Finally got the chance to experience "Babbo". Here is my report:
First off, I called for a same day (immediate) Tuesday evening reservaton. The receptionist was polite but said all reservations for Tuesday were still active. She said that the first come, first serve small tables in the front were currently open. I showed with my party of four, but all the 'open" tables were taken. The Matre'd said that a table of four was running very late and that I could have that table if I could be sure to finish up by 8:30 pm (it was now 6:45pm), I thought that was fair and jumped at the opportunity
Room: Very pretty, open setting (we sat upstairs)Service: Impeccable! Wonderful waiter, very courteous sommelier! We picked the first bottle, he selected the second bottle, which was a wonderful Amerone that was at a lesser price than what we had selected...I liked that!
Food: Here you need the help of the waite Staff. I found the menu a bit daunting, not the usual "red sauce Itallian" that my Mother raised me on!! The food was.....good, but I was not blown away! I will admit that I tend to be more of a lowbrow diner and maybe did not appreciate the nuances of the foods! Still, my group had a very enjoyable experience and I guess that is the bottom line!
PS: Mario was waiting by the coat check and he looked like he put in a full day at the stove! Nice touch that he thanked our group as we were leaving!
"...I will admit that I tend to be more of a lowbrow diner and maybe did not appreciate the nuances of the foods!..."
It's not lowbrow to prefer your mother's cooking over restaurant food--even from an excellent chef like Mario. It is simply the most supreme compliment to family and eating one can make. Anyone can learn the nuances of foods, but I guarantee you will find nothing more precious than your mother's cooking. Lucky guy.
From another lucky guy.