The concept for Certified Meatball Company, slated to open in Southie in early July, can be found right in its name. But Bill Brodsky doesn’t want to simply serve meatballs in a bowl of red sauce. “There’s some really bold flavors peppered throughout the menu,” says Brodsky, chief culinary officer for Boston Nightlife Ventures, the restaurant group behind Certified Meatball Company. “This is such a specific concept that it needs to be in a neighborhood and have a neighborhood feel.”
The menu offers a variety of meatball preparations. The base is a four-meatball dish ($9) that lets customers pick from classic beef, chicken, Moroccan lamb, spicy Korean pork, veggie and a daily special as well as one of six sauces, such as spiced herb yogurt or roasted garlic marinara. Upgrades such as a fried egg or sauteed mushrooms cost $1.50. A dozen sides (mostly $7), such as udon noodles with coconut-lime curry, whole-wheat spaghetti with marinara and harissa-roasted Brussels sprouts, are available to pair with a meatball base. Diners can also opt for more composed meatball dishes such as a shrimp ’n’ grits dish of shrimp balls over creamy cheddar grits with andouille sausage-tasso ham gravy. There’s also a limited supply of slow-roasted turducken balls—a chicken meatball stuffed in a duck meatball stuffed in a turkey meatball and topped with poultry gravy.
“It’s a ball that I thought would be unique and fun,” Brodsky says. “Because it’s so labor intensive, we’re only going to make a set amount each day. So maybe we’ll make 12, maybe we’ll make 20. And when we’re out, we’re out.”
Elsewhere on the menu, a salad and soup section will include a tomato-based meatball chowder with corn and potatoes, while a panini section will include four grilled meatball sandwiches ($11) such as a banhini, a take on a banh mi with spicy pork balls and pickled daikon-cucumber slaw. Bao balls—meatballs with sauce on a steamed bao bun—will also be available. The bar menu will include six cocktails on tap as well as a couple of frozen cocktails concocted by beverage director Michael Boughton. Dessert is focused on five cakeball truffles such as salted peanut butterscotch, and a Lady Liberty sundae ($27) will pair them with ice cream and an Oreo waffle. “We’re actually going to serve it with a sparkler,” Brodsky says. “It’ll be very libertyesque.”
The long, narrow 65-seat restaurant will include dining tables at the front and back of the restaurant separated by a marble-top bar seating about 12 with some hightop tables nearby. Above the bar space is a retractable skylight, which Brodsky hopes will give diners the feel of al fresco dining. A five-seat kitchen counter will offer an up-close view of the cooking, but the meatball making will be done in a prep kitchen downstairs—with the help of a meatball machine that forms 1,000 meatballs an hour.
“Yup,” Brodsky says with a smile. “I’ve got a meatball machine.”
Certified Meatball Company 429 W. Broadway, Boston certifiedmeatball.com