LUIGI VITRONE’S PASTABILITIES TRATTORIA, 415 N. Lincoln St., Wilmington
Luigi takes his meatballs seriously. He’s got a video on Youtube, showing him pulling out his father’s ancient meat grinder, mixing up the top sirloin and pork loin and carefully following his grandmother, Nonna’s, original recipe.
We respect that. So on a recent errand to Wilmington, we made a side trip to the Little Italy neighborhood to check out his place. At night, it’s a sit-down eatery. During lunch, when we were there, he sells food right out of a window for carryout.
We got a couple of meatballs on bread for just $3. Having already seen that video, we were ready to taste the coarsely chopped fresh parsley, basil, garlic and grated locatelli cheese. They were all there, along with a splash of red wine and some Pomodoro sauce.
And they were . . . good. Tasty enough to enjoy, but not special by the standards of this contest. I’ll deduct a few points for the pinkie-nail-sized chunk of undercooked garlic we found in one. I’ll add points for the purity of ingredients and tenderness of the meatball itself.