110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY | Directions 1001140.732375 -73.999209
Mon-Sat 5:30pm-11:30pm Sun 5pm-11pm
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Greenwich Village
Mario Batali's flagship hasn't lost its fastball; its vivid, ballsy take on Italian food continues to constantly change and impress.
Believe the hype – Babbo is one of my favorite special occasion dining destinations. Part of the Mario Batali empire, his Italian specialities do not disappoint. I always order the pasta tasting menu so that I get a taste of everything. I prefer some dishes over the others (i.e. the Garganelli and Tagliatelle are delicious), but it's always good to get out of your comfort zone and try out new flavors. At first you think these little dishes will never fill you up, then as the courses keep coming, you find yourself wondering if you'll even have space for dessert. The answer is barely.
Seating in the main level is a tight squeeze but it's fun to watch the hustle and bustle of the waiters scuffling by. The dining area upstairs is brighter and a little more reserved. Patrons are allowed to make reservations up to one month in advance. I've haven't had any problems getting reservations lately, but be flexible with your schedule and don't expect prime dining times. I went for an early dinner one time and a scored a late reservation another evening.
Quality Italian – My girlfriend and I were overly excited to go to Babbo after months of anticipation. The restaurant was a little stuffy and pretentious, but it's safe to assume that's the atmosphere they are looking for.
The sides and appetizers were delicious, but the main dishes were uninspired. However, I do have to compliment on how well our dishes were cooked...I had the squab, and it was fantastic.
Happy we went, but most likely won't go back. On to the next.
good pasta – great food---amazing pasta and wine. staff is helpful when ordering but could be more friendly. the decor is great and nice for a date spot. expensive but def an experience.
Worst Place EVER – Rude when we made rsvp and rude when we got there. Never again. As for the food, it was not all that and def. not worth the trouble. Def. a two thumbs down!
BABBO: THE WORST NIGHT OF OUR LIVES – “THE WORST NIGHT OF OUR LIVES” The bold at the entrance is extremely rude. He ignored us and kept me and my wife waiting for 2 ours standing up, and when we complained he yelled at us!!!. 1)Mr. Batalli:Why low class employees?; 2)Rank:Food is not “that good” -27 Zagat ranked? Never!; 3)Clients:OPEN YOUR EYES!; 4)Zagat&other Rankers: Be objective!. Don’t loose the credibility to pamper Mr. Battali…, without that this is only a restaurant directory.
So disappointed with Babbo Balsamico – I read the great book ‘Heat’ by Bill Bufford and wanted to celebrate our first wedding anniversary in restaurant Babbo, the place where Bill Bufford took an internship… So romantic at Wasgington Square Park for us Amsterdam people.
I knew it was a hype so called them 5 months in advance to learn that one can make a reservation one month in advance at maximum. I followed this instruction and we were 'lucky' to get a 10:45 reservation. Mind you, PM! Okay so far, so good.
We arrived in a good mood 5 minutes early. We were asked to wait to be seated, and enjoyed a couple of good drinks at the bar with a constanly apologizing barkeeper. At midnight our table was ready. We ordered fungi and sardines as antipasti. There we learned Babbo's preference for balsamico. We had a salad on the side from grean beans tasting very much like… balsamico. The primo was a shared spicy spaghetti, just a little balsamico. By the way it was so late, and the music was so loud (S*x Pistols and that kind of music) that we only wanted to go to sleep, but we still had one course to go. The secundo was an outright disappointment. I had a skirt and huge balsamico beef and my husband’s branzino was very plain and was served together with a completely cremated black piece of vegetable tasting of balsamico. He asked what kind of burned vegetable it was and that he is not particularly fond of burned vegetables (health freak he is!). The answer was that it was their style to burn it completely black but they would bring a new one. Same degree of fire wounds ...
We were so disappointed that we asked for the check, without ordering a desert or even coffee. All we wanted was out of this place to bed at 1.30am. This signal was read by the personnel and they sent us a manager who apologized and said that he would adjust the bill accordingly. We paid a mere $160 (no discount on the bill found, but too tired to get into a new discussion), My husband left a $10 tip and wrote on the AMEX slip 'for the service, not the food'.
What had to be a celebration became a little disaster. We definitely ate twice at Babbo at Sunday Sept 6th: our first and last time.
I cannot recommend Babbo, and I strongly believe this place is terribly overhyped. And the arrogance from the reservation till you leave the place is one big joke, at least if you look at it from a simple gastronomic perspective.
Fried air ... below zero.
Nice place – This place is really cute. We had reservations made about a month in advance and got there pretty early but we still had to wait about 15-20 mins and the lower level is really small and packed, so there isnt much room where to wait. The food was good and so was the wine. I went this past week and did a tasting kind of menu where basically you go through like 8 courses including appetizers, main courses and deserts, and every course comes with a wine pairing. The wines were all pretty good (I liked the reds better) and the desert was really good. I would definitely go again.
Amazing food despite the hassles – The food here is great, but I don't go very frequently because it's nearly impossible to get a reservation. Waiting for their stand-by tables is a huge hassle becuase they make you wait inside, crammed up against the bar -- often for more than an hour.
Highly overrated – This restaurant used to shine (See Frank Bruni's review from a few years back). But, while it's a "good" restaurant, I it is not "great". There are much better choices around New York. The contorni (the Babbo Greens and the Rapini) are far too salty, for example, to the point of being inedible. No dish particularly stood out -- although the bread was excellent. The wine list is very good, however. I have been twice, once in 2005 and then yesterday. I would not go again.
Worth the Wait! – Making a reservation at this restaurant was almost as hard as trying to score Bruce Springsteen concert tickets. I called exactly one (1) month before the day of my wife's birthday (when their reservation lines opened) and got a busy signal for almost half an hour.
On the night of our dinner we were glad we weren't late. The lower level dining room was packed. I felt bad for those who were seated there because people waiting to be seated were almost standing on top of them. The upper level where we sat was beautiful tthough small.
The food and wine were excellent. The thing that amazed my wife and I the most was the service. I have never in my life seen a more attentive staff. We never had to ask for refills on water or wine, our questions were politely answered and our food was brought on time. To my surprise the bill wasn't as much as I had expected. We made sure the tip reflected the service. This is by far the best restaurant we have ever been to.
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