Paulie & Mary Anne Giannone

Mary Ann and I usually do ladies brunch (she’s a riot!) but last weekend we decided to invite the boys and met at Adelina’s (159 Greenpoint Ave), which was just rated a top 7 brunch by Brokelyn.

Paulie was there to try to the fried pizza, which you know I adore.

I was there to put the rice balls to the test.

Rice balls are my favorite food, I grew up eating my Nonna’s rice balls, therefore I am a tough judge.

I am used to gigantic rice balls. Rocco (dad) makes fun of Marcy (mom) because her rice balls are the size of grapefruits, but after their name Arancini should be the size of small oranges. But we are in America so everything is bigger right?


So I was surprised when the waitress said three rice balls come in one portion. Adelina’s owner, Toby gave us four so we didn’t have to share. Rice balls are not meant for sharing.

The rice balls were on the smaller size, about the size of a hand ball and perfectly breaded and fried. Not complaining; the smaller they are, the more fried surface area to enjoy! They were served with a light tomato sauce for dipping.

They were not too crunchy on the outside (which was my complaint at Arancini Brothers) and nice and creamy and flavorful on the inside, with a pinkish hue.

Unlike some rice balls that are stuffed in the center with cheese and meat, these had cheese running throughout the rice, which makes sense since these are small.

Toby and I texted rice balls knowledge (for real):

First I wanted to know about the bread crumbs, which are not panko as I had wondered but are made with bread crumbs from the whole wheat bread made in-house.

Butter? You bet! Toby makes a traditional risotto first with butter, then adds parmesan cheese at the end. The pinkish hue is from some tomato sauce added at the end, but you can also use pesto.

Toby will let us know when he has pesto rice balls on the menu and next time I am ordering all three for myself.

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