Seasonal Chef: Catching a Little Meatball Mania This Week!


You never have to twist my arm when it comes to the idea of eating the food of Chef Dave DiBari. Not only is he one of the finest chefs in Westchester, he’s just about the nicest guy you will meet. While we’ve never actually cooked or hung out together, I find myself at times in Dave’s presence. Our paths criss-cross regularly during the summer on Farmers Market circuit. On many occasions we run into each other in Irvington and Hastings, me doing cooking demos for Seasonal Chef, and he slinging delicious thin crust pizza.

Much has been written by restaurant critics, food editors and bloggers about Chef Dave. He is the king of all things pig, with not only The Cookery but now The Parlor as well. When I read recently about Meatball Mania, in Westchester Magazine I just knew it was time for another trip to Dobbs Ferry.

Meatball Mania

I think I’ve come pretty close to tasting a great deal of his menu. My first experience at The Cookery, and blogging for Small Bites, was Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2011. It’s been a food-affair ever since. Not only have we celebrated my birthday with the now famous Pig Dinner a few years ago, we did it again this past February for my husband.  We enjoyed Wreck the Halls and Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2012. Like I said, it doesn’t take much convincing to get me to eat his delicious food.

Meatball Mania was no disappointment. Three outstanding courses featuring his luscious meatballs, paired with three perfect wines. Then to top it all off a new dessert which finished it all on a high note.

Italian wedding soup

We started with the ubiquitous Italian Wedding Soup. Beautiful soft meatballs floating in a rich broth with perfectly diced miniscule vegetables and oozy parmiganno-reggiano cheese.  I probably could have had a second bowl of that warm cozy soup.

Meatball filled marrow bone

The bone marrow stuffed with meatball was crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Topped with parmigianno-reggiano and a pickled horseradish gremolata. I ended up scraping the meatball into the light broth and when done dragged a few pieces of bread over the bowl to soak up all that goodness. Rich and meaty it was a feast for the eyes and senses.

Spaghetti with Meatballs

The third dish was his traditional meatball you can find on the menu. If you’ve never had it, I highly encourage you to go, just to taste them. A recipe handed down from his Nonna is bar-none one of my favorites at The Cookery. No heavy denseness there … soft, light and melt-in-our mouth intense meatball flavor. Served over house-made spaghetti with a generous shaving of parmigianno-reggiano.

Chai Tres Leches with Rice Crispy

After all that savory I just needed some sweetness. The Stickabutta Pie is my traditional favorite, but that night I had a new dessert on the menu: Chai Tres Leches Cake with Rice Crisps. Perhaps a new favorite? Light creamy and not overly sweet with crispy rice.

While Meatball Mania is over, you can still get a bowl of his delicious Italian Wedding Soup over the weekend, and there will always be his Meatball and Spaghetti dish on the menu.

Buon Appetito!


About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

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