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Posted by Allison Lynn on 08/23/2007
I finally ate at Babbo for the first time last night after 8 years living in New York City. My friend and I participated in the traditional tasting with the wine pairing. It was a wonderful culinary experience, taking a little bit over 3 hours. Every course was delicious and it's accompanying wine was a perfect match. There was little bit of everything, from pasta courses, to meat, to cheese, to desserts. The lamb in mint really stood out for me. The service was top notch. Our waiter did an excellent job of describing each wine, the region it came from, how it was made and why it was chosen to go with the dish it was paired with. I loved learning a little something about what I was eating and drinking. It really made for a special evening. I am returning with my boyfriend in a couple of weeks and am hoping to try the pasta tasting this time. More to come....
Posted by Ben in Baltimore on 07/27/2007
My friend Lori took me to Babbo in June after a serious hospital stay since I was interested in going for more than a year. We were seated up stairs immediately even though we were 90 mins. early for our reservation on a Sunday evening. Our waitress could not have been more informative and attentive to two obivious out-of-towners. We shared the sardine appetizer even though she told us it was very small; but didn't mention how delicious. I should have ordered my own. She suggested each of us order a middle (secondi) selection and split an entree. Good idea, At the end of the primo entree I was stuffed and couldn't but taste Lori's desert. She had the luna ravioli and I had the beef cheek ravioli stuffed with squab pate and truffles. I could have eaten two plates and skipped the rest of the meal. Every bite tasted better than the last. The waitress said it was the house favorite- try it. We shared the spicy calamari life-guard style which was as delicious as it was beautiful. They have no problem with sharing. The entire bill was about $100 without drinks but do have the imported sparkling water. We left a big tip. It was a cool beautiful evening in the village and with the visit to Babbo it was brought to a level of perfection.
Posted by miw2008 on 07/17/2007
We had a lovely meal at Babbo. Reservations were made one month in advance. We were able to change the number in our party (from 2 to 4) without difficulty by calling back the same day. We arrived 10min early for our reservations, and then waited in the crowded bar for 20min, until we were seated upstairs. The maitre d' gave us updates about our table until we were seated which was unnecessary, and good of him. The food was excellent. We had the pasta tasting menu, and 2 of the 4 had the wine tasting menu that accompanies it. We have had friendlier service in the city but the explanation of ingredients and preparation was helpful and smart, and the service overall not intrusive. The upstairs seating area seems much nicer than downstairs, with a big skylight overhead to illuminate the tables, though I'm not sure we would have been given a choice if a table opened up first downstairs. I did feel sorry for the couples seated at tables opposite the bar who looked like they were overwhelmed by the crowd and noise. We overheard patrons next to us while waiting in the bar who were agitating for a quicker seating and making their complaints known about the wait, table preference, etc. Seems to me that if you project a certain attitude, you are likely to get it served back to you in return. If you go to a place like Babbo with the expectation that it will be an expensive meal and may be worth a wait, then you will get what you expect. People who write scathing reviews about a place like this may simply be going in with an unrealistic set of expectations. I would say in all fairness that the service is a step down from the Danny Meyer establishments, but certainly we had a lovely time -- and the food and wine speak for themselves! The best pasta dishes I've ever tasted.
Posted by Marcia & Bruce on 07/05/2007
We came here for our anniversary on July 4th based on a great Zagat review. We didn't have reservations, but they accepted us as walk-ins. We were seated immediately next to a crowded bar with loud music. A snooty waiter presented a menu that tries to be so eclectic that it was difficult to find acceptable entrees. If you aren't famous, don't know the owner, or aren't prepared to spend alot: $69 pasta tasting menu + $50 wine tasting menu (per person) we suggest that you pick somewhere else to dine.
Posted by Anonymous on 07/04/2007
I was really excited about experiencing the best Italian in nyc however I just dont think Babbo is that place. Reservations are hard so I went alone I sat at the bar. I felt about the same as sitting at my hometown suburban watering hole waiting for my plate of fries and burgers. My food was good but Italian food is meant to be in abundance and filling. The pasta dish was tiny and then I got the desert and it was these tiny sweet things that were the size of paperclips. I just dont get the feel of real Italian there. It reminds me of some Hollywood version with all the pretentiousness to go along with it. I fyou want real New york Italian food there are so many other good places than babbo.
Posted by Salty on 06/27/2007
I heard that this was the pinnacle of Italian food in New York. So i gave Babbo a try with a fellow foodie. I made reservation about a month ahead and promised that i would get a table. Upon arrival and 10 minutes early, they make us wait for an hour. Not even offering us a free drink or any apologies. What is worst, they gave us the Walk-In table right by the host. So, feeling like a zoo animal while everyone is staring at my meal isn't insulting enough, the food was mediocre. We had their traditional tasting menu with the wine paring. I have to admit that the wine was excellent. I do admit that the pasta was cooked to perfection, unfortunately, the sauces/condiments to the pasta is awful. I love Italian food and cannot imagine that this is New York's premier Italian restaurant. Mario should focus more on perfecting his restaurants and not worry about expanding this over eager empire which can soon collapse. I heard Del Posto is even more overpriced. The bill came out to $300 and then some which is a great lesson for me. I probably won't eat there again unless someone makes the reservation or is their last wish. Cheers!
Posted by Chris on 06/11/2007
My wife and I had our anniversary dinner here last Saturday. It was our first time dining at Babbo, and I was a bit anxious reading some of the reviews about lengthy waits and other complaints. We were seated within ten minutes (admittedly our reservation was 10:30PM, a bit on the late side), received very attentive service (only complaint was too many waitstaff handling our table). Food was excellent, and considering the hype, I expected to pay more. 'Nuf said! Very pleasant experience.