For decades, good meatballs have been reserved for little old school Italian places with checkered table cloths and prosciutto hanging from the ceiling.
Fork & Balls will be offering a casual bar scene with a wide variety of balls.
Set in the space that once housed M Bar, the completely renovated space is intended to feel like a New York kitchen.
Cream colored-brick walls lined with tufted burgundy booths flank the room. In the middle sits a rectangular bar composed of a hodgepodge of wooden cabinet doors topped with a white marble top. Situated directly in the middle of the restaurant, the bar flows directly toward the open kitchen.
"We wanted to make it feel like an old New York City place that feels like someone's home," says co-owner Tim Petrillo. "The idea is that the kitchen is a part of the program."
The bar will offer a wide rotating selection of craft beer and wine on draft as well as cocktails.
With indoor, outdoor, and bar seating, the restaurant offers 160 seats.
The menu includes a selection of veggies, sliders, sandwiches, salads, and customizable and composed meatball options.
For around $8 to $9, customizable options include choice ball (classic, beef, chicken, spicy pork, veggie, ball of the day, etc.) and sauce (traditional tomato, roasted tomato, parmesan cream, mushroom sauce, and more) with a side of focaccia.
Composed dishes will run the gamut in terms of flavors and styles, but Mediterranean and Italian will make up the majority. According to partner Peter Boulukos, you can expect to see items like special blend balls (made of veal and pork) paired with a light broth of gigande beans, prosciutto, and rapini. Spicy pork will be served over creamy polenta with roasted tomato sauce with sweet peppers and ricotta. A cumin-scented chili-like sauce will be paired with beef meatballs, cheddar, and crispy tortillas.
Same goes for the sandwiches and sliders. While customizable options are available, guests can expect to see international inspired selections, like lamb on pita with tomato, cucumber, onion, and tzatziki.
All balls will be ground in-house and created from custom blends.
Boulukos has been working on creating a wide ranging menu for quite some time now. He says he's had to up his workout routine to keep up with the testing.
"I feel like I'm going to explode," he says. "It's so easy to eat; you start and they're addictive. I think we got it now. I'm really happy with the way we're going along."
Even so, that's not to say that healthier options aren't present. A large vegetable program has been incorporated. In addition to vegetarian balls, expect to see items like broccoli rabe, braised green beans (with a tomato stock, finished with feta, pecans, and mint), farro tomato salad, grilled romaine, as well as vegetable and salad of the day.
Expect to fork some balls in mid-June. Stay tuned for details.
It's located at 1301 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-771-BALS, or visit facebook.com/pages/Fork-Balls
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.