Meatball & Co. at 23 Tokeneke Road.    We’ll get to the food in a sec, but first some background info on Joe.  Joe and Matt own and operate Pizza Post in Greenwich that’s putting out some awesome pies (we had a Clams Casino on Saturday that was killer) and food.  They make their own meatballs and sausage and they are BYOB.  Joe and Matt took over the shop from their father who started Pizza Post  in ’72.  And, now Joe’s giving the reigns over to his brother Matt as he starts his own business which has always been a dream of his.

Okay, that’s enough background…we know, you want the details.

Why Meatballs?

Joe had been thinking of starting his own restaurant for quite a while and always wanted to do something different.  He was particularly inspired after visiting The Meatball Shop in NYC and seeing what they were doing.  “The area is super-saturated with pizza places, so I wanted my restaurant to be accessible to all and to be different,” Joe told us.  “I wanted to feature comfort food, and I wanted it to be great.  And, the meatball is such a great vehicle to present with.  You can really do anything with them, from veal piccata, to Asian inspired, to sausage and brocoli rabe, and more.”

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Two Roads Brewery Has Some Serious (Meat)balls this Weekend

10 May

Get your mind out of the gutter, people.  We’re talking about Two Roads Brewery having The Local Meatball shop on hand for their Saturday food truck experience from 3-7 on 5/11, the start of CT Beer Week.    Since TLM launch on 4/20, Mike’s been gaining quite a following of ballers.  There’s no doubt that Mike will be serving up some Serious meatballs, his standard formulation made with Saugatuck Craft Butchery beef and other local ingredients.  Here are descriptions from his site about the meatball choices (there is usually Serious and one other on special):

SERIOUS:  made with the finest ground beef from Craft Butchery, we use only the best local ingredients. Soaked in our traditional sauce, they are like no other. These balls burst with flavor and are our version of the classic.
Future Specials
KICK IN DA:  made with the most tender local pork around and some hot cherry peppers to give them just the right kick. Served in a chunky, spicy sauce, they’re a win-win.
IN THE BUFF:  fresh ground chicken and our own buffalo sauce—these are the perfect combination of heat and flavor.
HONEY’S:  honey BBQ sauce from a local favorite and a tender, juicy pork ball…who needs ribs when you’ve got balls?
JEWELS:  these salty, sweet creations are what we like to call a “breakfast ball.” Made with delicious ground beef, sausage, bacon and chunks of melted cheddar cheese. Topped off with the tastiest local maple syrup on a soft, light and airy snowflake roll. They’re jewels.

Here’s how to do it:

1)  Place your oder.

2) Grab your slider, Average Joe, or Grinder.

3) Head upstairs to Two Roads Brewery  and down those meatballs with some old cold brews.  We highly recommend the saison.

4) Fill up some growlers or growleritos (they are so cute and tiny).

5) Get some more meatballs before you leave.

Two Roads Brewing Co.

1700 Stratford Ave

Stratford, CT 06615

Phone:  (203) 335-2010

Having a Ball at the Launch of The Local Meatball Food Cart in Fairfield

22 Apr

The Local Meatball Food Cart in Fairfield

It was a crisp, spring day this past Saturday when Mike DiStassio launched the much anticipated The Local Meatball food cart. Just the night before he had found the perfect spot on Unquowa Road, right above the tracks at the Fairfield train station, where he could begin slinging meatballs with his brother Alan.

2013-04-20 13.12.02As he was getting ready for his 12:30 opening, people were already lined up, ready to try what Mike had worked so hard on. Featured that day, were two of his five rotating balls: Serious and Kick in Da. After meeting up with Mike’s wife and Kristien’s former coworker, Anne as well as other former coworkers and friends Michael, Bill, Rob, and Lisa, we placed our order. Now, don’t get us wrong, we love catching up with old friends…but the intoxicating scent of tomato sauce was too much to bare. We ordered (and were graciously treated to) three of each meatball on rolls.

2013-04-20 13.18.58

Let’s start off with Serious, aka the original with ground beef from Saugatuck Craft Butchery.  The sauce was slightly sweet and tangy, but with a warm, rustic taste. The bread, straight from Il Forno in Da Bronx to Mike’s door step, was amazing. Ya know, it’s hard to beat bread from Da Bronx.  The meatballs themselves were good, but we wondered if they were just a bit too dense this first time around. The flavor was good though, with the perfect amount of herbs, and the meat was super fresh.

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The Local Meatball Food Cart Rolls into Fairfield w/ Locally Sourced Balls

9 Mar

Update: The Local Meatball is now open.  Check out our review! 

January 23:  National Pie Day (shouldn’t that be 3/14, right math geeks?)

February 9:  National Pizza Day

February 15:  National I Want Butterscotch Day

March 17:  National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day

Ah, the holidays and special days of the year that are near and dear to our cholesterol-sodden hearts!  And, did you know that today is National Meatball Day?  Well, why not celebrate this joyous occasion with a major announcement?

Starting on April 6 20, the people of Fairfield will have their own supply of serious balls.  That’s because The Local Meatball food cart will be plopping down and serving up some seriously delicious meatballs in Fairfield at places like the train station and the green.  Really, who doesn’t love meatballs?  And, who doesn’t love meatballs that are sourced locally?  The meat is supplied by Saugatuck Craft Butchery, the bread is from Il Forno Bakery, the ricotta is from Calabro, and the eggs come from The Farmers Cow.  In terms of meatball options, here we go:

Pick your form:

On a roll or in a bowl

Pick your size:

Smashed slider w/ 1 ball (child size)

Average Joe w/ 2 balls (…Are better than 1)

Grinder w/ 3 balls (7″ of Meatball Heaven)

Pick your balls:

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Downhome Italian fare hits downtown at Rizzuto’s New Locale – Stamford, CT

8 Dec

Antipasto has been proven* to elevate mood and happiness

We were first introduced to Rizzuto’s way back in April at Fairfield County Eats, an awesome event where  you can sample some of the awesome food that Fairfield County has to offer while helping to raise money for the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.  When we came to Rizzuto’s table we were all over their nice spread of antipasto and various other delectable treats.  It definitely made us want to get out to Westport to try more.  Well, we didn’t ever get out there, but we were excited to find out that Rizzuto’s would open up shop in our stomping grounds where Route 22 used to be.   Ever the rabid restaurant seekers and food mongers, we drove on down and checked things out after just their second day in business.  These are our stories…dong dong.

The Look and Service

There’s lots of exposed brick all around with a TON of room to move around and for tables.  If you’re looking for a place to have a party or a family get together, or just a casual Italian food run, this is your spot. It’s huge and totally laid back, but a nice step up from an eat-in pizza joint. Also, there’s a nice, huge wood fired brick oven in the middle cooking up pizzay-goodness.

The Antipasto

We really loved the selection of antipasto that’s available here at Rizzuto’s.  One of the best selections in our area for sure! You can select from cured meats, artisan cheeses, or vegetables.  Mere amateurs only get prosciutto di parma, or Parmigiano-Reggiano, or roasted frying peppers.  If you’re a Level 20 Eater, you’d select one of their sharing platters: Rizzuto’s Antipasto Platter, Cured Meat and Cheese Board, or Cheese and Vegetable Platter.  Not wanting to feel super guilty, we got the Antipasto Platter.  We got Prosciutto di Parma, Soppressata Calabrese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pistachio crusted goat cheese, Mediterranean olives, and roasted frying peppers.  This heavenly platter came with honey, a sinfully awesome cranberry mustard, and a well-balanced apricot jam.  The meats were fresh, the cheeses flavorful, the olives had an orange zesty taste, and the peppers were roasted to softness and went nicely with the provolone.  If you don’t have a piece of the fig bread in your platter, be sure to ask if there is some in the kitchen.  It’s just re-freaking-donkulous! The best antipasto platter we’ve had in Fairfield County!

The Pizza

I’m a sucker for rich pizzas.  I had to get the guanciale and potato pizza at Tappo when I saw it, then regretted how heavy it was 3/4 of the way in.  Well, a stubborn Italian doesn’t learn his lesson because the lure of potato and sausage on a pie is just too much for me to handle.  So, I got the sausage and potato pizza that had broccoli rate, roasted garlic, and Parmigiano-Reggiano with it.  The crust was light and fluffy, similar to the consistency of zeppole.  The sausage was great and had a great fennel taste to it, the potatoes were crispy and golden, but the broccoli rabe was a bit overcooked and was bitter.  The pie comes with hot oil on the side…hell yeah.  It’s not that hot, though, don’t worry.  This was a very rich pie, but it was still good.  Like I said with Tappo’s pie, I’d share this with another person.

The Pasta

Kristien ordered Sunday Gravy:  housemade braised veal braciole, meatballs, sausage, all over fettuccine.  The braciole was delicate, fell apart with light pulling, and was cooked well.  The meatballs, on the other hand, were too meaty and solid for Kristien’s taste. She wasn’t into it. She prefers lighter, less condensed meatballs…like her grandma’s or Michael Psilakis’s or Bacchus’s.  The sausage was spicy and full of flavor.  In terms of the pasta, it was served perfectly al dente.  The sauce that held this all together was average, but nothing amazing.  It held its own, though, and held the dish together.

Dessert

Are you like us and throughout the meal you say, “No, no…we’re not going to have dessert.  We’ve already eaten so much.”  Yeah, that never works.  We gave in when we saw the apple and dried cherry crostata with dulce de leche gelato.  The filling was great and tasted like a burst of fall.  There was an overwhelmingly beautiful cinnamon smell wafting through the air.  The dough, though, could have used a bit more cooking. It was a bit raw.

Overall Impressions

Rizzuto’s in Stamford has the potential to be a main stay of families and casual dinners, although it runs a little expensive for a go-to spot.  There’s plenty of seating, especially for big parties, the service is extremely warm and friendly, and the antipasti is killer here.  Some of the best moments of any meal are spent just omnoming here and there on some meats or cheeses and catching up on life.  In terms of the meals, they are good, but have some room to grow.  We (and our readers) need to remember, though, that this was just their second day in business.  So, cheers to Rizzuto’s.  Many happy years ahead.

Rizzuto’s

Noms: 3.5

Cost: $$$

Address:  1980 West Main Street

Stamford, CT 06902

Phone:    (203) 324-5900

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Can’t Bear (Beer?) the Winter Blues? Sierra Nevada 6 Course Pairing – Coalhouse Pizza, Stamford CT

1 Dec

I feel like a seasoned veteran in terms of understanding the extreme awesomeness of Coalhouse Pizza.  Kristien and I have been there so many times and have tried so many great dishes and pizzas.  We’ve sat outside and enjoyed jazz and the blues while sipping on wine and beer.  But, something that you must do is get tickets to one of their coursed meals with beer pairings.  We’ve attended two so far and we’re going to be attending our third:  Sierra Nevada Beer Dinner on December 13.  At the last Lobster Clambake of Peak Organic, two of the most memorable dishes were the most delicate and moist crab cake that I’ve ever tasted–don’t usually like them at all–and a wonderfully tart but fruity key lime pie. Getting tickets to this event will prove Wonka-like, with people praying for a golden ticket.  Seating is smaller than usual because the owners can’t take advantage of the outdoor dining in the cold cold Connecticut winter, so call them up (# below) and reserve your seat!  :)

So, what’s so exciting about these particular courses?  Well, you get to really branch out and try different dishes from the Coalhouse menu.  My fave pizzas there are The Kicker and Sidewinder, so it’ll be nice to try a new one.  Of great interest to are the chicken wings and meatballs, soaked in Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale and Bigfoot Barleywine, accordingly.  I know that Kristien’s already salivating because dessert is the Ricotta Cheesecake, her favorite slice that she’s ever had.  She refuses to get any other dessert here just so she can have another taste of her own white heaven.  I’m sorry if this happens, but we might end up writing a 12 page essay about the meal when it’s through…I mean, we have to evaluate the beer and food.  That’s quite a task, but we’re willing to sacrifice in the name of food bloggery and culinary nirvana.

Sierra Nevada Beer Dinner
December 13, 2010
$55 per person

Coalhouse Pizza
Address:  85 High Ridge Road
Stamford, CT 06905
Phone:  (203) 977-7700
Site:  www.coalhousepizza.com
$25 or more required for delivery within Stamford

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