Atlanta's Got Balls - Meatballs!

Did someone say meatball? Living in an Italian household with hubby and two carnivorous boys, I think it is fair to say that I am somewhat of an expert on this topic. When I was invited to a preview event for the 2nd annual Atlanta Meatball Festival, I could not refuse. Executive Chef Linda Harrell invited four chefs from other Atlanta restaurants that will participating in this year’s Atlanta Meatball Festival into her kitchen at Cibo E Beve. Each chef prepared a signature meatball.

Photo Credit: Henri Hollis
The first meatball to arrive at the table was a perfect little package created by Chef Drew Belline of No. 246. A wonderful example of a traditional Italian meatball plated with a splash of pomodoro and a basil leaf. Yum.

Next up was a gluten-free meatball made with Springer Mountain Farms' chicken. This morsel created by host Chef Linda was lighter than its beefy cousins with a chunkier style marinara.

A “smoked” meatball from 7 Lamps Chef Drew Van Leuvan was a nice surprise. The meatball was made with beef and pork braised in a sincerely smoky puree of tomato and eggplant; a very nice adaptation on a classic. 

The biggest revelation of the evening came in the way of the duck meatball with a hoisin-style glaze served atop kimchi collards presented by Chef Justin Keith of Food 101. This was truly an exceptional meatball!

The last sample of the evening and winner of the “size matters” award was a humongous meatball in a well prepared tomato gravy came from Top Chef Ron Eyester of Rosebud who delivered his offering to the table with a mischievous grin as he said, “Ready to taste my balls?”
If these meatballs are a sample of what’s in store at this year’s Atlanta Meatball Festival, you better go buy your tickets now to join TasteATL at Belle Isle Square in Sandy Springs on Sunday, August 30 from 1:00 - 5:00pm for a mighty selection of meatball dishes, sweets, limoncello and more from more than 20 of Atlanta's hottest restaurants.

While the food items we sampled were complimentary, we received no additional remuneration. The opinions included herein are honest and unsolicited.