I love meatballs. Who doesn’t? Well, vegetarians, I guess, but even they can eat at Trois B, a new restaurant in the 19th arrondissement specializing in “balls.” It is not the only one, however. The first one, reviewed here, had the balls to call itself Balls.
“Trois B” stands for “trois boulettes,” because that’s how many versions of the dish they offer on the regularly changing menu. It’s an attractive restaurant with a good-sized bar, shelves laden with bottles and preserves, and one wall from which the layers of paint have been artfully scraped down to look like an abstract painting. The servers are happy and helpful.
Just about everything served here (95 percent, according to a sign on the wall) is organic, including the meat, and as locavore as possible. And, of course, seasonal and house-made.
We shared two dishes to begin with: lentil hummus with lemon and cumin, and cucumber gazpacho with feta cheese and coriander. Both were fresh as can be but curiously bland, even though there was a slight overdose of cumin in the hummus. What was missing? In my opinion, garlic. And maybe a little salt to bring out the flavors of the good ingredients.
For my balls, I opted for the lamb with prunes, a good choice. The bits of prune, buried in the center of the balls, were a delightful touch, their slight sweetness contrasting nicely with the meat. They were accompanied by an assortment of fresh vegetables: grenaille potatoes, red onions, carrots and fresh peas.
My friend Terry had the pork-and-cheddar-cheese meatballs with chorizo sauce. They came with fried zucchini and the same potatoes. It was the sauce that made this dish. She preferred my prune-stuffed lamb balls.
The aforementioned vegetarians could have opted for the semolina, sweet potato and coriander balls, served with roasted eggplant and lemon-yogurt sauce.
For dessert, we shared a fine rhubarb and strawberry tart with whipped cream. The shortbread crust was particularly good. The only other option was mint pannacotta with cherry sauce.
I hate to repeat myself, but lately I seem to keep coming upon restaurants that are good but not great enough to merit a special trip across town. By all means, though, stop in for a couple of balls if you are in the neighborhood.