Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bar Meatball Now Open in Virginia Highland | Atlanta Restaurant Openings

Bar Meatball is the newly minted meatballs-and-more spot now open in the former Pozole space, tucked away behind Dark Horse Tavern.  While technically not the first restaurant to offer a selection of meatballs in Atlanta, it's fair to say that Bar Meatball is the first to make meatballs the focus of their menu.  They've done a great job brightening and dressing-up the space.  However, you might see a few familiar faces around as some of Bar Meatball's staff (as well as co-owner Joey Masi) are Pozole carryovers.
Bar Meatball Atlanta co-owners Joe Federici and Joey Masi
Joe Federici and Joey Masi
Bar Meatball Atlanta interior shot
Bar Meatball's swank new interior
Masi and his cousin/co-owner Joe Federici are real-deal Italian guys from New York.  They invited us to sample some meatballs and drinks just before opening day, and I came away impressed.  The concept is simple: choose from six different meatballs - including beef, chicken and rosemary, sausage and peppers, arancini, and my favorite, eggplant - and pair them with one of five sauces.  Joe made sure I tried some of the bolo (Bolognese) sauce and I found myself dipping a hunk of bread in it, scarfing it down, and thinking back to Sunday dinners when I was a kid.

Bar Meatball Atlanta - plate of meatball sliders
A plate of meatball sliders with the arancini (rice ball) up front
For $8, you get four meatballs and sauce.  On the side, you can pick from options like fries or Parmesan mash, an antipasto plate with Spotted Trotter meats, fried peppers, fried calamari or a Caprese salad.

To finish things off, I sampled both the “Joey’s bag-o-donuts,” Italian zeppole tossed with powdered sugar, just like you get at the San Gennaro festival, and the mix-and-match house-made ice cream sandwiches, where you choose both the type of cookies and the ice cream flavor.  

Joey's Bag-O-Donuts with hazelnut dipping sauce
Joey's Bag-O-Donuts with hazelnut dipping sauce
Bar Meatball Atlanta - Ice Cream Sandwich
My ice cream sandwich - chocolate chip with peanut butter ice cream
Finally, there's the bar.  On top of a decent selection of beer and wine, Bar Meatball offers specialty drinks such as the “Milano mule,” a blend of Tito’s vodka, Aranciata Rossa, fresh lime and ginger; their take on the classic Italian Negroni, as well as several other novel concoctions.

Bar Meatball is a welcome addition to an area overpopulated with pubs and burgers.  The prices are very reasonable, the food is good, and the atmosphere is bright and comfortable.  It'll definitely go into our rotation for 6 PM baby-in-tow meals, but with a good bar and easy to share food, is an equally good option for the 9 PM crowd.    

Bar Meatball
1044 Greenwood Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30306



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