110 Waverly Pl
New York, NY 10011
Why did we dine here? – Babbo is celebrity chef Mario Batali’s and Joe Bastianich’s flagship restaurant serving regional Italian classics. How could we pass up trying his Italian food? We had never been to one of his restaurants and figured he better know how to cook his native food. Alas he was not in the house. This place is very busy, with them asking Opentable reservations to call and get a token. They received 1 Michelin star in 2016.
Definitely a loud scene filled with well dressed diners. Everything here seems a lot more formal than our mother base in San Francisco. The old crusty rock music upstairs was far too loud, this is not a club! We notice many reviews also mention this.
Fellow foodies on Chowhound had warned us to stick to the pasta. Probably could have saved a bit if we did not order 2 entrees, but we felt they might kick us out.
Insider Tip – Reserve early. Stick to Pasta only.
Cuisine – Italian
Location – New York Greenwich Village
Opened – 1998
Service – Babbo had almost too many wait staff circling around. Too bad they did not seem trained well enough to see certain situations. Our waiter disappeared after taking our order. Service could be better.
Verdict – Babbo is an interesting restaurant. The pastas are top notch, but entrees are not exciting, something voiced by others on Chowhound. This is a place where you need to order strategically to avoid paying way too much.
Is this restaurant worth a 5 minute drive? Yes. 30 minute? Maybe. 1 Hour? Maybe
Babbo Signature Dishes – Pasta
Babbo’s Menu changes from time to time, but is wide ranging with a lot of signature dishes remain on there. A better bet might be to go with the pasta tasting menu.
Babbo Food Picks:
Amuse of garbanzo beans on Bruscetta.
Several breads that were fair at best.
Mozzarella di Bufala with Grilled “Verdure alla Caprese” ($19) is not your classic burrata (The waiter warned us when ordering), but it was still smooth and delicious. Nice mound of antipasti.
Beef Cheek Ravioli with Crushed Squab Liver and Black Truffles ($25) is a signature dish and must order. Very rich flavor and tender pasta.
Garganelli with “Funghi Trifolati” ($24) looks like a souped up simple pasta, but definitely hit the mark. Excellent fresh mushrooms.
Chianti Stained Pappardelle with Wild Boar Ragu ($24) had a ton of the beautiful long boiled ragu. Nice noodle that was cooked al dente like it shold be.
Orecchiette with Wild Boar Ragu ($28) was a special mashup we had. Eggless pasta ears with the same rich sauce.
Grilled Lamb Chops “Scottadita” with Broccoli Rabe Pesto, Grilled Onions and Lemon Yogurt ($38) was very good but not excellent. Good flavor and an interesting mint leaf. We’d prefer the jelly. The lamb we had at Lincoln Ristorante was far better.
Babbo Greens ($11) were pretty bitter, make sure you like this.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Barbecued Squab with Roasted Beet “Farrotto” and Porcini Mustard ($34) came medium rare and was a huge dish. Lots of ancient grains cooked with beets. The Lamb was definitely a better dish.
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)
Do you agree with our review? Have you found other similar restaurants that are better?