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Babbo's equal?

I tried to make reservations at Babbo but they are booked for the day I wish to go. What is the second best place in your opinion?

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  1. Second best what? Italian restaurant? Batali place? NY restaurant?

    You could certainly do Lupa which is a less expensive italian place of his and very tasty. Or Del Posto.

    For high end / Italian slant, you could do Cru.

    Also, you could show up at Babbo and try to eat at the bar or get a walk in from a cancellation.

    1. If you want a more serene and refined experience than Babbo, I suggest L'Impero.

      If you want a more hip and "lively" experience than Babbo, I suggest A Voce.

      If you want a Batali experience no matter what, you can swing on the up (more refined) side and go to Del Posto or swing on the downside (still refined, but more family style) and go to Lupa.

      1. In agreement with dkstar1. Simply in terms of NYT reviews, A Voce, Felidia, L'Impero, Del Posto and Fiamma all are Italian three-stars (though Michael White, the Chef at Fiamma, has recently left and I'm sure I'm missing some in the three-star category. Cru never somehow struck me as overtly Italian despite the fact that they serve crudo ----really, really good crudo --- and one of the three best agnolotti dishes I've ever had. Hm. Maybe time to recast the place in my mind's eye.)
        But equal ratings don't translate into equal experiences, as dkstar1 correctly observes. All good, but none are Babbo (nor should they be. That's Babbo's job).
        I'd also throw Alto into the mix.

        1. Lupa is almost as hard to get into. All the other restaurants mentioned are great choices, though I haven't heard anything good abt Felidia in a while.

            1. if you're interested in more low key but pretty tasty versions......there's enoteca barbone on av b where the owner previously did pastas at babbo and then there's assenzio on e 4th which is sardinian but a place that i've deliberately taken many babbo lovers to to prove to them that there's better out there and to pretty good success.

              i know there are tons of good italian places, i just link these two to babbo in my head.

              1. What about Felidia? The place is amazing! Lidia Bastianich's place. Follow the link..it is absolutely delicious!

                www.lidiasitaly.com

                1. assenzio is not even in the same ballpark as babbo

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: tpigeon

                    given that i loathe babbo - i'm glad. to be fair, i don't eat meat and batali's meats are considered especially good but other than - he's my current version of the emperors new clothes.

                    1. re: djk

                      If you are a vegetarian, your opinion of Mario Batali is irrelevant. I guess you must loathe Peter Luger's too. I hear they make a mean steak but the rest of the menus is uninspired...

                      1. re: eca

                        i'm not a vegetarian, i just don't eat meat. re peter luger's - actually i love their creamed spinach, baked potatos and shrimp cocktail. the thing about batali for me is that there are in fact many other dishes to try besides his meat related ones. and they have been disappointing to me on a consistent level.

                  2. How about Crispo? I had an out of town friend come into town and not enough notice to get a ressie at Babbo. We enjoyed our dinner at Crispo. The spaghetti carbonara was delicious.

                    1. For really good pasta try BEPPE

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jenniebnyc

                        Ditto on Beppe. What a great, little neighborhood place with such a warm, rich feel and great, simple dishes.

                      2. I had an all vegetarian meal at Babbo last week and thought it was amazing. 4 pastas, split between me and my wife. Most of them excellent, one satisfactory.

                        1 Reply
                        1. It doesn't neccessarily have to be Italian. I am open to anything that is impressively good.

                          1. if it's hi end good that you're looking for - there's a whole new world. but many of the suggestions like a voce and crispo are very good ideas. you can add hearth to the italian list and blue hill to the general. there are so many places, i'm sure more people will chime in.