Spaghetti and meatballs: Name a more iconic duo. But meatballs can shine in their own right—just ask Boston Nightlife Ventures, the restaurant group behind Certified Meatball Company, which opened this summer. From classic meatballs to turducken versions, guests can have it all at the Southie spot, including make-your-own bao balls trimmed with a handful of sauces. Chief culinary officer Bill Brodsky says the airiness of the bun “allows the texture of the meatball to take center stage.” Besides the classic beef and marinara, a few of Brodsky’s favorite combos include the spicy Korean pork ball with chili barbecue and Moroccan lamb meatball with spiced herb yogurt—and then there’s the daily bao specials, like a recent Greek-inspired keftedes with lime-chili yogurt. Or you can also make your way around town to dive into these three other meatball dishes served sans noodles.
• At Pastoral, chef/owner Todd Winer tops Neapolitan pizza dough with roasted veal meatballs ($18)—packed with garlic, nutmeg and panada—and crushed tomatoes, broccoli rabe, parmesan and fior di latta. The veal meatballs also make their way into a kids’ menu sandwich made with puccia, a bread from Taranto, Italy, that’s thrown in the kitchen’s wood oven and stuffed with sauce and melted mozzarella.
• Fenway’s hitting the meatball out of the park with a pizza crust cone ($9.75) from the Strega restaurant group. The blend of ground veal, beef and wild mushrooms comes courtesy of restaurateur Nick Varano’s mother, meaning once the baseball season comes to an end, you can get Rosetta’s meatballs at Nico and Strega Waterfront, where chef Salvatore Firicano serves them with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, basil, whipped ricotta and pomodoro sauce ($10).
• Chef Tony Susi grew up making meatballs with his mom on Sundays, and now the Capo toque recreates the beef and pork recipe—which she never wrote down!—for Meatball Mondays at the Southie restaurant. They’re simmered in tomato sugo for up to three hours before being sandwiched in a slider ($3) on Monday nights, but guests can get a carb-less fill the rest of the week with an order of three ($12).