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May 27, 2008 08:21 AM

Going to Babbo solo- What do I order??

Hey all, I am heading to Babbo, and plan on ordering one app, two pastas, and two entrees (if that's doable). I'm looking for must have dishes, so please feel free to voice your favorites. Thanks!

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  1. Even I do not eat that much but I could.
    You might consider a tasting menu.
    The menu changes and after this thread, almost everything will be mentioned but
    I will throw out some anyway.

    -Grilled Octupus
    -Tricolore Goat Cheese Truffles(if they have it). I normally don't order items with no preparation but this one is a must
    -Marinated Sardines

    I am looking at the menu, not a great selection, might be others I cannot remember

    -Almost Everything
    -Gnocchi with Oxtail
    -Mint Love Letters
    -Beef Cheek Ravioli

    Honestly, you will enjoy whatever you choose based on your tastes though I would skip some just because you could get similar(better even?sacrilege, I know) at Lupa.

    Cannot find another but I think there is some overlap. You could check the menus from both.

    Also, some of the Primi are a bit plain in terms of ingredients and combinations, perhaps you want to test the waters more if you have not been before.

    Secondi, the weakest section of the Babbo menu but there are some great ones just not everything.

    -Grilled Fish, in general
    -Pork Chop
    -Lamb Chop
    -Short Ribs(not on menu currently) are ok though I would skip, not sure why I have gotten them more than once.

    Have heard great things about beef steaks, duck(I think) and the small bird dishes.
    Osso buco, nah, but it is for 2 anyway, though you said you will order 2 entrees but if you want a double, go Ribeye for 2.


    Dolci, I am not huge on them as a whole sort of like the Secondi, it is not a can't miss proposition

    -Choco Hazelnut cake(though I could be confusing it with Del Posto)

    Skip the Panna Cotta

    Cannot recall what else I have had, nothing on the menu at this current time.

    Well, I am sure you will enjoy it even if you don't order as much as you claim but either way is fine.

    3 Replies
    1. re: foodonlygood

      Great response FOG (can I call you that?).... Even as I wrote my original post, I had the following dishes in mind: Lamb's Tongue, Beef Cheeck Rav, Gnocchi, Mint Love Letters, Grouper, and the Braised Beef if it made sense), so your recs were perfect. And even though it seems like a lot- I am not concerned at all about being able to indulge comfortably. I figure I won't be going to Babbo often, so I'm just gonna go for it.

      And I'm happy to see that you have echoed my sentiments re: the Secondi and Desserts- I was not overwhelmingly excited by the majority of the Secondi (although I am sure they are all terrific), and I really don't care too much about desserts in general, regardless of how delicious.

      So thanks again, I really appreciate your thoughts.

      1. re: FuDee

        For antipasti: The lamb's tongue is amazing, as is the octopus, the crispy pig's foot, and the tripe.

        For pastas: I was much, much more impressed with the goose liver ravioli than the other pastas I've tried. The gnocchi are nice, but one note. Same for the mint love letters. And I love mint. I'm not a huge red sauce fan though.

        The chocolate hazelnut cake is good but rich. I think if you're going to be eating that much, maybe end with some gelati/sorbetti.

        1. re: FuDee


          FOG is fine, actually pretty funny.
          I also must add a vote for Lamb's Tongue as the other posters have if you are into that. I am usually not but my taste of it has been pretty good.

          Glad to see there is someone with a big appetite. Again, with no dessert, I could definitely eat that much but not sure I would. Who am I kidding I could eat that AND dessert. When I eat out, I eat pretty slowly so that makes you more full than the glutton's food shoveling technique. I would say usually I have 4 courses but in my old age I eat less than I could 5 years ago, so now maybe 3.

          Kathryn makes a good point about the red sauce on the mint love letters but it was minimal in my experience and thus fine.

          I assume there will be a ton more posts and it might get muddled and confused. You seem to have a good idea for yourself and I say stick withyour gut. I will also shutup now.

          Eat it up!

          EDIT: Kathryn beat me to the Tasting Menu issue for eating at the bar. A no go, GOOD CATCH KATHRYN.

      2. Wow. That is a TON of food for one person. Solo at Babbo I usually order the Beef Cheek Ravioli. If I'm particularly hungry and splurging I'll add the Lamb's Tongue as an app. The combo of those dishes is so rich though that I have never finished. While I am generally not a tasting menu person at Babbo, I agree with the OP who suggested that that may be the best way for you to taste a number of different things without having to order more than you can handle.

        1. FYI, I have been told that Babbo won't allow solo diners to order the tasting menu. Probably because of the effort involved in many very small pasta orders for one person.

          1. If they still have the ramp pasta, it is a must-have. Absolutely amazing, and only around for a short time (this is probably the last week)!

            1. I've been to Babbo's only once, during a break in a pizza/hot dog/street food pilgramage, so I ain't much of an authority.
              Just my 1c x 2;
              I found the lamb tongue uninspired.
              Crispy Pigs foot, sublime.
              My only recommendation would be to ask for Lardo Salumi, if only a nod to the rarity of this product on the American restaurant scene. Let alone that it is simply superb...

              6 Replies
              1. re: porker

                BTW, you can get lardo with your bread at Del Posto (I think it's whipped?). Lardo on your pizza at Otto. And on occasion, lardo on toast at Momofuku Ssam Bar.

                Mmmmm, lardo.

                1. re: kathryn

                  Though I think lardo salumi is only available at Babbo and Otto. Del Posto has whipped lardo which is good but doesn't have the same textural experience.

                  When is Momofuku going to put lardo on their menu? I am waiting! ;D

                2. re: porker

                  Agreed that the crispy pig foot milanese is amazing...second only to a grilled pancetta wrapped porcini dish I had a couple of years back.

                  Disagree that the lamb tongue is "uninspired". This was the dish that popularized tongue salads and poached egg topped items The lamb tongue salad topped with poached egg may be more common these days but that dish is a modern day classic a la Batali. You can't fault the original for not being orignial.

                  Having said that, I would pick the crispy pig foot milanese over the lamb tongue salad. I've recently spotted a west coast knock off of the crispy pig foot milanese...hopefully this is the next "fad" dish.

                  1. re: Porthos

                    I was speaking strictly on personal taste. I make my own pickled tongue (pork) so when I tried Babbo's, for me, it wasn't terribly inspiring. Perhaps I should have mentioned this originally...

                    1. re: porker

                      Very impressive. Would you mind sharing your recipe on the home cooking board?

                      1. re: Porthos

                        Actually, its not that impressive. Very tasty, but the recipe, although time consuming, is very simple.
                        I'll post it with "Porthos" in the title.