Ok, it is official, I am in LOVE! Well, maybe a close second to my sweet husband. But seriously, this brand-new spot, Maroni Hot Pots have won my heart with their amazing meatballs.
I had whispers about their meatballs, and it got my curiosity all going, so I decided to go check it out. Once I got close to it, the bright red awning and sign was calling out to me. Without having any other bright color stores or sign nearby, it was easy to spot.
When we walked in, we were greeted with a big smile, and were asked if we were wanting to just check out the place, or wanting to order some food. It seems like they have a lot of spectators checking out the new place, without ordering anything. They seems to be perfectly ok with people just coming in to browse the place, even if they don’t end up ordering. The inside was separated into two space, ordering/waiting/pick up space, and dining space. The dining space is not that big, as they are more of takeout spot. There is a nice big menu on the wall, and some counter seats right beneath it. The interior was bright, clean, inviting, and decoration is really interesting.
The dining area had several tables and chairs, nice exposed brick wall throughout, covered with interesting artwork, along with one wall filled with their red pots.
And you quickly see that they are Beatles fan. They had one painting of Abby Road with a little twist. They are walking towards Maroni Hot Pot with fork, pots, and a bottle of wine in their hands. The booth design was the coolest, and of course, very comfortable to sit. Even though we decided not to eat-in, we were allowed to sit at the table while we waited for our takeout food to be ready. The staffs were SUPER nice here.
While waiting for our food, I walked around (taking photos) and looked around the entire space. When you are getting made-to-order type food, it can take a while, which is really worth it. I don’t want something that has just been sitting out…I prefer to wait for my food to be prepared fresh. I take quality over convenience. Then, one of the staffs (I believe was a manager) came over and asked me if I had any question. He was really nice, and he answered all my questions with smile and enthusiasm. He told me that they have been opened for couple of month at this location, but their original restaurant has been in operation for 15 years in Long Island. He told me that the Long Island spot offers interesting “experience” to customers, which brings customers from near and far, by car and boat! I said to him that I am glad they didn’t open their NYC location in down town (since I live uptown), and he said that they will be in down town in the future, as they expand, and then he said “one meatball at a time.” Great line, don’t you think???
Then, I asked what is in the Thermos, and with a grin on his face, he asked “do you like lobster bisque?” Come on, who doesn’t??? Maybe some people don’t, only because they haven’t had a really good bisque (yet). He poured a hot lobster bisque in a small mug, more like a shot glass, and hand it to me. It was really creamy, flavorful, and aroma was great too. How amazing is that they have free sample of delicious lobster bisque?
I also used their bathroom while I was there. They have just one uni-sex bathroom, but it was spacious, clean, and I loved the wallpaper. It had that antique collage feel to it (not actual photos on the wall, but the wallpaper with images of the collage). The rest of the bathroom was kept simple with white tiles with accent red tiles. I don’t know about you, but having a nice, clean bathroom is so important to me, and I am glad that they offered just that.
Ok, so what did we actually order? We got their famous meatballs and garlic bread to go. Their concept is quite interesting. Your order will come in their red pots, which are stove-top and oven safe, not mentioning super cute and adorable. They have 3 size of pots, and their menu explain pretty clearly about which size you should order based on serving size, portion/quantity, and price. For 1-2 people, they recommend Small pot. So, we got small pot of Grandma Maroni’s Meatball ($30). And then, you decide if you want just the meatballs, or with spaghetti. The price stays the same, but the quantity of meatball changes, obviously. We decided to get just the meatballs, so that we can have them as meatball spaghetti, meatball sub, meatball parm and whatever else we wanted with them. The small pot of just the meatball order will give you around 15-16 meatballs. The Classic Garlic Bread ($4) was huge, wrapped in aluminum foil, still hot. They put them in their super durable double paper bag, and off we went. The smell of the meatball and garlic bread was amazing, we could not wait to get home to have some!
Finally home, we put the cute red pot and huge garlic bread out. The pot had plastic wrap under the lid to prevent leakage, and also had strong rubber band holding the lid down. Very secure.
You might wonder, how big/small is it, really? Here is the pot next to my mug. (In case you are also wondering what the writing is on my mug, it says: I’ve been on a diet for two weeks, and all I lost was two weeks). Yes, it does not look so big, and you might think it is not enough for two people, but trust me when I say it totally is enough, actually, more than enough for two people.
Their pots are made in the way that the food will stay hot for a while, so our meatballs were still super hot when we finally open it (after cooked some spaghetti). You can see the beautiful, plump, huge meatballs and a really nice size garlic bread here. I say, these being $35 is really a great deal.
And just look at this garlic bread… Doesn’t it look heavenly?
We put the meatballs over spaghetti that we prepared, sliced the garlic bread, and we were ready. And let me tell you, they had me at the first bite. The sauce was really flavorful, lots of garlic (which I love), and the meatball was amazing! One of the BEST meatballs I have ever tasted. It was juicy, packed with flavor, cooked to perfection, great texture. Combined with the amazing sauce, it was heaven. And the garlic bread, O. M. Freaking G! It was super delicious! Again, lots of garlic, great flavor, without getting crunchy, still soft and have the right amount of crunchiness on the edges. The flavor of both bread and meatball, and the sauce, all were divine!!!
I also took this photo afterwards just to show the size of each meatball. They are quite large. But yet, the meatball was cooked all the way through with the same consistency, all juicy from the first bite to the last. They certainly know what they are doing for sure.
So, I already said that the pot of meatballs and huge garlic bread for $35 is great, but having AMAZING meatballs and huge AMAZING garlic bread for $35 is super awesome! And the cute pot, you can keep it if you’d like, it certainly makes a great addition to any cookware collection. Or, you can clean it and return it for $4 off on your next order. I am not sure what I would do with the pot, since it is super cute, durable, and it being stove-top safe and oven safe is really great. All I know is that I would definitely go back to Maroni for more amazing food. And it provides great option for when you are having a house party, or just having friends and family over. You can call ahead, even few days before to order, set up the preferred pick up date and time, and you are all set! I am sure you will be loved by your guests for offering amazing, home-cooked, delicious Italian food. But, be careful who you are sharing this food with, because they might never want to leave…
I am also interested in their Long Island restaurant, we might take a nice long (or short) weekend trip there and check them out. That will be so much fun, now that I know how great their food is, it will be a fun thing to plan.
So, next time you want a high quality, delicious Italian food, check this place out! You can also eat there if you don’t want to take the food to go. (They have table menu, separate from takeout menu). The staffs there are incredibly sweet, nice, friendly and helpful. They really make the wonderful atmosphere, I hope they will stay for a long time, I can’t wait to take my family there when they visit as well.
Maroni Hot Pots – 307 East 77th Street New York, NY 10028