I’ve never thought I would make a dinner reservation for 10:45 PM, but that was the only time available at Babbo. I might have had a different reaction had I gotten through on the first try. They start taking reservations at 10 AM and I started dialing at 9:59 AM. I called 34 times to get through and now have the number forever in my memory, 212-777-0303.
We arrived at Babbo at 10:40 PM. We waited next to a kid at the bar in a white t-shirt and jeans. He claimed to be a regular and he seemed to be on something. He was frying his brains out on an erotic-enoteca Mario induced trip. Sitting at the bar getting his monthly Babbo fix. He was peaking as he proclaimed this to be the best f*’ing restaurant in the world. He recommended the goose liver and calf’s brain. He was a student at NYU — he wasn’t collecting a paycheck, but was instead sticking his dad with some rather lavish expenses.
It’s 11:30 PM, after 45 minutes of being seduced by the menu, we finally disclose our wishes to our waiter. Our waiter’s name is Jack — and he was perfect. He explained everything in the appropriate amount of detail. He attentiveness, patience, sincerity, recommendations — all of the ingredients of a perfect waiter. Antipasti: mozzarella with rapini and roasted beet salad. Primi: black spaghetti with rock shrimp, chorizo and green chilis. Secondi: brasato ai borolo (borolo-braised beef with porcini) and duck with savoy, speck and ramps. A glass of limoncello ends a perfect evening…..
I also love their wine service — you can order a third of a bottle — the wine list is very impressive, and if it is a bit overwhleming, the wine steward is so very helpful.
Babbo is one of those places I have always wanted to go and at the same time feared that it would disappoint. It’s so easy for culinary dreams to fall short. Babbo might not be the best f*’ing restaurant in the world, but it should be on the ballot.
We had dinner here in January. It was not quite as wonderful as my other 2 experiences. The service was not very attentive and did not seem on the top of their game. My pasta dish was very good — parpadelle with bolognese — but the pasta was heaped together in a pile that was stuck together — not very elegant, but still very good. Brasato ai Borolo was very good — again. Tile fish was wonderful.
On my previous visit, I had amazing cockles, goose liver ravioli, and 2 minute calamari. Each dish was memorable and delicious.
One of the most frustrating phone reservations to get through. But the woman who answers is the most lovely person you will ever speak to — and acts as though she remembers you and are a good friend — and it is their pleasure to serve you.
Strongly recommended. Will return.
110 Waverly Pl
(between Avenue Of The Americas & Mac Dougal St)
New York, NY 10011