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Babbo, Lupa, or Del Posto?

marina13 Mar 5, 2008 07:58 AM

Hubby and I are planning on going to NYC in a couple months and would like to eat at one of Batali's restaurants, but can't decide which one. I'm vegetarian, if that makes a difference. We've been to Babbo before, and I would like to try something different since I think that Babbo only had one vegetarian entree, but hubby really liked the osso bucco (sp?) so he would like to maybe try something else there. I would really appreciate your advice!!

thanks in advance,


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  1. doctorj RE: marina13 Mar 5, 2008 08:31 AM

    I don't know if this is up your alley, but Otto's is also a Batali joint and I think it's very vegetarian friendly. On the menu they have this whole section for veggie antipasti, and they're yummy. Have some caponata, and maybe some olives, followed by a nice pizza and end with an espresso and olive oil gelato! :) Lupa, Babbo's and Del Posto are all good, but to please both you AND your husband, I'd go with Otto. More selection for you both. Hope this helps!

    2 Replies
    1. re: doctorj
      Lucia RE: doctorj Mar 5, 2008 11:35 AM

      Agree w/the Otto rec--my vegetarian sister and carnivorous father were both happy with the menu.

      1. re: Lucia
        a_and_w RE: Lucia Mar 7, 2008 12:55 PM

        If you were a meat eater, I'd say Lupa, but since you're not, Otto is a great compromise.

    2. n
      Nikitenka RE: marina13 Mar 5, 2008 09:45 AM

      I second doctorj's recommendation for Otto. We live within walking distance of Babbo, Lupa and Otto and find ourselves favoring Otto for many reasons 1) you can actually get a reservation or even walk in on weeknights 2) Where else can you get a perfectly executed carbonara for $9 and a delicious pizza for $12 3) Fantastic and extensive italian wine list.

      While loud and busy, it's not the same cramped feeling of lupa or the call 30 days to the minute in advance to get in to Babbo. Our favorite time to go is Sunday afternoons at 3PM.... the place is comparatively quiet, we sit at the bar and order snacks and a nice bottle of something and enjoy chatting to the bartenders. Great vegetarian options as well, both pizzas and the fantastic pasta alla norma (eggplant) which despite being a card carrying carnivore I order often and enjoy a lot. Deserts are fantastic across the board. Try the Black and White! Good luck and enjoy NYC.

      Finally, I would avoid Del Posto. My one experience there (albeit in a group dining setting) was a serious letdown and certainly not worth the price. Some of my other foodie friends who are big Mario fans had terrible experiences there as well and would not go back.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Nikitenka
        ginsbera RE: Nikitenka Mar 5, 2008 01:34 PM

        otto is nowhere near the other restaurants you've listed in terms of quality of food. It's a fun place with interesting options and a great wine list, but the food is not stellar by any means. If you're looking for top quality food go with Lupa, Del Posto or Babbo (if you can even get in). If you're just looking to eat at one of Batali's places where you can relax and enjoy the atmosphere then otto is worth considering.

      2. r
        rrems RE: marina13 Mar 5, 2008 11:49 AM

        I love Babbo and Lupa, and have not been to Del Posto, but I do not recommend Otto as an alternative. I can't understand what attracts people to Otto, as I found the food mediocre. If you need an alternative where you can reserve easily, Crispo is my choice, and with its extensive menu there are plenty of good choices for vegetarians.

        1. j
          jenhen2 RE: marina13 Mar 5, 2008 11:54 AM

          I like Crispo, too, though it doesn't fit the Batali bill. I HIGHLY recommend Otto for all the reasons others stated. It's generally just easier to deal with than the other options. I enjoyed Del Posto, but agree that it's not really worth the money. Even if you end up at one of the others, you should check out Otto at least for lunch one day. It is amazing.

          1. Bob Martinez RE: marina13 Mar 5, 2008 12:35 PM

            Here's a 16 post thread from January on this topic.

            1. n
              nyccookie RE: marina13 Mar 5, 2008 01:33 PM

              I've been to all 3 and keep coming back to Lupa. I like it because it's more casual and the food is just fantastic. I always have a great meal there. Babbo is great and so is Del Posto, but I wouldn't go back over and over again.

              3 Replies
              1. re: nyccookie
                samiam123 RE: nyccookie Mar 5, 2008 05:37 PM

                I've bee to all 4 as well. Otto is fine but nothing special. I agree with nycookie. Lupa is just wonderful-it has a great NY vibe and I too am a vegetarian and found plenty on that menu. I do eat fish and thought that the fish was okay at both Babbo and Del Posto but there was not a lot of choice at either. My husband is a meat eater loves Babbo for that reason. I do think Babbo is special as is DelPosto but as far as the best bang Lupa is my favorite. Let us know what you decide.

                1. re: samiam123
                  marina13 RE: samiam123 Mar 7, 2008 11:26 AM

                  ok, i think i'm sold on lupa - it has a good location as well, since we'll be going to the comedy cellar after dinner. thanks everyone!

                  1. re: marina13
                    rrems RE: marina13 Mar 7, 2008 11:54 AM

                    Good choice, but be sure to call exactly one month in advance, early in the day. It books up immediately, just like Babbo. They also hold half the tables for walk-ins, but you have to get there early and be prepared for a long wait.

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