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Babbo: A la Carte or Tasting

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xtgirl Jun 8, 2008 07:01 PM

My friend and I are going to Babbo for dinner tomorrow. Based on reading the boards, it seems that most people recommend ordering 2 appetizers, 2 pastas and 1 main for two people. Up until now, I had thought we would be doing a tasting menu. For those of you who have been to Babbo, what are your thoughts (pros and cons) on ordering off the menu versus doing a tasting? If you think a tasting is the way to go, do you recommend the pasta or traditional tasting menu? Thanks!

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    Lucia RE: xtgirl Jun 8, 2008 07:05 PM

    Check out this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/524042

    Also, if you do a search, there is a lot of other discussion on that topic.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Lucia
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      xtgirl RE: Lucia Jun 8, 2008 07:15 PM

      Thanks Lucia. I had actually read that thread as well as many others. I was hoping for more discussion on the pros and cons of the tasting menu versus ordering off the menu assuming this will be our first and only time to Babbo. If we order from the menu, I have a good idea of what to order based on all the discussion. Are the dishes on the current tasting menus a good representation of Babbo, or would we be missing out? Thanks!

      1. re: xtgirl
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        kathryn RE: xtgirl Jun 8, 2008 09:39 PM

        The Babbo menu doesn't change that much seasonally. They do have seasonal specials, that are usually changing day by day, but overall, what is online is a good representation of the current menu.

        I walked past recently and the current tasting menu seemed pretty much in line with what's on their web site but if you are really interested, I'd call the restaurant and see if they can fax or e-mail you a recent version.

        Here is what I know:
        - Most of the dishes people go crazy over are not on the tasting menus (pasta tasting or traditional tasting)
        - But the people I know who have done the tasting menus have liked it
        - The one criticism I've seen about the pasting tasting menus is that it's a lot of pasta by the time it's done - only you can be the judge of whether or not it's a good thing
        - However, it's so hard to get a reservation at Babbo, that once you're there, you want to see what the fuss is about, so it's tempting to order the popular dishes (very few of these are on the tasting menus)
        - The tasting menu is pretty long and if you're with a picky eater or want more portion control, of course, go for a la carte
        - People who LOVE Babbo's pasta but don't want the whole pasta tasting menu often go a la carte
        - A friend of mine who is a food critic/writer went to Babbo and had the kitchen send out their best dishes, as a custom tasting menu....and it contained most of the dishes that people rave about that aren't on the regular tasting menu. That fact, to me, is telling and very counter-intuitive.
        - I always order a la carte, and have always come away happy

        1. re: kathryn
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          xtgirl RE: kathryn Jun 9, 2008 06:26 AM

          Kathyrn,

          Thank you very much. Your analysis is very helpful and exactly what I was looking for. I had really wanted to try a tasting menu but after reading people's recommended dishes, I'm worried that I'd be missing out of the must-haves by doing the tasting. Your post confirmed my thoughts....thank you.

    2. HungryRubia RE: xtgirl Jun 11, 2008 09:49 AM

      I've only been to Babbo once and had the regular tasting menu and I can say that I was not disppointed...then again I wouldn't know. However, everything on the menu was amazing and we did the paired wines and it made it that much better. I don't know how long it will take with just two of you, but there were 6 of us and our meal took 4 hours. Not because there was an unreasonable gap between courses or anything, but it just took that long for 6 food lovers to get through all the food and wine.
      Also I was very happy with the portion sizes on the tasting menu. We were very full at the end of the meal.

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