Hey there. After hearing raves all over the place I went to Babbo on my trip to NYC this past weekend. I enjoyed the food, had some really good dishes, but also had some issues. I was overall pretty let down by Babbo.
The server hardly spoke to us, seemed rush and when I commented on a dish, he just sort of stared and said sorry, and walked away, I was simply trying to engage him and ask questions. I had two dishes that I thought were very oversalted, the hen and the pastsa dish with mushrooms both had tons of salt, and I love salty foods. Other than that complain, there wasn't anything bad, but also nothing that blew me out of the water.
I have not been to Babbo, but I think that because it receives so many raves, it's one of those restaurants where a first-time diner can suffer from a serious case of excessively high expectations. Obviously, that's what happened to you. There is nothing wrong with your feeling that this was not a "Wow!" experience. No restaurant, no matter how much praise it gets, can please everyone. Even Per Se has its dissenters.
ETA: Oops, I misread the OP. Oversalting and undercooked pasta are the two biggest complaints one reads about Babbo and Lupa. That's a bummer you were a victim of the former.
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I went to Babbo for the first time last week after waiting a month. I was not disppointed. I asked to be seated upstairs. The waiter and GM were helpful. My girlfriend and I shared the Lambs Tongue, Black Spaghetti, Beef Cheek Ravioli, Sicilian Calamari. We liked the 2 pastas most but glad we tried the Antipasti and Secondi. I worried I might have been let down but thought it was the best pasta I've ever had! I would go back more often if not for the long reservation for gauranteed seats.
I also just got a chance to go to Babbo for the first time a few weeks ago, and even after all of the hype it receives on this board I was not let down in the slightest. ABSOLUTELY loved it, i actually find myself randomly thinking about how good the meal was from time to time.
I'm sure every server/chef/restaurant is capable of the off night, but do give Babbo another chance.