Mmmmm. Meatballs.

Cameron Mitchell has been the reigning Master of the Meatloaf since his Cap City Diner first came on the scene. Now, it's time to give the meatloaf maven a new title: King of the Meatball.

Yes, indeed, the meatballs at Mitchell's newest project, Marcella's (615 N. High St.) are good—sinfully good. But the Short north stop aims to be more than a meatball joint. It's a Ristorante Pizzeria Wine Bar, and that makes Marcella's the pinnacle of appropriateness for the restaurateur's empire.

Mitchell's joints, even the upscale ones, have a reputation for loud ambient cacophony. Love it or hate it, it's his unapologetic signature. But thankfully, mayhem happens to be perfectly suited for Marcella's.

It's a big, hip, tight-seated stop, where the vino and vittles practically pour from the kitchen. Here, however, there's less of an element of performance in the attentive service as the team of bustling servers drops off an endless parade of eats.

It’s entirely possible to dine conventionally—with an appetizer, than a salad, then an entrée—but the right way to dine at Marcella’s involves ordering a thoughtless mass of concoctions and sharing whatever the kitchen brings.

With this guiding credo, enter the Meatball ($10). It’s achingly tender, with a warm wonderfulness that literally dissolves in your mouth. The masterpiece sits atop a worthy plate of fettucine, drenched in alfredo, surrounded by a tidy ring of sweet marinara and something the menu calls “torn bread crumb” which are chunks of oily bread to sop up residual sauce.

The saffron-tinged Rissoto ($11) is another are of competence. There’s a rich decadence in texture and flavor that teams nicely with simple (and comparatively austere) shrimp.

On the greener side of things, Marcella’s makes a handful of salads, including a particularly interesting offering called Tre Colore ($6). Bitter wisps of greens are set off with golden beets, radicchio and a few crumbles of gorgonzola. For those weary of the trend of sugary fruits in salad, this one’s for you. Even the dressing is without a hint of sweetness.

The Formaggi ($14) plate seems to be a big seller—and what’s not to like about a giant plate of cheese? It’s a flavor tour of the range fermented milk, from a familiar buffalo mozzarella to an aggressive aged goat cheese. This one’s built for sharing and for conversation.

If sharing appetizers doesn’t appeal to you and if an entrée is an absolute must have in your dining experience, Marcella’s is equipped to meet your needs. The Skirt Steak ($17) is abut as meat-and-potatoes—literally—as it gets, and the steak is suitably savory and tender.

So Marcella’s certainly makes the cut as a Ristorante and a Pizzeria. As for its qualifications as Wine Bar: Yep, there’s wine, and it’s sold by the cutesy-named quartino, mezzolitro and litro.

The wine menu categorizes its beverages according to descriptors, so the “fruity whites” are separated from the “rich whites” (pun duly noted and deferred). Wine fans accustomed to quiet, thoughtful beverage debates are ill-suited as Marcella’s customers since the place is too loud and too crazy for any profoundly academic discussions. On the other hand, decadent souls who enjoy the raw sensory experience of eating and drinking will do just fine.