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Posted by Upper Eazy Foodie on 05/17/2007
I have only been to Babbo a couple of times but always look forward to returning. It is simply amazing, the BBQ'd octopus may be my favorite dish in all of New York, they never make a fuss about splitting up the pastas (which are quite large) and the entrees are absolutely enormous. I had the best lamb chops of my life here. The wine list is huge and there are bottles ranging from under $40 to over $1000. I would also recommend trying the housemade grappa (I've had the cranberry and they've given me some of the fruit to eat on the side.) I think that the best thing about Babbo is how friendly the service always is and the unpretentious vibe. It is far and away my favorite Italian restaurant in NY and if you can get a reservation you need to take advantage of it.
Posted by JLH on 05/14/2007
My fiance and I have been to Babbo three times and all three times w/o reservations. Twice we sat in the main dining area b/c they had either cancellations or an opening and once in the front area reserved for walk ins. I must say that all three times, EVERY SINGLE person (from host to bartender to bus boy) has been extremely friendly and accomodating. As for the bread, for some reason they don't provide the olive oil without being asked but we always do because their olive oil is really high quality. Very rich and flavorful. They recently changed from their old selection (La Mozza) to a new one that I forget the name of but the new one surprisingly is even better than the original one. The portions are large and the prices reasonable for what you get. Last time we were there, we got the salumi appetizer, the maccheroni pasta, the pork chops, a side of escarole, two cocktails, two quartinos of wine, and a glass of port for $180. Please do go and try it for yourself, though not that many people would need urging. Enjoy!
Posted by Anonymous on 04/24/2007
just ate there last night for my husbands birthday. Reservation honored after app 10 min wait. Very exciting menu the octopus was the very best i have ever had. The babbo salumi really just ok. We then both had a pasta dish mine the wild boar ragu. Wonderfull, his the spring lamb, just as good. and the portions were huge i got half my pasta wraped to save room for my rabbit. The rabbit was really tasty and the texture made me think of delicious fluffy soft bunnys mmmmmm. My husbands duck was what every duck i had ever had should have tasted like. Really something else just the right amount of crisp fat around the edges. Our server was helpfull and pleasent, The bus boy/runner also very friendly. The wine was nice we had an 03 montepulciano for $55. They didnt give anything with their delicious bread which i was surprised by maybe a little olive oil??? Dont order as much food as we did, we both expected tiny portions but no way they really are on the large side. Skipped desert and walked to Brunos for linzer tarts. A top notch evening.
Posted by Gourmet on 03/30/2007
I would say this place is very overrated. I found it average at best. I would actually say below average. I've been in much better restaurants in NYC that don't require a reservation one month in advance.. The food was bland and since the menu is all in Italian you need to ask a million questions in order to decide what you want to order (that is the least problem though). I definitely don't recommend it.
Posted by Disappointed on 03/30/2007
I did the standard 30-day advance reservation by calling multiple times for 3 days to get past the busy signal, which was very annoying. This was for my wife's bday, it was our 1st time there and we heard good things from friends. The 1st thing we noticed was how crowded the bar/waiting area was, which is good (high demand). The 2nd thing was how stoic the entire staff was, which is bad. The host and hostess were expressionless. Our waiter never smiled, though we did to get things started. We saw that it wasn't just our waiter, it was every waiter. Every dish that we ordered was good to pretty good, but not fantastic. We had octopus and prosciutto for apps, black spaghetti and pork chops for main. Black spaghetti was the best of the 4. The wine was average and forgettable, though the price wasn't. We just came back from Italy 4 months ago, and an everyday restaurant there had as good meat and better pasta than Babbo. It cost about 50 Euro ($90) for 2 there, but it cost us $200 including tip here. It may be unfair to compare to a restaurant in Italy, but for $200 and a 30-day wait, it should be better than or come close to an everyday restaurant in Italy. My wife and I both agreed that the good food is not worth $200, a long reservation line, and emotionless wait staff. We've been to alot of other restaurants in NYC where $200 will get you fantastic food and treatment like royalty. Although this is a top-10 restaurant by most standards, we won't be coming back.
Posted by Lorrie Stuart on 03/11/2007
Okay, let's face it. Babbo is not the phenomenon it was when it first opened nine years ago. There is nothing to go with the decent bread (or else our waiter forgot); the ravioli are just the tiniest bit tough around the edges, the noise level can throw you off. But all in all, this is still a magnificent restaurant, one that I have returned to many a time, and to which I will continue to return. The food is fabulous and the portions are beyond generous. The atmosphere upstairs -- when the most boisterous clients have departed -- can be downright romantic. And the service has, to my mind, improved significantly: it is not only accommodating, but intelligent. Although we arrived 15 minutes early, we were seated immediately. And when my friend and I ordered two types of ravioli to begin, the waiter consulted with the sommelier and then offered the excellent suggestion that they divide each dish between us and serve them separately so as not to "mix up" the flavors. My lamb chops scottadino were not only delicious, but so numerous (!) that I had to ask for a doggie bag, which almost never happens in my case. Once again, an altogether memorable evening.
Posted by FoodIsLife on 03/04/2007
Went for the traditional tasting menu last night. My experience there differed from other reviewers, so I'll opine. Reservations were taken care of. We arrived appx. 10 minutes after our reservation. We waited less than 20 seconds and were led to our table. Food was awesome and the servers knew about what they were serving. Kudos to the sommllier. Fennel honey still sticking to satisfaction portion of my brain. As far as value for the $$$ goes, I don't know I had to use my food stamps.