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Posted by NYC Foodie on 09/07/2008
We went two weeks ago for a special occasion meal after talking about going for a very long time. i was worried that all the hype & wait would lead to me being disappointed...but i wasnt. everything we had was excellent (other than the summer bean salad which was only okay) and you really the taste high quality ingredients that they use. The Halibut poached in olive oil didnt disappoint. i was surprised by the pricing it was not crazy expensive, especially considering how great the meal was. Two only small negatives: 1/t the tables are quite small and the decor doesnt an atmosphere of anything particularly special 2/ my server wasn't overly warm or willing to give suggestions on the menu. However, the woman who helped us select our wine was incredibly helpful - our wine was exactly what we were looking for. Last thing - you MUST try the maple cheesecake. killer.
Posted by Anonymous on 09/06/2008
My husband and I are leaving the city. I had always wanted to go to Babbo. He called and got late reservations, but who cares what time you eat, when the food is this good. Even though it was 10:15 when we sat down, we never felt rushed at all. The staff could not have been nicer. Our waiter was attentive and when it was the end of his shift, he told us we would be well tended by another staff member. And we were. The roasted beet tartare was excellent. The beets sweet and fresh tasting. My husband's salami and lamb prosciutto with a grilled bread was tasty and simple. The black spaghetti with rock shrimp, spicy salami and green chilies was amazing. The rock shrimp literally popped they were so tendercrisp. The waiter was kind enough to suggest we split our pasta dish. Boy, was he right. The portions are generous. My duck with kumquats was done to perfection and my husband's seabass was tender and delicious. Top off the meal with a marscapone/maple cheesecake. YUM. I'm so glad I got to Babbo. Thanks Mario. It was one fo the best meals we had in NYC.
Posted by Anonymous on 09/03/2008
Had dinner for two on Sept.1/08. We walked in at 8:30 and were seated about 9:45... Everyone at the table had to order the tasting menu...could not just be one person, so boht me and my bf order the pasta tasting menu. It was AMAZING! My bf is a very fussy eater and was alittle apprehensive about ordering after reading brain and cheek on the menu , but the pasta tasting menu was incredible, The outstanding food made up for the poor service. I didn't like that the tables were so small that we couldn't even keep our bottle of wine on the table...we were subject to our waiter keeping an eye on it and filling our glasses. Also, our waiter tried to deter us from ordering the tasting menu...i didn't understand that...he told us it was too much food and would take too long. Really, we think he just didn't want to wait around on a monday night to serve 8 courses. When our original waiter left for the night, the gentleman that took over was great! Wish we had had him from the beginning. Overall. the food was key and was amazing! Highly recommend this resto!
Posted by Proven Foodie on 08/14/2008
I had to chime in to offset the reviews below. Babbo is hands down a top 5 restaurant in NYC, number 1 for italian. Putting Frankies in the same sentence as Babbo is a joke. The pasta dishes at Babbo from top to bottom are incredible. Beef cheek ravioli and the gnocchi with oxtail are among the best dishes. Another dish that comes to mind is the homemade pasta tossed with peas in a light cream sauce...phenomenal. Note - they will happily split pasta dishes in two for your convenience. For the secondi, I recommend the pork chop, duck two ways, and the rib-eye. The rib-eye is better than what most steak house serve in NewYork, with the exception of the Strip House. The wine list is incredible and hits all price points. If you know how to order wine there is something there for everyone. The sommeliers are great, just don't let them work you like the reviewer below. I would also like to mention that the service is amazing, from start to finish. When you go, be adventurous and put your trust in Mario's hands.
Posted by Anonymous on 07/30/2008
I, as most, went to Babbo with a very high expectation and, without question, was not disappointed. The Amuse was great: Chick pea bruschetta. Very well done, great flavors. First course was Octo and Cockles. To COMPLETELY disagree with the person below this review, it may have been the best Octopus I’ve ever eaten. Perfectly tender, great char to it, perfect flavor. Being someone who has worked with chef M. Psilakis for years, I know a thing or two about how octopus should be done and this was flawless. Clams were great as well: well cooked, nice and spicy. I finished the broth as if it were a soup Second course: Beef-cheek ravioli with liver and truffles. This pasta was incredible. Perfect texture to the pasta and the flavors were so rich. It was awesome... Great item to split because of the richness factor. Entree: Sweetbreads and duck. Both through the roof. Sweetbreads were cooked perfectly and were nice and crisp on the outside. Great flavor profiling with the accompaniments as well. Duck was crisp where it needed to be and perfectly juicy and tender where it needed to be. Well done Mario. Deserves to be called New York's #1 Italian destination.
Posted by Anonymous on 07/07/2008
I have been told time & time again that I will eat the best meal of my life at Babbo. Needless to say, I went there with pretty high expectations & they weren't exactly met. I did not have reservations b/c I don't have the patience to call a month in advance & hit redial 1000 times. My boyfriend and I left work early on a Wednesday & arrived at 5:00. We were seated by 5:30. We started with the grilled octopus. I'm not crazy about octopus to begin with. The texture is rubbery if not cooked right & I don't think it's a very flavorful food, but I was hoping that the sauce & preparations would make it an enjoyable dish. It was completely tasteless. My boyfriend had the duck which was exceptional. Delicious flavors & cooked to perfection. I had the pasta special (I don't remember what it was b/c it was not memorable). It was just okay. The pasta was fresh, but I again found the dish to be tasteless The dessert was pretty good, we got the chocolate cake - although I would have preferred it warm. Wine list was great & I enjoyed that it was served by the carafe. The one thing I will say about Babbo is that it's not ridiculously priced so even if your meal doesn't knock your socks off, you don't feel like you've been robbed. The service was stellar. I would probably go back again - but my advice for everyone who is looking to go to Babbo would be to lower your expectations. It's good, but you can certainly find better in NYC.
Posted by anon on 06/25/2008
So I couldn't believe my luck when a friend managed to snare a 4 at 8pm res at Babbo... this is afterall the place where they line up outside at 430pm waiting for the door to open at 5pm and hope to secure even a seat at the bar. I eat out a lot in NYC, definitely consider myself a foodie and am as likely to be found in a far flung part of Queens at a hole in the wall as a $200 a head sushi spot. I am from Europe, have travelled extensively so, hey, i'm just saying that I feel I am reasonably well qualified to give a fair and balanced review of Babbo. And my considered opinion is "eeeehhhh?" whats the fuss about? The 4 of us all ordered a 3 course meal and shared each dish family style so covered a good chunk of the menu. no dishes were bad, most were OK but there was not one "wow" moment in the whole evening, from any of us. I know Italian food is just meant to be fresh ingredients cooked simply and executed well.. and I guess they passed that test but I would do the pepsi challenge on the babbo dishes against other, significantly cheaper, neighborhood italians (Frankies Sputino springs to mind as a great example of a restaurant that beats Babbo hands down on pretty much every measure - and a no res policy too). if you're anything like me you will want to say you have tried it, and maybe you should, but just don't give yourself arthritis punching redail to the reservation line.