Last night I finally made it to Babbo, one of New York City's top Italian restaurants. Babbo is one of the toughest reservations to get in town, which was made clear to me when I arrived at 11pm to a fully packed restaurant-on a Monday! I was finally seated at a table at 11:15, in between two couples that kept staring at me. (Either they were curious who this chap was dining alone, or recognized me as the Superstar I am- they did not ask for an autograph or picture) I would have preferred to be seated at the bar, but that was packed as well.
Before the meal started I was brought a plate of marinated chickpeas on a small piece of toast. I enjoyed this pre-meal nibble for it was something I never had, and I thought it was a nice touch. I was also brought one piece of bread with no butter, which was fine. I was surprised for I expected a much better bread selection at a restaurant of this caliber. It's not that it was bad, but it was nothing special at all.
For my first course I had the Warm Lamb’s Tongue Vinaigrette with Chanterelles and a 3-Minute Egg ($13). I was instructed by the runner to crack the egg which lay on top of the dish and use the yolk as the dressing. The dish was great. After just my first bite I said "Wow" out loud. There was something very eloquent yet simple about all the flavors.
For my entree I went with the Beef Cheek Ravioli with Crushed Squab Liver and Black Truffles ($23). The runner shaved some fresh Pecorino Romano on top as well. I had heard about this dish before so I wanted to see what all the hype was about. Let me tell you-it's worth the hype. Just might have been the best ravioli of my life. I would describe this dish, as well as my starter, as "delicately delicious". Each ravioli, triangle in shape, was perfectly cooked. The meat inside was delicious and the addition of the black truffles was the perfect compliment. I was in awe of how such a rich dish seemed so light, and it was all wonderful.
For dessert I had the Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Orange Sauce and Hazelnut Gelato ($12). I love hazelnut and chocolate so I could not resist this dish. It was a really nice dessert. It wasn't overly sweet and was the perfect ending to a great meal.
I can now tell you from experience that Babbo is one of New York City's top Italian restaurants. I cannot wait to go back! So for amazing Italian food, definitely start calling now for a reservation at Babbo.
110 Waverly Place (bet. 6th Ave and Macdougal)
New York, NY 10011