Pomo Pizzeria founder Stefano Fabbri is passionate about everything he does.
“If you know me, you understand that I’m really passionate,” Fabbri says. “The only thing that came make you work in this industry is passion.”
With that passion, Fabbri opened Phoenix’s Meat the Ball, a restaurant that prides itself on bringing customers a healthy dining menu with an Italian twist. The menu features a variety of salads, pastas, sandwiches, and of course, meatballs.
For its appetizers, guests are welcome to the shrimp gratin, which is shrimp with tomatoes, olives and bel paese cheese ($12). Another appetizer is “The All You Need Board,” with prosciutto crudo, Creminelli salami trio, pecorino toscano, Bermuda Triangle goat cheese, and triple cream cheese ($19).
For the main course, the pastas are a sure way to go. The pesto straccetti includes thin sheets of pasta, parmigiano, and pesto pine nuts ($12). The four-cheese fettuccine comes with mozzarella, provolone, parmigiano and gorgonzola ($13). The meatball menu, however, is the heart of Meat the Ball.
Guests can order a variety of different meatballs to accompany the dishes, or if they choose to enjoy them on their own. Meat the Ball offers beef and pork, spicy sausage, chicken, short ribs, eggplant, quinoa, cauliflower, salmon and veal. Fabbri says his favorite is the cauliflower meatball.
For the spicy cauliflower, the chef spices the cauliflower with cumin and coriander and adds a tomato coconut curry sauce with broccoli rice ($15). The spicy sausage meatballs are made with Niman Ranch Pork, sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, crispy onions and creamy polenta ($16). Its vegetarian choice, the quinoa meatballs, is prepared with a stracchino cheese core, and red bell pepper sauce with pan-seared vegetables ($15).
“We wanted our guests to be able to order any meatball they would like,” Fabbri says.
Fabbri cares about providing healthy meats.
“Our meatballs are not just meatballs. Some meatballs are organic, some meatballs are all natural (non-GMO), and some meat is grass-fed,” Fabbri says.
Fabbri spent quite some time bringing guests a menu he’s proud of. But, he adds, food isn’t everything in a restaurant; the experience it delivers is just as important.
“It’s really important not to think about selling food. You have to think to sell an experience,” Fabbri says. “The experience starts at the door with the service, the hostess, with the music, with the design, and of course, with the food.”
The 850-square-foot Meat the Ball makes guests feel at home. Having a small footprint allows Fabbri to connect with his customers.
“When you have a small restaurant that can survive with 60 or 80 guests a day, you can stop at every table and talk to them and give them the feeling of being home,” Fabbri says.
“Meat the Ball is a mini restaurant but with a big personality.”
Meat the Ball, 2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602.954.5278, meattheball.com.