The Meatball Shop continues its expansion with their brand new Upper East Side outpost, which opens for service this evening at 6 p.m. It's the largest of their meaty empire, with 116 seats, including a 15-seat bar, and also the first to serve brunch; more on that later. The new restaurant marks a homecoming for co-owners Chef Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow, who were both born in the neighborhood and cut their teeth in the restaurant biz working as delivery boys for a vegan restaurant. It's clear their stint in the meat-free industry didn't stick, but that's all the better for carnivores who've been clamoring for the duo's balls since their first LES incarnation.
All the orbed favorites made it uptown, like the spicy pork and classic beef meatballs, slathered in one of their succulent sauces of parmesan cream, spicy meat and mushroom varieties. As with the other Shops, order your balls over pasta, salad or in sandwich form; their checklist-style menu lays it all out. Brunch has plenty of balls too, like the Balls, Biscuits & Gravy dish served with two fried eggs and your choice of meatball. Balls Benedict means two poached eggs, bacon, and whatever kind of meatball you want, all slathered in hollandaise and served on brioche. All brunch items are $11, including a sweet Smash Bun French Toast, with the option to add an extra ball to any dish for $2.
The local community board may have dampened their late-night booze dreams, but the restaurant put together unique cocktail options anyway. Instead of beer, get 40-ounce, $40 pitchers of cocktails that serve between 4 and 5 people in flavors like Peach Sangria, Bloody Mary and the hangover helper Retox, a gin-based cocktail made with coconut water and fresh ginger. They've also devised a "Whiskey Grid" that mirrors their food menu, which gives imbibers a checklist of brown liquors and different preparations and invites them to "concoct their own." Peruse the booze menus below and check their website for the final food menus when they're released.
1462 Second Avenue, (212) 257-6121; themeatballshop.com. For opening week, hours are Monday through Sunday 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Second week: Monday through Friday: noon to 12:00 a.m. and Saturday & Sunday: 11 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Regular hours (a month post-opening) Monday through Friday: noon to 2:00 a.m.; Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.; and Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.