Earlier this month I was invited to MESSY MEATBALL MONDAY to launch the new meatball menu at PAESE on King Street. When I saw the splashy new menu, there was no way I was saying no!
As soon as I sat down, I was presented with a large red bib with large text “PAESE: Our balls are messy!”. Excited, I tied it around my neck and gozzled through the first meatball, not caring about the mess created by the giant meatball splattered all over my mouth and clothes.
The first meatball on the menu was the signature “PAESE Meatball”, which is a house ground beef short rib sirloin brisket and pecorino braised in tomato sayo.
I was surprised by the size of the meatball presented in front of me. Holy moly, it was bigger than my mouth! As I bite into it I find that although it was drier than I expected, the tomato based sauce compliments it well. This meatball in 3 words was hearty, filling and smooth but I kept wanting it to be juicier. Overall, it was enjoyable to devour. The crisp texture of the crouton was a nice touch.
Being PAESE’s signature meatball, we were presented with a unique twist to this modern meatball – meatball on a caesar! How could I ever expect such? How do I even eat this thing? Or drink?
I’m not a fan of caesar personally, however my boyfriend slurped on this all night and gave me the big thumbs up on this giant food/drink combo.
Next up, was PAESE’s veal meatball – a spring time delight. It was explained to me that the ingredients in this mighty meatball are quintessential Italian. This meatball is actually braised in milk curdles and topped off with peas and cheese shavings. It was quite a contrast to the previous meatball as it was light and creamy and you could taste the milk, a light saltiness flavour just melt in your mouth.
If I felt like I was being taken on a tour through Italy from that last tasting, I was surely brought right back to North America with the next meatball – “PAESE’s Chicken Wing Meatball”. Say what?!?! Chicken wing meatball?! Yes, you heard me!
This was an interesting take on the classic North American bar food with spicy pepperoncini chicken with gorgonzola dipping sauce. The sauce was only slightly spicy or I would say extremely mild. It tasted almost like a blue cheese sauce, whilst the chicken meatball itself was sour and vinegary like a spicy chicken wing. The meatball appeared baked with a crisped topping.
What I found was most interesting was the addition of pickled celery (which I’ve never even thought existed!) to ensure you get the complete chicken wing, celery and dip combination as you would on your typical night out at St Louis Bar & Grill. But it only brings me to the next question.. where are the fries? This was the most anticipated menu item and surely enjoyed it.
This was the first of the few unexpected menu items and we love surprises!
A classic Italian snack – Polenta fries, cornmeal, garlic mayo and smoked ketchup. I don’t normally like smoked items but I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed smoked ketchup. We also enjoyed the small break from meatballs!
Now back to meatballs – how would you like some meatballs on buns? Love the name!
I tried to put this in my mouth all in one go to experience the combination of flavours but it was sure difficult because of its height! I don’t normally like to eat the buns on a burger, but these buns provided the perfect balanced coupled with the pickles. There was a crispy chip in the centre and the cheese was lightly salty. Perfecto.
Last on the menu was PAESE Pizza Magherita with a crispy thin crust. It was excellently cooked. The basil was light and fragrant and the cheese was tasty and chewy.
Three pluses go to 1) the light thin cripsy crust, 2) the tasty meatballs 3) the delicious cheese. I wish I had enough room in my belly for this because it was incredible how good this tasted.
Overall, we had a great night here at PAESE. The staff were wonderful – excellent service, knowledgable about their food and best of all – passionate! It’s exciting to see staff at a restaurant who are deeply passionate about the food they serve to their customers. It makes the dining experience all the more enjoyable – which was exactly our night here at PAESE: enjoyable.