Photo by Katherine Harris
Devil’s Advocate: Strictly Ballroom
Let’s just get this out of the way: If you have a giggle fit when someone mentions balls of meat, you might want to walk away. Devil’s Advocate is the latest eatery and bar to inhabit what will always be known as the old Hell’s Kitchen space, and the story it’s telling is one of beer and balls. Now, it doesn’t have a frat-boy vibe and it isn’t a male version of Hooters or anything— it’s actually a nice place to grab a great beer and some tasty food.
The menu is meatball-centric with a choose-your-own-adventure concept. Select from chicken, beef, pork, salmon, or falafel balls before picking a sauce—choices include pomodoro, pesto, mushroom, gravy, and yogurt. Then you have to decide how you want them: in sandwich form on various buns or as a collective in a bowl. I really enjoyed the chicken meatball with zippy pesto, and the beef meatballs have been dense and juicy when I’ve had them. I also appreciate the bite to the pomodoro sauce. There were more than a few winners on the sides—the arugula salad was fresh and bright, the fregula has a nice nutty quality, and the broccoli rabe with chili flakes and garlic is a good match to a bowl of balls.
The ordering system can be a bit chaotic and unclear; you mark up an ordering form that doesn’t have your name or seat number on it, which leads to a lot of auctioning. But perhaps the stellar, and I mean stellar, beer list will help you overcome any awkwardness. There are at least 40 taps and many high-quality craft beers on this list. All in all, it’s not a bad deal to grab a few $3 single-ball sliders and a big frosty glass of Belgian brew for lunch or happy hour. Just get past the giggles.
89 S. 10th St.,