Hold down Control (PC) or Command (Mac) key + mouseclick to select more than one option
Reviews + Photos from nymag.com
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.
Posted by Ladel on 06/15/2008
Mario's concept is to keep the party going and get you to spend as much of your money as possible at this overrated "destination." The place is too noisy for easy conversation, and the food is easily duplicated around the City for a third less. The low point of a blah evening was the snob who was impersonating a sommelier while trying to steer us to wine so over priced it was insulting. We selected one of the few reasonably priced bottles, he reluctantly poured it and turned on his heel before we could pass judgment on it. We will never go back, and we will tell all our friends of the experience.
Posted by jminnie on 05/13/2008
took my boyfriend to dinner for his bday. wasnt able to get reservations ahead of time, but went there ar 5pm and was able to get seated by 5:30pm. shared the argula salad (big portion) which came with a very yummy balsamic. also had the mint love letters and finally the grilled porkchop. porchop was excellent. my boyfriend really enjoyed the food, but was annoyed by the people around us who were clearly out of towners.
Posted by Lorrie Stuart on 04/20/2008
Since shortly after its opening, Babbo has been my favorite restaurant in NYC. But my meal yesterday confirmed the suspicions I had after my last dinner there: Babbo (or perhaps, more to the point, Mario) is getting tired out. While the food was very good, it is no longer splendid. Part of the problem is presentation: my gnocchi with oxtail ragout looked pretty pathetic on the plate sort of thrown on there without any attention although it was tasty. My grilled lamb chops (an amazingly generous portion) were good too, but the promised sunchoke garni was so small as to be practically invisible, and there was no sign whatsoever of the yogurt sauce. One of my companions had the beef cheek ravioli, which the first time I tried it sent me to heaven. Last night, the pasta was just a wee tough around the edges, and the presentation was drab. On the other hand, the service was superb, including excellent recommendations from the sommelier. And the room (downstairs) is still lovely: cozy and romantic at the same time (if you ignore the music, which has never seemed to go with the rest of the atmosphere!) Babbo, in a word, is now a good restaurant, but not the sensation it was for so long.