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“Warm, cozy, and romantic with delicious food!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Babbo

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Ranked #437 of 13,479 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
Cross street: Between 6th Avenue and MacDougal Street
Transit: West 4th street subway station (8th street/Waverly Place exit): A,C,E,B,D,F and M trains. We recommend traveling at the back of the train if coming from uptown, the front of the train if coming from downtown, to find the closest exit at the station.
Indianapolis IN
Level Contributor
88 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Warm, cozy, and romantic with delicious food!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2013

Came here during the blizzard last week and felt the warmth as soon as we entered. The food was amazing! Three words Beef Cheek Ravioli! Buttery goodness. The beet farotto was amazing. My husband enjoyed the crispy striped sea bass with caponat and it was delicious! I had the espresso gelato for dessert and couldn't have been more pleased! The sommelier helped us pick out an incredible wine and was kind enough to ask what flavors we enjoyed as well as what range we'd be comfortable in. We were never rushed and thoroughly enjoyed our meal. The only thing that annoyed me somewhat was that the bread crumbs were never tidyed up until the dessert course. It was a minor detail in the grand scheme. Babbo is a hip romantic place to enjoy a warm and inviting meal. The portions were fair and prices reasonable.

Visited February 2013
Thank TravellerLH13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Mendham, New Jersey
Level Contributor
37 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Did not meet expectations lousy music”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2013

This famous Waverly Place Italian eatery was just okay.
Our waiter Mark was excellent. the food was good but not outstanding; we had tripe, several kinds of pastas and fish.
The tables were pretty close together, we ate downstairs.
The music was loud and horrible, very distracting. Not recommending to friends, there are plenty of other good restaurants in the area.

Visited February 2013
6 Thank jemurphy2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California, United States
Level Contributor
47 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Good Italian”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2013

I enjoyed the food. Tried many dishes but focus on the pastas since the 3 that I tried were amazing. Great wine selection. Did not disappoint.

Visited February 2013
Thank Jenny N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
209 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Could this be the best meal ever?”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2013

Wow! This is a truly wonderful restaurant. Babbo was on our list of ‘must does’ when visiting New York and we were not disappointed. We booked online in advance and could still only get a 5.45 pm booking on a Saturday night (one of three sittings!). A warning for out-of-town travellers: don’t be late! They will not seat you until your whole party has arrived. We booked for four and our other couple were late. We nearly lost our table! As a result, the bar area is very very busy, with lots of people standing around waiting for their table or coming in off the street in the hope of getting a table! Make sure your table is not near the front door or you will be eating amongst a crowd! Our table was upstairs and away from all the commotion. Notwithstanding, this is not a noisy restaurant. It is simply all class. The food is to die for and the wine list is extensive. The service is efficient and friendly. As there are several sittings things keep moving. Arrive on time and maximise your time.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
Thank anactbloke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange, California
Level Contributor
104 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Good Food, Entertaining "Side Show"”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2013

Babbo is one of Mario Batali’s flagship restaurants. It was named the Best New Restaurant in 1998 by the James Beard Foundation, and has been given three stars by New York Times food critics Ruth Reichl and Frank Bruni.

Located in a residential neighborhood and occupying a former residence, Babbo is on the smaller side and has a definite intimate feeling.

As you enter, there is a small bar are which opens up into the dining room on the first floor. A large, steep stairway leads to additional dining upstairs.

The meal started with amuse bouche of spiced chick pea crostini. It seemed to be a very rustic Italian take on hummus. The chick peas were nice and creamy, and whet the appetite for things to come.

The Gnocchi with Braised Oxtail ($20) is a great pasta dish. The gnocchi are soft pillows that just melt in your mouth. The gnocchi is not over sauced, while the oxtail adds a bunch of flavor. Since the oxtail is braised, it is super tender and not at all tough.

The Spaghettini with Spicy Budding Chives and One Pound Lobster ($28) is an absolute steal for the price. The spaghetti was a little too al dente for my taste, as it certainly had a “chew” to it, but was almost on the verge of having a little crunch as well. The lobster was well cooked and tender. The sauce is not too spicy, but did explode with a strong tomato punch.

The Barbecued Skirt Steak ($29) is a nicely balanced dish. The skirt steak is cooked to perfection, still juicy with a lot of beef flavor. The pickled onions help to cut through the richness of the beef. The eggplant adds another “meaty” texture to the dish. The only downside of the dish was the “salsa verde”, as I am not a big fan of any type of parsley.

The “Brasato al Barolo” Braised Beef ($29) is a super tender short rib that is full of flavor. The Barolo wine adds depth of flavor and richness. The creamy polenta is a great vehicle to sop up all of the braising liquid. The celery tops adds a bit of bitterness to the dish to add another dimension.

The Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta ($8) pairs the earthy, slightly bitter and “sulfury” Brussels sprouts with salty, crispy pancetta. The Brussels sprouts are tender and slightly sweet due to caramelization.

The Rapini with Roasted Garlic ($8) adds some serious bitterness to the meal, while the roasted garlic adds some zing and sweetness. Rapini may not be for some due to how bitter it is.

The Saffron Panna Cotta ($13) is silky smooth, creamy and refreshing. The rhubarb marmalade and sorbetto helps to add some bitterness and sweetness. This is a well-balanced dessert and on the lighter side. Perfect after having a rich, heavy meal.

The Warm Apple Crostata ($13) is a perfect finish to a meal on a cold night. Paired with maple gelato, maple cider caramel and finished with Sicilian Sea Salt, the dessert is not cloying sweet. The crostata is not overly sweet and depends on its counterparts to help balance the dish. The sea salt acts both as a flavor enhancer and palate cleanser at the same time.

Although considered fine dining, Babbo definitely has a lighter side. The background music is rather loud and consists mainly of rap, such as Kanye West, Dr. Dre and the like.

Service was somewhat lackluster, as our server would go missing for long stretches at a time. The wait staff also provides a floor show of sorts. On the ground floor in the middle of the dining room, there is a large table in which many bottles of wine, dishes, bread and pitchers of water sit.

The bottles of wine are opened, and are apparently those sold by the glass. Many servers would pour themselves a small glass and taste it. At first I thought it was to make sure that each new opened bottle of wine was okay, but as the night progressed I noticed several servers going back and kept “sampling” every time they passed the table. I would guess that one server had at least 15 glasses of wine during my meal. After seeing what transpired, I’m not surprised that service was a little more lax than what I would expect.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank TheMysteryTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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