ntang (ntang) wrote,

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Babbo [c] [w]

Went to Babbo tonight with coworkers (my boss M and his fiance, my coworker D and his girlfriend, and ebess to celebrate work anniversaries (D turned "4" recently and I turned "3").

It was fun, and I have to say, Babbo really does have good food.  Is it worth the one-month-in-advance reservations and all of the hoopla?  I dunno.  But it was a very good meal, and not all that expensive (average price for a main course ~$25).  For those of you who haven't heard of it, it's the original restaurant in Mario Batali's growing empire.  For those of you who don't know who he is, Mario is a chef who has a show (three, actually) on the Food Network and several highly rated restaurants in the city.  He's a good chef, but I will confess not understanding why he's sooo popular.  But whatever, he makes good food, so he's A-OK in my book.

So, on to the food!

We shared a bunch of appetizers and "primo" courses (the pastas), and then each got our own secondi (the second, main course).  We started off with grilled octopus, babbo salumi, asparagus milanese, beet salad, and maybe one other thing.  A prosciutto dish I think.  After that, we shared the goat cheese tortelloni, spaghettini w/ lobster, and the special pasta (black pasta (aka made w/ squid ink) w/ shrimp and... other stuff... I can't remember).  Finally, we had our main courses - I had the duck, D had the rabbit, M had the pork chops, ebess had the pasta w/ mushrooms, and I can't remember the other dishes.  A fish dish and something else.

We got desserts too, but they were mostly forgettable (IMHO).  I got a chocolate hazelnut cake, as did ebess, and D got fresh (sweet) ricotta with some toppings, which was decent but not great, and I don't even remember the other desserts.  The total bill, including wine (we got 2 bottles) and desserts and dessert wines (I got a Niepoort 1976 vintage!  $30 for the glass!) was less than $100 a head, so that's pretty good considering how much we got.

Overall, the food was very good.  It was as good - maybe even slightly better than - Craftbar's... but the desserts are way better at Craftbar.  And there's no month-long (literally) waiting list for seats at Craftbar.  I'd recommend it, it IS a very good Italian meal, but overall I'm inclined to say you can get as good, with less effort, in other places in the city (like Craftbar!).  So if you can score a table, go for it, but if you can't don't sweat it.  :)

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