No longer relegated to the sub sandwich and spaghetti bowl, the humble meatball is showing up in new guises on menus everywhere. Twists on tradition, like duck, venison and lamb versions, give this comfort food a contemporary edge.

New York City
Spicy Duck Meatballs with mint cavatelli, water spinach, and a quail egg; $13

Boston, Massachusetts
Meatball Sliders on garlic buns with marinara and mozzarella; $11

The 9th Door
Denver, Colorado
Spanish Style Albondigas: Minted lamb meatballs with an almond sherry sauce; $8

San Francisco, California
Roasted Chicken Meatballs with fennel and salsa verde; $20

Bar Due
Portland, Oregon
Veal Meatballs with gorgonzola (small plate); $7

Pizzeria Mozza
Los Angeles, California
Meatballs al Forno baked; $12


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