My Second Visit
I visited Babbo for dinner 3 months ago and was very disappointed with the food and the service. The food was very salty and not well-cooked, and the servers were not professional. My client invited me to dine at Babbo and I had a little hesitation from my previous experience. This time, I visited for lunch and ordered the Lunch Tasting Menu, including an appetizer, pasta, entree and dessert, which was $45 per person. After coming here for lunch, I changed my mind and impression about Babbo. The food was tasty and the service was good overall. I will try coming again for dinner soon to see what will happen next time.
Great. All the food was very tasty even though each dish was slightly salty this time too - but acceptable. Grilled Heritage Pork Loin was my favorite! I'd love to go back again soon.
My favorite dish 11/29
Heritage Pork Loin
Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe Pesto
Good. The servers were friendly and attentive. When my client asked to change dessert for the tasting menu, our waiter actually changed to the dessert she wanted. I like that kind of flexibility. Nice!
I do not have any complaints about the decor from the last time. I felt that the tables are set closer together for a fine dining establishment. Good for a date, with friends, and business too.
Babbo Ristorante & Enoteca
Making it rain truffles BabboRistorante! It's always nice when your waiter returns to the table and says "chef wanted me to give you more truffles." sylvestj & I will never refuse that. Thanks MarioBatali! Seven wonderful courses later...we basically had to be rolled out of the restaurant. Seen: Pappardelle with a simple butter sauce and shaved white truffles. Unseen: Black Tagliatelle with Parsnips and Pancetta Arcari e Danesi, Dosaggio Zero NV Casunzei with Poppy Seeds Tenuta Dettori Chimbanta 2010 Crivelli Collina La Mora 2013 Agnolotti al Pomodoro La Mozza I Perazzi Morellino di Scansano 2013 Pappardelle Bolognese Masciarelli Marina Cvetic Montepulciano dAbruzzo 2010 Concord Grape Sorbetto with Goat Yogurt and Mint Brandini Moscato dAsti 2014 Olive Oil Cake and Gelato DaVero Olive Oil, Two Ways +NaCl Famiglia Olivini Condolcezza NV #HungryEditor #HungryEats #HungryGreenwichVillage
Babbo Ristorante & Enoteca
Who doesn't love pasta for breakfast?
To die for beef cheek ravioli with black truffles and castelmagno. Breakfast babboristorante
Gnocchi al Telefono with mozarella di bufala. Breakfast babboristorante
So good. Pork "Francobolli" with chanterelles and corn babboristorante by mariobatali
What a great pasta breakfast I just had babboristorante . This is the black spaghetti with fennel, jalapeos and bottarga
If there is a standard for adding extra virgin olive oil, herbs and sea salt to a dessert, it is here at babboristorante . Wow.
TABLE FOR ONE: BABBO
Last night I finally made it to Babbo, one of New York City's top Italian restaurants. Babbo is one of the toughest reservations to get in town, which was made clear to me when I arrived at 11pm to a fully packed restaurant-on a Monday! I was finally seated at a table at 11:15, in between two couples that kept staring at me. (Either they were curious who this chap was dining alone, or recognized me as the Superstar I am- they did not ask for an autograph or picture) I would have preferred to be seated at the bar, but that was packed as well.
Before the meal started I was brought a plate of marinated chickpeas on a small piece of toast. I enjoyed this pre-meal nibble for it was something I never had, and I thought it was a nice touch. I was also brought one piece of bread with no butter, which was fine. I was surprised for I expected a much better bread selection at a restaurant of this caliber. It's not that it was bad, but it was nothing special at all.
For my first course I had the Warm Lamb’s Tongue Vinaigrette with Chanterelles and a 3-Minute Egg ($13). I was instructed by the runner to crack the egg which lay on top of the dish and use the yolk as the dressing. The dish was great. After just my first bite I said "Wow" out loud. There was something very eloquent yet simple about all the flavors.
For my entree I went with the Beef Cheek Ravioli with Crushed Squab Liver and Black Truffles ($23). The runner shaved some fresh Pecorino Romano on top as well. I had heard about this dish before so I wanted to see what all the hype was about. Let me tell you-it's worth the hype. Just might have been the best ravioli of my life. I would describe this dish, as well as my starter, as "delicately delicious". Each ravioli, triangle in shape, was perfectly cooked. The meat inside was delicious and the addition of the black truffles was the perfect compliment. I was in awe of how such a rich dish seemed so light, and it was all wonderful.
For dessert I had the Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Orange Sauce and Hazelnut Gelato ($12). I love hazelnut and chocolate so I could not resist this dish. It was a really nice dessert. It wasn't overly sweet and was the perfect ending to a great meal.
I can now tell you from experience that Babbo is one of New York City's top Italian restaurants. I cannot wait to go back! So for amazing Italian food, definitely start calling now for a reservation at Babbo.
NYC: Babbo's Winter White Truffle Tasting
I've always been a little bit weary of restaurants by TV celebrity chefs because they often have the reputation of being overrated. I get it, when you are popular, you can rely on your fame to attract the crowds. So when a few people told me that Mario Batalli's Babbo in NYC was nothing exceptional, I had no reason to go out of my way to try it myself. That was until Jen gave me a reason.
Three words: Winter. White. Truffles.
Take those words in and let the aroma intoxicate you. Truffle is known to be one of the most expensive ingredients in the world. It's a part of the fungus family and if you just ate a bite of it like you would an apple, you wouldn't really be wowed by it. It almost tastes like nothing, dirt even ... but the smell of it. It's the smell that gets you. That's why truffles are often shaved fresh in front of you, the slicing process releases the aroma that really takes over the senses and makes you feel a bite if heaven on earth.
Until recently, I didn't even realize there were two kinds of truffles, black and white. (Food noob?) As it turns out white truffles are a lot more fragrant than its black counterpart, therefore more desirable. It's also a lot more seasonal, with the peak of its season being the winter time. So winter white truffles is truly the best of the best. The folks at Eater can tell you more about this obsession...
Usually, a dish with a truffle supplement can run you upwards of $80 or more, so when I heard that you can get a three-course truffle tasting for $99 at Babbo, it sounded a ton more affordable. Always gotta find that deal right? It's almost like Buy 1, Get 2 Free. ;)
The first dish on the tasting menu was the Duck Egg Sunny-Side Up with Guanciale, Fett’unta and White Truffles. It was a perfectly poached egg on top of some thick crusty bread. Our favorite part of the dish was the guanciale, Italian cured pork cheeks. It was so flavorful and crispy like bacon on crack. However, the taste of the truffles here was a bit more mellow than I would have hoped.
Side note: this exact dish on their a la carte menu cost $80... say what? o.O
The next dish was the Agnolotti with Brown Butter and White Truffles. This was by far our favorite dish of the day. I usually find myself loving the pasta course at Italian restaurants the most anyway, but this seriously was amazing. The pasta itself was perfectly al dente, and I absolutely adored how tiny and delicate each pocket of agnolotti was. I could only imagine someone making this piece by piece in the kitchen.
Usually truffles are served on top of a more neutral pasta base so that the truffle really shines. The brown butter sauce on top of the agnolotti did just that. It complemented the overall flavors of our fragrant truffles and really helped bring out the wonderful smell and taste of it all.
The final dish of the meal was Grilled Veal Breast with Celery Root Fregula and White Truffles. We decided to also order a half bottle of Borolo wine to go with this course. Apparently Borolo is a very popular wine pairing to go with anything truffle. When asked why, the somm told us that Borolo comes from Piedmonte, the same region of Italy where most white truffles are found. We found that the Borolo had nice earthy flavors that did lend well to the truffle, but it was also definitely one of the pricier wines we could have chosen (on a budget that is).
Overall, I enjoyed this dish, although found the veal breast pretty fatty. It had so much fat it reminded me of a pork belly. Silly as it may sound, my favorite element of the dish was actually the celery root fregula that the meat sat on top of. The taste of truffles on top of the whole thing wasn't half bad either ;)
I ended up asking our "truffle guy" how he liked his job of being THE truffle guy at Babbo, since everyone is always so excited to see him approach the table. Turns out he kind of strongly dislikes the job since he smells truffle the whole day, yet is unable to eat it himself. What a torturous job right?
As the meal came to a wrap, I couldn't help but notice that the sugar trays at Babbo comes with sugar rock sticks as a sweetener. I might or might not have ordered tea just so I could get the rock candy... lol.
J is a huge dessert fan, so we ended ordering two different desserts as well. The first was Walnut Crostata with Concord Grape and Buttermilk Gelato. I was so full that I only took a bite of this and was over it.
The dessert I ended up picking was the Pumpkin Budino with Maple Cream and Spiced Fat Boy Breadcrumbs. I only expected to take a bite of this dessert, even though it was my birthday dessert (started the celebration 9 days early, but it's kinda like my Birthday month okay? ;)).
I took one bite of this and was completely in love. So then I took another bite... and another, and the next thing you know, I almost finished it all. This addictive dessert didn't look overly fancy, it was a pumpkin custard topped with pumpkin and cream. The taste was not overly sweet which I loved, and super well balanced with the maple syrup cream and crunch of the bread crumbs. It was the best pumpkin dessert I've ever had. Give this to me over a pumpkin pie any day!
Overall, J and I enjoyed our truffle tasting at Babbo. We were pretty happy with the three courses. However, I wish that we were able to share the tasting menu like Jen did in her review, and try other pasta dishes since I have a feeling that's what I would have enjoyed the most.
While I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to come back for another meal, I would definitely recommend this truffle tasting to someone who's looking to try a good variety of white truffle dishes in New York City.
As for the reputation of this restaurant being a little over-rated, I would have to agree and steer you towards Mario Batalli's other restaurant, Del Posto, instead. Del Posto was overall a much better dining experience and I would happily go back to that in a heartbeat. (I'll write about this meal in another post soon).
More info about the White Truffle Tasting at Babbo
$99 3-course Truffle Tasting is for lunch only.
In 2014, the tasting popped up on November 4th and apparently lasts "until we run out of truffles", mid-December maybe? As of today, the menu is still available.
Reservations for lunch were pretty easy to get on OpenTable, just book a week in advance.
Babbo Ristorante & Enoteca
Last night's was a tour de force of culinary excellence. babboristorante has never let us down and last night was no different. We rocked the traditional tasting menu, which is quite possibly the best value in all of #NYC fine dining. This was my favorite dish, pappardelle with chanterelles and thyme. Perfect pasta with mushrooms I swear were actually . So very good. Great meal with great dudes.
Babbo, Greenwich Village
Back in 1998, Mario Batali teamed up with Joe Bastianich to open their flagship restaurant, Babbo, in Greenwich Village. Since then, the B&B partnership has grown into an Italian empire, but I’ve always wanted to visit the place where it all began. My sister and I visited Babbo for lunch on a weekday and were delighted to find that it had been decked out for the holidays.
Warm and inviting, the dining room at Babbo is lovely for an intimate meal for two. Compared to most fine dining restaurants, the tables are packed pretty tightly together, but the lunch crowd didn’t show up until 1pm. It was nice to enjoy the soothing jazz for the first half of our meal.
The service during our meal was good. However, the maitre d was no where to be found when we first arrived. We were left standing in the front for quite sometime before anyone greeted us. Oh well, at least it gave us a chance to say hi to Mario and Joe by the wines.
Our meal began with a chickpea and olive tapenade amuse bouche. Simple, but tasty. We were also served some good bread, but I was surprised it did not come with any butter or olive oil.
I realize that beet salads are a common menu item during this time of the year, but we decided to get it anyway. Babbo’s baby beet salad ($15) with blood orange and montasio did not disappoint. Not too earthy as they use a mixture of red and golden beets. Nice sweet and tangy flavors from the blood orange. Even my sister, who emphasized that she isn’t a beet person, enjoyed it.
I asked them to make the garganelli ($19) meatless for me. Even without the pancetta, the garganelli with swiss chard, red celery, and asiago seemed quite complete. The pasta was a bit firm for me, but the sauce was lovely with all the ingredients of this dish.
My sister got the pork francobolli ($22) with chanterelles and roasted pumpkin. Francobolli “postage stamps” is basically a fancy spancy way of of saying ravioli. Wen said the chanterelles were especially tasty, and pork filling of the pasta was melt in your mouth delicious. For the rest of her time in NYC, she couldn’t stop talking about this dish.
For dessert, we shared the bignès ($15) filled with spiced ricotta gelato and roasted white chocolate. The pastry was light and airy without tasting too eggy, and the gelato was creamy with a subtle touch of spice. When roasted, white chocolate becomes sweet, molten caramel.
Throughout the meal, everything was tasty and refined. It ended on a good note too. Was I wowed? Not really. Don’t get me wrong, it was a positive experience, but it just seemed to be missing a special something. Babbo has held its Michelin star for quite some time, so maybe that’s why I expected more.
Babbo-The End of A tortured Love Affair
This is not easy for me to say, as it has taken me a long time to reconcile your actions with your empty words and promises. I have been running on the memory of how things used to be, of how you initially won me over and made me smile, but your recent disappointments have almost become too much to bear. Every time we are together, I may be filling my belly, but my heart is empty. New York is a large city, and I am declaring that I am ready to move on with someone else, although there will always be a place for you in my heart.
Babbo has been my go-to spot for my family birthday celebration for over ten years. The first time I went I was in awe that this acclaimed, highly-lauded place had an element of casualness to it. Green Day was playing throughout the dining room, and there was nothing overly formal about the service or environment. I was spell-bound by the dishes I tasted and transported by the charming ambience upstairs. I honed my order to perfection with the cockles, the mint love letters and the pork chop, happy birthday to me…
Mint love letters, always lots to love
Then I started to notice some issues. The host at the front, for every visit except my most recent, was curmudgeonly on a good day, greeting every person with a scowl and an unimpressed demeanor. Babbo would NEVER accommodate any special requests, including table requests, and sending bottles of wine to guests. Also, the service was never sharp or precise- every waiter seemed more like a food runner, with no one person ever really taking control of your service experience. The sommeliers were dismissive and not helpful, and meals could drag for hours due to a simple lack of attention. All of these concerns could be washed over, and my complicated love for Babbo could endure, due to the quality and consistency of the dishes I love, had it not been for the salty cockles.
I am a person who desperately avoids conflict, to the point that I will sometimes suffer in silence rather than draw attention to the fact that I am unhappy with my food. To that end, I rarely complain to waiters when something is not right- I have trudged through undercooked burgers and mushy pastas rather than upset the flow of a meal. My most favorite dish at Babbo is the cockles- tender tiny clams served in a spicy tomato based broth that begs to be sipped and slopped up with bread. I have had this dish on every single visit to Babbo, and have excellent flavor recall (as well as a high tolerance for salt). The cockles served to me on my last visit were so appallingly salty that my mouth involuntarily puckered. I made sure everyone at the table tried them before contacting the waiter, who barely understood what I said as he took them away. Another waiter came back and told me that the cockles were supposed to taste like that, and that they could only make me something else, they could not fix the cockles. I said okay, I don’t want anything else, but requested that the chef try the dish. Then yet another waiter came over (this one in suit- a manager?) and told me that the only way they could fix the dish is to make it with NO salt, since clearly I am sensitive. Knowing that was not true, I let them make me a dish with “no” salt, and it was delicious. Not one server came back over to ask how it was or see if we were happy with the rest of our meal. Quite simply, they made us feel like we were wrong and then did not care about us for the rest of the night.
THE pork chop
This latest example simply brought to the a issues that have marred my Babbo dinners for a quite a few years. Time and time again Babbo just proves to be on auto-pilot, servers seemingly resting on their laurels because of all of the accolades the restaurant receives. No one seems invested in the diner’s service experience, and no one cares how diners are treated. It is as if we are lucky to have the reservation and that alone should ensure a lovely evening. Servers just deliver the food and keep it moving. It is so easy to make diners feel good about the time and money they spend, not act like they should be lucky for the privilege. With the rock music playing and discreet downtown location it seems like Babbo should be unpretentious and welcoming, but that is glaringly not the case. The lack of management is frankly shocking.
My visits to Babbo as a walk- in, sitting in the front room, were always pleasant, some how lifting the expectation of exceptional service and shifting the focus squarely on the food; I think going forward this is is how I will return to Babbo. I am very sad to make this sweeping statement of disappointment, but sometimes with eating, as with dating, you need to realize that it’s not you, it’s them, and there are plenty of pastas in the sea.
Babbo Ristorante & Enoteca
babboristorante mariobatali Warm Lamb's Tongue Vinaigrette- brown beech mushrooms, 3-minute egg
babboristorante mariobatali Beef Cheek Ravioli- crushed squab liver, black summer truffles
babboristorante mariobatali Roasted White Chocolate Cheesecake- coconut crostata, white chocolate gelato
Babbo Ristorante & Enoteca
Happy birthday to this wonderful man.. My handsome and funny ( and quite the singer ) husband Pat! He's always the life of the party and I love watching him shine Just when I think I couldn't love you more, another year passes and I do! it's the every day things that he does not because he has to, but because he CARES, the little acts of kindness that takes me by surprise over and over , and the smallest and quietest things he does that speaks of his love LOUD AND CLEAR He taught me by example about true love and marriage.. To be steadfast in our commitment, to overcome any obstacles as a team, no matter who or what tries to come in between.. He showed me that we are always stronger TOGETHER and he brings out the best in me He taught me to FORGIVE QUICKLY and to LIVE BOLDLY. In a way; I think we are each other's second chance .. And what we both have been waiting for I couldn't have asked God for a better partner, best friend and wonderful, generous man to love and respect for the rest of my life So happy to celebrate another birthday with you my love !! Looking forward to a lifetime of happy birthdays together ... And there is no one I rather do this crazy thing called LIFE with than .. With you!!
Saturday night was the main event of the weekend. The dinner to celebrate the impending nuptials of my friend. It had only taken me four hours of constantly hitting the redial button over and over again, 30 days in advance to score a reservation at Babbo.
We had been here once before on Father’s Day for Mr. T’s dad and I just fell in love with the food. I was hoping tonight would be no different. We got there right at 7:45 and were lead to a table in the elegant upstairs which I had requested. We started with a round of Prosecco to celebrate and then we moved on to a nice bottle of red.
(You'll notice the pictures get a little more blurry as the night goes on...the wine seems to have slightly affected my picture taking ability.)
We all wanted to try as much food as possible so we just decided to share everything. We picked 2 appetizers, 2 pastas and an entrée for two.
After licking the plates clean from the complimentary chickpea bruschetta, we got our first appetizer the Grilled Octopus with Borlotti Marinati” and Spicy Limoncello Vinagrette.
This was my favorite thing last time I was here and it was still as good as ever.
The tentacles were plump and juicy with a fantastic char on the edges that give the whole dish a nice rustic taste. Almost like some one just took it off the fire outside.
Our other appetizer was a wonderfully refreshing and light Baby Arugala salad with Parmigiano and Aceto Manodori.
For our pastas we started our with the Sweet Potato Lune with Sage and Amaretti.
OMG this dish was amazing!! The Lune was slightly sweet with a wonderful buttery sauce and topped with some crushed amaretti cookie and sage that really put a spin on the dish I would never have imagined.
If that didn’t completely blow me away the next pasta dish certainly did.
This is the Goat Cheese Tortellini with Dried Orange and Wild Fennel Pollen.
I had been a little hesitant about this dish because I really don’t like fennel or orange too much, however one bite and I was sold.
The pasta was incredibly light and smooth and the strong flavor of the Goat Cheese went perfectly with the tart orange and fennel in a way that was truly a work of art.
I was so happy at the end of this course I could care less about the entrée the Grilled Ribeye for Two.
Holy cow! This was my entrée last time and it was just as good again. Huge chunks of the most flavorful meat you can ever imagine with a side of delicious ramps. Yum!!!
We were so full we couldn’t even think about finishing all of the meat and had to take some home for later.
We did have room to split one dessert however the assortment of gelato and sorbet.
I’ll be honest- we left most of the sorbet but absolutely devoured the gelato. It was so good!
We ended our meal stuffed, happy and quite drunk to be honest. The red wine was really flowing during our dinner and I think we all may have stumbled out of the restaurant a little (after my friend talked to some woman about the plants in the middle of the room for 10 minutes).
We got a nice picture of us outside and hopped in a cab home- bachelorette weekend a success!!!
Babbo continues to excel in food, wine and service in every way. Now if only it didn’t take me so long to get a reservation…
Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, a pricey Italian restaurant located at 110 Waverly Pl, New York serves a host of dishes ranging from the pasta tasting menu to Beef Cheek Ravioli and Grilled octopus. Quite a few repeat customers are in love with lamb chops, Goat Cheese Tortelloni, and definitely the pasta. Even the critics of the restaurants are in love with desserts like Coconut cheesecake, saffron panna cotta and the rhubarb pie. A few people complain about the over or under cooked dishes but that are expected in a restaurant catering people with a wide range of personal preferences in cuisines. The appetizer, the Babbo greens with roasted shallots is a must try and you have the option to choose from a wide range of wines to go with the main course.
If you have to make a reservation weeks in advance, you can be sure that the atmosphere is going to be awesome and it is true for Babbo. Despite a mediocre entrance the bar is truly elegant bar and the dining room are well lit with an amazing ambience. The ground floor is quite packed and congested and you may like get a seat in the dining room on the first floor. The bathroom on the first floor is smaller like that in an airplane. It is a dating paradise with extremely romantic atmosphere that you rarely find in Italian restaurants but you have to plan and reserve well in advance if you want to surprise your beloved.
With an attentive and skilled waiting staff and sommeliers to help you choose wines, your dining experience is sure to be truly memorable. If you want to learn about the food and the menus, you have Italian waiters that are very knowledgeable, understanding and cooperative to suggest the best course. There have been few missteps and spills by the waiters and people have complained about seating in bar but the restaurant receives high marks for its services.