Babbo, NYC


Babbo

Chef: Mario Batali
Cuisine: Italian
Neighborhood: West Village
Price: $70/person for an antipasti with one primi and one secondi
Optional: Pasta-tasting menu for $69 or a Traditional Tasting menu for $75, with $50 additional for wine pairings or $95 for “Riserva Selection” of wine pairings.
The restaurant does not allow BYOB.
Phone: 212-777-0303
Address: 110 Waverly Pl # A, NYC 10011

The Batali Empire spans the gamut of culinary achievement. From his infamous black spaghetti at Babbo, to his glamorous Vegas flagship B and B, to the joint ventures such as Spotted Pig and best selling books (wait, people still read books?), Mario has become involved in every aspect of the food industry. His latest project, Eataly, is a collaboration with Joe Bastianich, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Oscar Farinetti. The gourmet food court is a 50,000-square-foot space that features restaurants, a beer garden and microbrewery, a cooking school, and retail shops for everything Italian.

I have personally now been to Babbo, Casa Mono, Lupa, B and B, and Spotted Pig and eyeing a visit to Eataly very soon. Every venue left me satiated and battling a food coma. This latest visit to Babbo reminded me that not only is Batali famous for his palate-pleasing creations, but also that the ambiance he creates with the immaculate service and simple, yet cozy interiors makes you want to plan your next visit before you even leave the restaurant. The food was excellent, with autumnal touches to underscore the seasonal ingredients. The wine list is extensive and sommelier undeniably well-trained in recommendations to suit each table. We really enjoyed the bottle of Puligny Montrachet wine and wanted to write down the name to remember. The server then actually offered to steam the label off the bottle, which he then mounted on a postcard and one of our dinner guests saved it as a souvenir.

Amuse-bouche
Toast with tangy chickpeas
Grilled Octopus
with “Borlotti Marinati” and Spicy Limoncello Vinaigrette
Not my favorite octopus, and I have tried a lot recently, but still very well prepared and tasty

Autumn Vegetable Salad
with Goat’s Milk Ricotta and Pumpkin Seed Oil
So delicious and perfect for the season

Prosciutto San Daniele “Riserva”
with Black Pepper “Fett’unta”
I love charcuterie in general, and this prosciutto was amazing
Pumpkin “Lune”
with Sage and Amaretti
This “lune” pasta which means “little moons” are stuffed with a creamy pumpkin filling and sautéed with butter, sage leaves, and topped with a grated amaretti cookie and cheese
Beef Cheek Ravioli
with Crushed Squab Liver and Black Truffles
Can’t really go wrong with black truffles; great pasta dish
Black Spaghetti
with Rock Shrimp, Spicy Salami Calabrese and Green Chiles
This is the dish Babbo is renowned for. It is a must-try. I am not partial to pasta at all and I adored it. The combination of rock shrimp, salami calabrese, and the spaghetti itself was divine.
Whole Grilled Branzino
with Radicchio in Pancetta and Lemon Oregano Jam
Loved watching the servers de-bone the fish. It was good, but falls short of the whole branzino at Bohemian

Grilled Veal Chop
with Chanterelles and Black Truffle Vinaigrette
Huge piece of meat, a bit onerous though to manage. Although it was juicy and tasty, it just wasn’t the strength of the restaurant, which lies in the Primis.

Mignardises

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