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Batali vs Flay

Who's restaurants are better and why?

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  1. I like Batali's food and although I dislike Lupa, I love Babbo. As for Flay's restaurant, Bar Americain is horrible and expensive. Bolo and Mesa Grill were only so so and after one visit I won't not return. Food is more southwestern while Batali's is italian, so comparisons are not apples to apples.

    4 Replies
    1. re: G3B

      can I ask why you dislike lupa?

      1. re: dylafleur

        It was very loud and service was crappy, all of which is forgivable if food is excellent. Food was not, 4 of us went and ordered quite a few things to share and we ended up not liking anything and not being able to hear each other either. Will never return.

        1. re: G3B

          loud comment is very fair...I grew up with weekend family dinners with up to 60 people so the loud factor usually doesn't bother me.

          I have had very different experiences with the food & service though. been there a 1/2 dozen times & the only time I was disappointed was when we got the tasting menu for a small party...not sure why their best dishes weren't in it.

          the pasta is heaven...

          1. re: dylafleur

            I thought the pasta at Babbo was heaven, but not Lupa. Memory was fuzzy as to what we ordered, but what I do remember is that we always share and ordered a whole bunch of things and came away disappointed. Granted expectations were high given it's high Zagat ratings and everyone's raves about the place, but still we left saying we would not be back.

    2. There is no comparison; Batali. I will not get into it here; I rather enjoy Lupa, but prefer Babbo.

      1. batali hands down. lupa and babbo are both favorites. anyone eat at del posto?

        1 Reply
        1. re: dylafleur

          The menu at the inotecha at Del Posto is one of the best deals in town.

        2. I haven't been to Lupa but really like Babbo and Del Posto. If you want to try one of Flay's restuarants, I'd suggest Mesa for brunch.

          1. I think Battali is a chef. I don't have respect for Bobby Flay.

            1. Batali is much better, hands down. Although as GB3 said, it is true that Batali's food is italian and Flay is southwestern. Mesa Grill and Bolo (Flay's) have both seen their hey day come and go. I haven't eaten at his new one but I heard its 'eh'. I LOVE Babbo and in fact just had dinner there for my birthday. The food is amazing and the decor is beautiful. The upstairs is quieter and more romantic and the downstairs is more fun and 'cooler'. The service is impeccable and easy going. Lupa is the less expensive version. I've heard Del Posto is amazing if a bit over the top.

                1. re: designerboy01

                  Casa Mono is more about Andy Nusser then Batali. Just because Batali helped back him, doesn't make the food his.

                2. Celebrity doesn't equal quality - if it did I would probably eat at a Lagasse resturant (which I won't.)

                  Despite Batali's celebrity IMHO he is a genius in the kitchen and all of his restaurants shine - I think Babbo is the best place in town. And I love Lupa.

                  Flay is a kid from Brooklyn who really does back yard barbeque well and who spends most of his time in Atlantic City, Vegas, or doing his TV show. His restaurants always end up as fleeting memories to everyone but Zagat reviewers.

                  1. Flay a kid from Brooklyn who does bbq???

                    Fleeting memories to everyone but Zagat???

                    AC, LV & TV???

                    please elaborate...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: netmover

                      Brooklyn - that's where he's from.

                      BBQ - That's how he started - as a grill man - Joe Allen's then Miracle Grill

                      LV - He recently opened Mesa Grill LV in Caesar's Palace

                      AC - He recently opened Bobby Flay Steak, at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City

                      TV - you're kidding right? See here . . . http://www.bobbyflay.com/television-s...

                      Fleeting memories - is there anyone who believes that Mesa Grill is today what it once was - I have a fleeting memory of exellence long past.

                      1. re: livetotravel

                        Hey thanks for that! I had no idea he was the "grill man" at Joe Allens. I love that place. Old Joe has quite the empire with his comfort food concept. I wouldn't exactly call it BBQ, but your explanation works well for me.

                    2. Batali is better than Flay, but Mario definitely has a nose for getting great chefs into his kitchens (see Esca with David Pasternak, Spotted Pig with April).

                      2 Replies
                        1. re: Sweatshirt Guy

                          Batali is a backer, but the Pig is not a "Batali place". And is he even peripherally involved with Lupa anymore? I know he divested himself at Po...

                      1. Babbo and Mesa Grill are realy not in the same league regardless of cuisine. I've enjoyed both but have to say that Babbo is the better dining experience even though one of the dishes I had (sausage and black pasta) was terribly over salted.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: gabe

                          Did you send it back? If so, how was the response?

                        2. any good dishes to be had at Casa Mono?

                          1. Which are the best of the bunch?

                            Please - if you had to go to one of each's establishments which would you choose and why?

                            1. Batali with Babbo wins easily.

                              1. octopus at casa mono is one of my top 5 favorite dishes in nyc

                                1 Reply
                                1. Babbo and Batali win hands down. Mesa and Bobby Flay are overrated.

                                  Babbo, yummy, yummy pasta!!

                                  We ate at Mesa once and my meal was good (not great) and my boyfriend's meal was just so-so...happy we had a gift certificate or else would have been appalled at the price for such skimpy servings.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: rugburn

                                    Huge Fan of Batali. Think the food is so simple and special. He is doing a special meal for House & Garden that I read about, the tickets are on sale now.Is anyone going? I saw it on www.designhappening.com
                                    Also saw some other events that are food relatd which look interesting.

                                  2. What is better, ice cream or soup? Doesn't the answer depend on the season ? Each will satisfy when the craving is right.
                                    Both Chef's are awesome and so are their restaurants. I've eaten at many top restaurants and I must confess that simple, crowded little Lupa never disappoints. Many people prefer it to Babbo. Del Posto is another gem. On the other hand, 3 different meals at Bar Americain left me glad that I wasn't eating someplace else. Same for Mesa and Bolo.
                                    In fact my only disappointing experience with these 2 chefs involved an ordinary pizza at Otto. Fortunately the prosciutto was heavenly.
                                    Let's face it- these are two chefs that know most of the time how to provide exceptional food to their patrons. Occasionally they take risks that don't appeal to most. But most of the time they give us a chance to splurge for something beyond the ho-hum.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: weekenders

                                      "Occasionally they take risks that don't appeal to most".

                                      Not true in the case of Flay. He makes the safest, most common denominator food. No off cuts, no offal, fish fillets instead of whole fish. His dishes might have been considered daring 20 years ago but today they can be found in chain restaurants.

                                      1. re: KTinNYC

                                        I have to agree with others that have said Batali's food is on another level. Furthermore, Flay's food is so predictable and is never as ambitious or whimsical as Batali's.