The best meatball of all five boroughs has been tasted, declared, digested, honored. After battling it out at Dish du Jour magazine's meatball melee last night, Manhattan's Bello Giardino took home the top honor with a traditional Italian meatball.

Chef Nick Mormando had his nickname on the line, as he's better known as “Nicky Meatballs,” so it's probably best he beat out the likes Bar Stuzzichini, Campo, Carmine's and Molyvos (in Manhattan); Mundo Café, Vesta Trattoria & Wine Bar and Agnanti Meze (in Queens); Brooklyn restaurant Ignazio's Pizza; and Staten Island's Pastosa Ravioli. Guess the Bronx didn't both to show up. Typical.

Nick's secret is that his meatballs "are fried in a stainless steel pan, creating just enough crisp to compliment their moist, flavorful core." You can get the recipe on the restaurant's website, or after the jump. But what's this? The event's emcee told the Village Voice that "Jim Botsacos' cumin-powered Greek number from Molyvos was best in class. The judges were all Italians though, so I knew it wasn't in the cards."

Nicky’s Famous Meatballs


Meat: 1lb beef and 1 lb pork (instruct butcher to grind meats 3 times, if using pork and beef, grind together)
Garlic: 7 or 8 cloves of garlic
Eggs: 2 to 3 eggs
Parmesan Cheese: 1/4 pound
Parsley: Fresh Italian Parsley (large bunch) Italian Bread: One loaf of 2 day old Italian bread

Mixing Process:

1. Place beef/pork in bowl
2. Add garlic and use a garlic squeezer so that there are no large chunks 3. Add eggs and Parmesan cheese 4. Wash parsley leaves with water and chop them up very fine 5. In separate bowl, break up hard Italian bread and fill bowl with water. Let bread soak for a few minutes until bread is mushy. Squeeze the excess water and then add remaining ingredients above.
6. Mix all ingredients with hand. Remove all lumps of bread.
7. Make sure hands are wet when shaping meatballs. DO NOT PACK TIGHT The results will be crispy outside and tender inside.
Use a medium sized cast iron frying pan and fry meatballs in Olive, Wesson or Mazola Oil. Fill frying pan with the oil to half the depth of the meatballs. Heat oil 3/4 of the flame (or medium high) Make sure oil is hot before putting meatballs in. Cook 8 to 10 at a time. Turn over when meat is brown. Finished meatball size should be approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inch in diameter.