When you put the words “meatball” and “madness” in the same sentence, then add a bit of Giada, and you know you’re in a good place. At the New York City Wine & Food Festival, Giada De Laurentiis and 25 of ’s best chefs and restaurants put their spin on a staple of culinary carnivores everywhere, the meatball. 

At first glance, the meatball is not the most prestigious item in the culinary world. But unlike steaks or chops, the beauty of a meatball is in the interpretation; a meatball is limited only by the chef’s imagination. And based on what I tasted, I realized a meatball is actually a microcosm of a chef’s personality. When you make a solid meatball, when a chef takes somewhere you didn’t think possible, chances are the rest of the menu will be solid and imaginative.

Some on NYC’s heavy hitters were represented, from Donatella to Fred’s at Barneys New York to Le Cirque. See the full list here.  All in all, it was a great time and I was able to check out some offerings from restaurants that are clearly at or near the top of the NYC restaurant game.  

Gluttony, maybe. Delicious, absolutely. 

There’s a life lesson in the humble meatball. Get the basics correct and build a solid foundation. From there, you can go anywhere. Whether in the kitchen or in life, get the small things right and it will allow you to build from there.  

With that said, I think it’s time for lunch.