egarding Melbourne’s palate as “probably the most sophisticated in the world”, Matteo Bruno has thrown the city another culinary twist by launching its first artisan meatball establishment.
Slotting into Flinders Lane with an exposed brick interior, custom-made light fittings, communal seating and a long copper bar, the space is relaxed and welcoming.
Drawing recipes Bruno’s mother’s Venetian heritage, the food is matched by a wine list focused on Italian varietals, inspired by his father’s roots in Piedmont.
Sourcing meat from Sydney butcher, Victor Churchill in Woollahra, every meatball will be delivered with a pedigree and a provenance. Chef Ashlee Connell, previously at Collins Quarter and a qualified nutritionist, has been given the reigns as the ‘queen of balls’ in the kitchen.
Beef, pork, chicken, fish and vegetable balls will initially shape the menu, with plans for rabbit, venison and more. All balls are gluten-free and served with your choice of sauce, focaccia bread and shaved parmesan. On rotation will be ‘chef’s balls’, featuring recipes from some of Australia’s most notable cooking talent. First up is chef Peter Evans with his Asian-influenced prawn balls.
A selection of charcuterie (including Wagyu 9+ bresaola), sliders, mozzarella balls and seasonal salads will also be offered, not to mention the ‘Whoopie Mac’ – homemade ice cream sandwiched between two macaroons.
Cocktails, spirits and craft beers are supported by grappa and digestives, a Prosecco spritz looming as the signature.
The same theme will carry through to the morning, with a range of egg-based breakfast balls served with sides. Coffee by Dukes will be a welcome addition for local office workers.
Loyalty will be rewarded via the Balls Club, with members invited to special events and given privileges to select products.
The Meatball & Wine Bar
135 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
(03) 9654 7545
Mon to Fri 7am–late (serving breakfast, lunch and dinner)
*Dinner starting on Friday 7th September
Sat & Sun noon–late (serving lunch and dinner)