If you like your balls tender, juicy and with a side of humorous innuendo, The Meatball & Wine Bar is for you.
Opening in 2012, the restaurant and bar has cemented itself as one of Melbourne’s laneway hotspots, known for celebrating the simple things in life: good food and even better wine.
The Meatball & Wine Bar was established by Matteo Bruno, marking his first venture into restaurant ownership. But this wasn’t his first adventure into the culinary world – he has extensive experience in food-focused television and film. Eager to open a restaurant of his own, he came up with the simple yet delicious concept for The Meatball & Wine Bar.
The name clearly expresses Matteo’s focus: artisan meatballs. All of the beef, chicken and lamb used in the meatballs is sourced from family farms in Victoria and the fish and vegetables are fresh and local. Melbourne-based producers also supply the bread, cheese, salami, ice cream and cookies, ensuring a local experience from the very first bite.
As Executive Chef, Matteo leads a talented kitchen team, while creating and overseeing a menu of deliciously unique breakfast, lunch and dinner options. If you’re stopping by for brekky, order an Italian-style toastie filled with either minced beef, creamy red sauce and parsley; tomato, mozzarella and basil; or for those with a sweet tooth, Nutella and banana. Pair your breakfast with a coffee care of Melbourne specialty roasters, Dukes, or a steaming pot of tea from Storm in a Tea Cup.
For lunch and dinner, the most popular menu choice is a DIY meatball dish. First, you choose a ball – either pork, beef, chicken, sh or veggie (made from quinoa, cheese and corn). Next, you pick a sauce – red, white or green – and finally you pick something for your balls to sit on – think potato smash, house-made pasta or creamy polenta.
There are also sharing options that allow you to spread your eating abilities across a number of flavours. Pick at the charcuterie, nibble on a skewer, or keep things light and bright with a salad – the choice is really up to you. Just know that dessert is considered compulsory, so there better be room to spare!
Why so necessary? The Whoopie Mac is the homemade ice cream sandwich that dreams are made of – it sees handmade cookies (flavours include ginger, chocolate, coconut and pistachio meringue) sandwiched together with a scoop of chocolate and hazelnut; fig and almond; double cream vanilla; or salted caramel ice cream.
The simple comfort food is perfectly matched with a glass of wine from the list of Italian varietals, while beer, spirits and cocktails are also available.
Drinks can be enjoyed in the dimly lit, ambient restaurant – the lights are turned down and the music is turned up. Exposed brick walls, and leather and copper features add to an overall industrial feeling with so lighting and raw timber accents adding warmth.
If balls tickle your fancy, The Meatball & Wine Bar is the place to go – with a dedicated approach to doing the simple things well, it’s a tried and true dining experience that’s guaranteed to leave you smiling.