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Thursday, January 24, 2008

BABBO RISTORANTE - NEW YORK

RISTORANTE BABBO 
110 Waverly Place
New York, NY

This is the flagship fine dining restaurant owned by celebrity chef Mario Batali. Mario is the host of the televsion cooking show "Molto Mario". After extensive research on the internet, we found that Babbo was consistantly showing up on the best restaurants lists for New York. Several "Best of" lists ranked it #2 in the city. We wanted to have some good Italian food so we put Babbo on our list and made a reservation several weeks in advance of our visit. Wow....we were lucky to make the reservation in advance because you will not get in this place without one. When our cab driver delivered us to the restaurant, we thought he had made a mistake. The place is located in what looks like a typical New York City home. No big sign, just a small front door. As we entered, we knew that we were not in someones home, rather one of the hottest spots in the city. The bar area at 6:00 p.m. was standing room only. The dining area was already packed and pumping with music and pasta. This is no ordinary Italian restaurant. The menu is filled with many items we have never experienced. Most are described in Italian so we had to get the waitress to help with ordering. After reviewing the menu in detail we opted for the Chef's Traditional Tasting Menu. This is a set four course dinner with three desserts. I had my dinner with a fantastic wine pairing. At $75 per person, this is a bit of a bargain for a night out at a great restaurant. Here is a sampling of the menu we enjoyed:

Babbo Culatello with Pumpkin "in Scapece"
Pappardelle with Hedghogs & Tyme (Totally awesome dish that blew us away)
Duck Tortelli with "Sugo Finto"
Grilled Venison with Acorn Squash Caponata and Mint

While the food and service were EXCELLENT, we were in for a real suprise when people were seated around us. The seating at Babbo is bench style along a long wall. This means that the people on the right and left side of you are basically sitting at your table. You can see and hear everything on both sides. There are no partitions. Just enough room between tables to snake a body through to sit down. While this is sometimes uncomfortable seating because you have no privacy, our night turned out to be quite incredible. Seated next to us was the superstar comedian DON RICKLES and Hall of Fame Quarterback JOE MONTANA. I could not believe my eyes. Here we are from Hawaii and having dinner in New York City. To the right is Don Rickles and to the left is Joe Montana. They were just eating good food like everyone else. After gaining some confidence from the vino, I finally asked Mr. Rickles if we could take a picture. He was very gracious, polite and humble. We talked about Hawaii and some of his work. What a great person. His wife and other couple with him were also very nice and offered to take the picture. Don then gave us a nice autograph and handshake. This is a class human being that has spent his lifetime making people laugh. We are so fortunate to have been able to meet and talk with him. Joe Montana on the other hand was a different story. His guest allowed us to take a quick photo, but no autographs or chatting. Just a nice hello - how are you.
This was a great evening for the family. I would highly recommend Babbo for the food and service. The celebrities are a lucky bonus.
Click link below to view another post of Babbo Ristorante:
http://greateatshawaii.blogspot.com/2010/11/ristorante-babbo-enoteca-new-york-city.html

THE GREAT DON RICKELS SITTING NEXT TO US
JOE MONTANA SITTING WITH US


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