Meatball Room Boca Raton, FL
Since every place before it seemed to fail in the Regency Plaza in Boca Raton, a new group of owners decided to drop a ton of money and redo a restaurant that didn't really need redoing and open a new Italian Restaurant called the Meatball Room. I had seen the coming soon sign for a while, but wasn't sure they were opened until I saw my friend Jeff from Jeffeats.com posted about the restaurant and said I would love it. Since I trust his opinion, I decided to go try it out on opening night.
The Meatball Room was PACKED on opening night. Thankfully I made reservations before just heading over, or there probably wouldn't be a spot for me until they closed. As I approached the hostess stand to give my name, I heard the regular Boca Raton snob remarks like "I live in Woodfield and you HAVE to seat me", as well as "You won't stay in business long if you don't seat the locals first". Such a nice sense of entitlement around this area.
We were seated in the back room where I ran into two other tables of close friends. Things weren't looking too good when both of them mentioned how long they were waiting for their food up until this point. A pizza finally arrived at their table after about 45 minutes and it wasn't even hot. I started to doubt the longevity of the Meatball Room, not only based on this, but hearing all the others around me complaining about the service, the taste of the food, the wait, the fact they had no more bread etc.
Our server finally found his way over to us and we placed our order. I started off with a plain pizza since I figured the rest of the meal would take an eternity to arrive. Maybe it was just my run of recent good luck, but our pizza arrived at our table in quite an acceptable timeframe and it was hot and crisp. I am sure the other tables had reason to complain, but in my opinion there was zero to complain about when it came to the arrival time. Now, with regards to my regular meal, that is an entire different story. Since I am only basing my review on the pizza I will leave out all the negativity with that aspect of the evening at The Meatball Room.
I took my slice and separated it from the pie and took my first bite. The aroma of the slice was fantastic. It possessed hints of a fruity olive oil and the smell of the fresh sauce had me salivating. A crisp crust held up nicely on the top of this slice of pizza that was still smoking from the oven. The taste was great. This slice of fresh pizza from The Meatball Room in Boca Raton contained just about all the finest ingredients you could expect from a relatively high end pizza joint. The cheese was top notch and tasted great underneath a sprinkling of some exotic tasting olive oil. The crust had really nothing wrong with it and besides being crisp as we discussed earlier, it had a nice taste to it. When it came to the sauce, I wasn't entirely blown away. Not that there was anything seriously wrong with it, it just had an aftertaste that I didn't love.
Outside of the sauce, The Meatball Room in Boca Raton is onto something with their pizza. Many of my neighbors have said they wouldn't go back there after their first time, but I have since been back a few times and enjoyed the pizza each time. The owner John came over to say hi the first night and said the grand opening is in a month or so and this was just a soft opening. Quite sure that John learned that in Boca Raton there is no soft openings. The day you opening the doors, you are open, and people show no mercy.
Personally I would love to see The Meatball Room stay in business in the Regency Shops of Boca Raton since it is nice to have a local Italian place to dine at. The very residents who complain about the food and the pricing etc, are the same folks who complain about no restaurants being available in the shopping center. Instead of showing such hatred and speaking about the places that open up in your backyard in such a vitriolic nature, perhaps they shouldn't go the first night a restaurant opens and instead wait a month for them to even out the kinks. Give the place a chance to open if you are so easily upset, at least before you bash it folks.
The Meatball Room in Boca Raton gets 6 out of 8 slices for their pizza.