‘Twas the Thursday before Easter, and all through the town, not a creature was stirring…except at the Meatball & Wine Co. launch party for SmithBalls.
It was one of those nights where Ruki and I turned to each other and toasted to living the life. How lucky were we to get to experience the launch party? We only wish you, our dear readers, could have come along. But the gorgeous photos of our night out on Smith St. in Collingwood will have to suffice.
Aperol Spritz cocktails were shoved in our hands upon entering. Is Melbourne finally getting on the bandwagon? Because this is such a popular drink in Europe (she says in a snooty voice). I was thrilled to drink them at Yelp’s recent Elite party, so it’s great seeing other bars clue Melburnians into the delicious concoction of Prosecco and Aperol.
SmithBalls is the third installment of the ever-growing Meatball & Wine Co. empire. I’d had brunch in their CBD outpost (aka Cityballs), and while I’m sad Josie Bones is no more, it’s great to see a popular new restaurant take its place and keep Smith Street hoppin’. And hoppin’ it was — everyone in the city seemed to be in the restaurant. The tunes were pumping, the champagne was flowing — and the food was being devoured.
We immediately high-tailed it to the back of the room. Why was the crowd jostling in front of a table? Because a chef was hand-making mozzarella balls. (Balls. Get it?) No, seriously, they were utterly fantastic.
While we waited for the stars of the night to emerge — by that I mean the eponymous meatballs — we tried the delectable antipasti nibbles. Hellllooo, truffle salami!
Chicken sliders, meatballs in all sizes and sauces — the food kept emerging long after our appetites for anything other than alcohol had been sated.
While I went home at a reasonable hour (10pm; I had friends arriving from overseas at 8:30am, okay?), Ruki kept the party going long after the supposed finish time. The sign of a good time is when no one wants to leave.
The only bad part of the night? Realising the next day that I forgot to grab a gift bag, and reading about how great they were on The Modern Con. (Have Shoes, Will Party and The World Loves Melbourne were there for the party, too.) I should’ve used the phrase one of my friends does when he doesn’t want to swear: BALLS.
Meatball & Wine Bar – Smithballs
98 Smith St, Collingwood