Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's flagship restaurant, located on Waverly Place in Greenwich Village, opened to great acclaim in 1998 and is as ... More
Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's flagship restaurant, located on Waverly Place in Greenwich Village, opened to great acclaim in 1998 and is as bustling and popular as ever. It offers three-star dining that redefines and reinvents the principles of Italian cuisine for 21st century America. An epic, landmark wine list, an exciting, quintessentially New York dining room and expert, attentive and cordial service make a table at Babbo one of New York's prized possessions.
Babbo is supposed to be this amazing restaurant, but its really just average at best. Food is good, not spectacular, and definitely not memorable. The best dishes at the table were a warm vegetable starter (...), and a whole sea bass, plain with some lemon (...). yeah, pretty standard fare. I had lobster spaghettini - pasta was slightly overcooked, but it was tasty. A starter of blush orange salad (average). Again, I dont see the fuss about the restaurant. Wine list is superb, and the service is great. We sat at a table right next to Coldplay's Chris Martin and his wife, Gwenyth Paltrow, who was joined at dinner by Jay-Z (Shawn Carter). So, yes, celeb sightings...but did not make up for a normal meal.
This is the restaurant that rekindled our yearning to go to Italy on a food & wine tour of the Tuscany and Piedmont areas. I couldn't disagree more with the review saying the food is normal. From the bucatini with cured pork cheeks, to stinging nettle pappardelle with wild boar ragu, to the traditional piedmont barolo braised beef, to the grilled quail with scorzonera (salsify), to pappardelle bolognese, there was nothing we got that wasn't absolutely perfect.
The sommelier was the type of sommelier that all should aspire to. We told him we love super tuscans and big cabs and he suggested Tignanello, a reasonably priced super tuscan that we've since bought more and more of.
A trip to NYC that doesn't include this and Union Square Cafe for a meal and Monkey bar for a drink is a failure.
We came early, wading through Halloween Parade crowds. We sat at the bar, and ordered chardonnay for two, pricey but smooth at $18 per 1/4 liter. Sampled the parmesan cayenne breadsticks; delightful! They sat us upstairs early. Music included 70's classic rock, and Cold Play. Despite elegant lighting and gorgeous floral displays, casual dress is welcome. The menu was loaded with pairings so unique we studied it carefully to choose broadest range of flavors. I lusted after the side of steamed spinach my neighbor had; perfectly steamed, with fat cloves of garlic. We opted for two antipasti, splitting the 1st & 2nd courses. We are not big eaters; this and dessert were ample. Each dish was a pleasure; the Warm Lamb's Tongue Salad was velvety, the Garganelli w/Wild mushrooms aromatic, the Octopus unbelievably tender. There was plenty of delicious Pork Arista to share. We finished with Chocolate Pistachio Semifreddo, Flourless Chocolate cake with Hazelnut Ice Cream, and terrific coffee.
I recently went to Babbo's for my birthday - normally a reservation should be made. And you have to do it a whole month to the day you want but they do take in walk-in's.
From the moment my boyfriend and I entered, everything was great!! The decor is beautiful and its a casual atmosphere. The hostess was very kind, as well as the staff. We didn't wait long to be seated, which was a fear since we were walk-in's but we arrived when they first opened. So we did have an advantage.LOL! But the food was excellent - and the flavor was unbelieveable. Dessert is out of this world. And they have a great wine list as well.
All in all - it is an experience that all must share. But please note - it is pricey/so make sure to save up.