Monday, June 17, 2013


It's June, and we all know what that means...HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ME!! (It's the 11th if anyone cares.) Yes, I know I'm a tremendous baby, and I know people don't do this over the age of 6, but I truly believe Birthday's are a big freakin deal, and if I wanna go out 12 different times to celebrate, that is exactly what I'm going to do!  

So this June 11th, the restaurant honor goes to Babbo, a tried and true classic, that I haven't been to since my NYU days. I really just wanted Italian food done right, and if anyone knows Italian food, I'm thinking Mario Batali can take me there. Of all his establishments (Del Posto, Eataly, Lupa, OTTO, etc), I feel like Babbo best represents classic, delicious Batali food, without all the bells and whistles of a Celebrity Chef helmed restaurant. 

So about a month prior to the day, I diligently secured my reservation because really there is no other way, they are always packed! Once you do get in, you'll quickly find Babbo is a pretty classy joint without being too stuffy. There's a main dining room, as well as a loft-like seating area on the second floor with a beautiful skylight above. Both times that I've been here I was seated upstairs, and generally enjoyed the atmosphere. My only minor complaint is that service is on the slow side. Ever been to one of those places where there are 8 servers around but you seem to be invisible? It was kind of like this, although when we did find our waiter, he could not have been more professional. 
So we decided to go with a couple of appetizers, 2 pastas, and share a main fish. We were quickly served Roasted Chickpeas Bruschetta to start, and I must say, it was perfection. For apps we got the Asparagus Milanese with a poached egg and parmiagiano, and the Carciofi (artichokes) alla Romano. No complaints here,  both appetizers were excellent.

 After the apps, there was some lag time where we devoured the bread and soaked it in the delicious olive oil, but as soon as the pasta course came out we forgot all about our wait. We choose the Maccheroni alla Chitarra with oven dried tomatoes, red chillies and bottarga di muggine. Don't be afraid of this one guys, it was really truly delicious. The Garganelli with Funghi Trifolati was also wonderful. Creamy, tangy, with perfect al dente pasta and unbelievable cheese that was brought over and sprinkled on top. I wanna tell you this one was our fav, but really you cannot go wrong with any pasta at Babbo.

After another kind of long wait, they brought over the Whole Grilled Branzino with mixed radishes, olives and lemon oregeno jam, and we watched as they expertly filleted that sucker and served it to us on 2 beautifully platted dishes. A perfect, perfect grilled fish. The Jam was interesting, a little on the sweet side, but tasty. We got a side of Babbo Greens with Shallots, which was not very good and definitely not worth getting.

Dessert I'm sorry to say was a disappointment. Maybe I just ordered the wrong one? It was tiny, a couple of bites of fried dough with marinated fruit that we did not even finish.
Regardless, I definitely enjoyed Babbo. Is it my favorite restaurant in the whole city? No way, but the pastas and those appetizers were incredible, and for a fine dining experience without the fancy uptown address, Babbo does the trick. We left happy and full.

Now just 364 days til we start planning next year... :-)

Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

Bite Mark: ***and a half

Good For: Special Occasions, PASTA!

Babbo, 110 Waverly Place 212-777-0303