Aperitif's Nonni's Meatballs: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 83

You wish your grandmother made meatballs this good

You wish your grandmother made meatballs this good

Some Italian food falls into the "boring red sauce" category--lackluster canned tomato-like product ladled over pasta in all shapes and sizes served with a side of equally mundane cheese.

Aperitif's Nonni's meatballs is just the opposite--it's the red sauce that makes the dish, thanks to a special ingredient.


The liberal serving of meatballs are made with a moist, savory mix of ground pork and veal, panko breadcrumbs, and pancetta that's blended so smooth it nearly melts, spreading its meatiness throughout the dish.

But the real star is the borderline-addictive marinara. "We use beer in the sauce," says chef Patrick Matthews. "Right now, it's Coors Light. It adds sweetness without acidity." You probably won't taste the beer, but you'll wonder why you can't stop shoveling it into your mouth.

Add a thick, gooey layer of mozzarella and parmesan over the top, and a portion that could feed a small country (even with the lunch-size portion), and you've got one of our favorite dishes in the Twin Cities.


APERITIF RESTAURANT & BAR 772 Bielenberg Dr, Woodbury 651.578.3000

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:
No. 84: Christos's Saganaki
No. 85: Sesame seed bagel at Seven Stars Coffee House
No. 86: Lemon ricotta pancake at Hell's Kitchen
No. 87: Blackbird gourmet banh mi
No. 88: Tank Goodness cookies
No. 89: Gal Bee at Sole Cafe
No. 90: Porter & Frye's El Pelon
No. 91: Coffee News' fish and chips
No. 92: Bread & Chocolate's Fabulous Fudge Bar
No. 93: People's Organic panna cotta
No. 94: Sea Salt Eatery crawdad po' boy
No. 95: Fuji Ya's Tofu Don
No. 96: Ike's Food and Cocktails The Weekender Bloody Mary
No. 97: Punch's Toto pizza
No. 98: Stockholm Pie Company's peanut butter fudge cream pie
No. 99: Dogwood Coffee Co.'s macchiato
No. 100: Al's Breakfast buttermilk pancakes

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