cheese plate san francisco

cheesy and loving it

Topping Tony’s Big Balls

Coming out of hibernation is no easy thing but I was lured out by SF Weekly’s stunning shot of this gorgeous meatball topped with burratta from Tony’s Pizza Napoletana.

holy balls, batman!

Only 25 of these bad boys are made each day so I made sure to get there early on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. Luckily there was only a short wait that flew by with a couple of prosecco cocktails!

The meatball ($13) had a nice course texture in a lovely marinara that was not too tangy with just a touch of sweetness (I ate all of that sauce with bread afterwards!). I do think that the meatball was under seasoned and begged for a bit more salt.

As advertised, it was topped with burrata.

Burrata (pronounced bur-RAW-tah), it is a thin pouch of mozzarella encasing a creamy mixture. Most often this filling is stracciatella (“little rags” of mozzarella) and cream. But my favorite is a ricotta or mascarpone and mozzarella filling. Often times fresh and light cheeses like this are served too cold but letting this gem come up to full room temperature allows the creaminess to come forward and you can appreciate the milky freshness and delicate decadence. For all of the oozing, burrata is not a heavy cheese and makes a delightful appetizer especially topped with a grassy olive oil and salt (the flakier the better).

Now I don’t know if it’s my cheese headed-ness but I really felt that there was not enough burrata (as if there *could* be enough burrata!) to balance the richness of the meatball and sauce. After 2 – 3 bites the cheese was gone… so sad. The meatball was good but I think more burrata would have made it great.

Good thing I was with a cheese buddy and we ordered another meatball with a mushroom robiola sauce ($15) poured over the gigantic meatball tableside.

robiola magic

I would swim in an ocean of this stuff…

Robiolas are an extremely varied cheese catagory. They can be made with cow, goat or sheep milk or a mixture of all milk. In their young phase, the paste sings with a bright, sour tangy-ness and creamy texture. I prefer mixed milks robiolas as they tend to have more character and hefty body.

I’m not sure what kind of robiola was used in this dish but it was AMAZING! I mean, stop in your tracks wonderful. I feel this is the star of the meatball menu. The mushrooms were the perfect bridge between meat and cheese – accentuating both. Most importantly for me, there was enough of both sauces so each bite got an equal tomato and cheese kick. Ah divine….

With all of the meatball action I had no room to try the pizzas Tony’s is known for but here are a few snapshoots to make you drool…

these pizza makers move so quickly during service – pretty amazing!

~ will work for cheese ~

3 Responses

  1. sandy says:

    ooh, nice to see you back online! That does look amazeballs! I haven’t been to Tony’s in quite a while, the meatball with robiolas looks fabulous, can you get it with everything?

  2. Thanks Sandy – I’m happy to be back! The meatballs were great. The robiola sauce was divine… I guess you could ask for the robilola and the burrata together! Though I think the mushroom robilola sauce would be the dominate flavor – however I like your thinking!!! Let me know when you are in SF and we can do some cheese foraging!

  3. Tony’s balls are big! LOL. I love the idea of the burrata, but that mushroom robiola sauce on the meatballs definitely looks like the winner of the two. You have to go back to try the margherita pizza.

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