|Meatball & Win Bar | Richmond|
After a fun jaunt in the city with a dear friend of ours, the three of us headed back home via Richmond. Despite our lively chattering in the car, we all kept an eye out for the Meatball & Wine Bar, as we had it on good authority it was the hot place to go. Granted, the location recommended to us was in the City (which was clearly in the rear view mirror at this point), but we figured the Richmond location must surely be as good as the other.
So you might be wondering, “What’s a vegetarian going to eat at a meatball place?” and that is definitely a good question! Shawn, however, had already sussed out the menu and spotted ‘vegetarian’ options for me there…
As we drove down Swan Street, the all-white renovated corner pub stuck out a like sore thumb among all the construction work surrounding it. We found an opportune car park just outside and made our way in to an empty L-shaped eating area. Granted, it was about quarter past three on a Saturday, so it was highly unlikely we’d be waiting for a table, so we were seated right away.
The fit-out was cafe-trendy and minimal with touches of that very industrial style we’re used to seeing around town. And although our server was friendly, I believe the off-peak time of our arrival caught him off guard as he seemed a bit more interested in conversing with those sitting at the bar than us at the table. But that was no matter, we had each others’ company to pass the time with.
Of course, I ordered the Vegetarian Sliders ($16.50/3pcs), Shawn ordered the Fish Sliders ($18.00/3pcs) and our friend ordered the Mini Balls ($14.00). Let me just premise this by saying that our visit to the Meatball & Wine Bar was completely preempted by Shawn, who has been wanting to try the place since he read about them in the paper quite some time ago. So you can imagine our slight shock when he ordered Fish Sliders and not meatballs!! Oh well, c’est la vie!
My veg sliders were quite cute and had a little bit of spice in them. The patties themselves were quite mushy, which I fear is a trait of many veg patties out there in the world; and I didn’t notice much of the Red Tomato Italian Sauce I got to pick to go with them. They were desperately in need of a contrasting texture to spread the load with all that mushiness and squishiness. Perhaps a cucumber slice or shredded raw cabbage in each one would have been nice? No matter, all in all, they were good. Just good, but then again, I was eating in a meat-lovers place after all!
Shawn’s Fish Sliders had the Green Pesto Salsa Verde sauce on them and although he said he liked them, I think I saw a tear in the corner of his eye as he ate them…too bad he didn’t try the meatballs themselves! His sliders were flavoured with dill and lemon, he heartily ate them up but professed that “Next time, I’ll get the meatballs.”
Our friend, the only one who ordered actual meatballs had a little bowl of assorted mini-meat balls sitting in front of her: pork (with fennel, sage and orange), chicken (with pistachio, muscatels, and Parmesan) and beef (nothing but pasture-fed Angus apparently). They were accompanied with BBQ, Aioli and the Green sauces. We were all a bit surprised that the three different meatballs would be presented jumbled up together in a single bowl, as it made the taste-testing a little more difficult for her. So she quickly recruited Shawn in to help ascertain what was what. Whether or not he would admit it himself, I’m sure his eyes lit up at this generous invite from our friend to taste test the mini balls with her 🙂
Perhaps extreme meat connoisseurs would have been able to tell the little balls apart, but I must say it was quite amusing for me to watch them both try to work out which ball was pork, chicken or beef. The darker balls were clearly beef…maybe? This one’s gotta be chicken….you think? Oh, that’s pork…I’m pretty sure! All I know is they both agreed that one was spicier than the rest and our friend declared the Aioli sauce as extremely nice.
Overall? Good. Nothing any of three of us would really run back to anytime soon. But perhaps we missed the mark based on what we ordered? Perhaps we should have tried the flagship location first? I dare say if you ordered their actual specialty – the proper meatballs from the middle of the menu – you might be more impressed with the place than us….so go ahead and give it a try! 🙂
Atmosphere: ★★★★★ ✔