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Apr 21, 2008 08:03 PM

Babbo: Secondi or No?

Would like to ask the collective Chow wisdom: is getting a Secondi at Babbo worth it, or should you load up on Primi selections? Going in a couple weeks, planning to order 2 Antipasti/4 Primi/1 Secondi for four people, but may cut out the Secondi in favor of more Primi if there's a consensus.

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  1. For two people I've done two antipasti, four primi, and split a secondi between the two of us. If you do two antipasti, four primi, and one secondi, I don't actually think that's going to be enough food. Note also that four pastas is a lot of pasta (check Flickr for photos of the actual plates), are you really thinking more pasta than that? That's a whole lotta carbs. The pasta serving size is enough that you feel like you got a good size but leaves you wanting just a bit more. Antipasti serving size can vary. Like, the salumi isn't that much food, but the tripe is really filling since there's also bread and that delicious sauce to sop up.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks for the info Kathryn! I studied abroad in Italy for a semester, so I absolutely love high quality pasta; I might just eat two Primi myself! Per your advice, I think I'll bump it up to 3/4 antipasti, 4/5 primi, and 2 secondi. Two of us have rather large appetites, and the other two are average. Also I'd love your opinion on some things that I have my eye on so far (and have read on the boards as being generally can't-miss):
      Lamb's Tongue
      Pig's Foot Milanese

      Mint Love Letters
      Stained Pappardelle
      Goose Liver Ravioli
      Beef Cheek Ravioli

      Duck or Guinea Hen


      1. re: CGengomics

        Lamb's Tongue - amazingly tender, love the egg on top, has some nice acid, too, a bit lighter due to the greens involved.
        Tripe - delicious flavoring but rich, and bit heavy, and messy, very very messy. My poor fiance got sauce on himself when eating this. It's worth it, though!
        Pig's Foot Milanese - heavenly and fatty, not for the faint of heart, but my god, so crispy and delicious. If I ordered this, I would let my companions have a single bite, and guard the rest for myself.
        Mint Love Letters - wanted to like this more than I did, and I'm a huge huge fan of mint, just didn't think it went well with the red sauce.
        Chianti Stained Pappardelle - really nice and the chianti keeps the pasta from feeling too heavy or overpowering, but I think it's an acquired taste, so while I appreciate it, it wasn't my bag.
        Goose Liver Ravioli - if I was on death row, this would be my last meal. If my fiance orders this dish, and I don't, we fight over it and I try to steal raviolis from his plate.
        Beef Cheek - haven't tried it yet.
        Gnocchi - soft and pillowy gnocchi, but I found the portion to be a bit big, perhaps the dish just doesn't have any sort of variance, but I found it tiresome towards the end, it's probably better if you are sharing. The oxtail ragu is very nice, too. This dish tends towards the heavy heavy.
        Sweetbreads - Rich, moist and tender, just the right amount of coating and orange glaze, love the dusting of fennel seed, too. My friend who had never tried sweetbreads before became a convert after this dish. She was wavering until the waiter said unequivocally that the sweetbreads were the way to go. It's not your standard sweetbreads dish, that is for sure
        Duck or Guinea hen - haven't tried it yet.

        I'd basically keep a tip sheet of these dishes in your pocket, check out the daily specials, figure out what you're in the mood for, and if you're wavering on something, ask the waiter. They know their stuff!

        PS save room for dessert. Or at least espresso. Theirs is quite nice.

      2. re: kathryn

        I'd go with four antipasti, four primi, and a couple of desserts. I think the desserts are very worth saving room for.

        Honestly, the pastas are really filling, and the secondi have, for the most part disappointed me. They're good, but I'm usually too full from the excellent pastas to enjoy them. As for your choices, I haven't had all of them, but give a hearty rec for the lamb's tounge and the beef cheek ravioli. I liked the mint love letters, but they're not for everyone.

      3. sweetbreads are worth ordering if you're into offal.
        You might also want to check out Jfood's recent review: