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If you can't get into Babbo, where does one go?

VAfoodie Jun 24, 2008 06:35 AM

We've been to Lupa. Would like a similarly inventive Italian or a sublime Northern Italian.

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  1. Marge RE: VAfoodie Jun 24, 2008 06:42 AM

    I love A Voce. Interestingly, the latest Iron Chef Challenge was between Mario Batali and Andrew Carmellini (A Voce's chef)...the judges agreed it was the best challenge they ever had (Batali won by one point...)

    5 Replies
    1. re: Marge
      bml RE: Marge Jun 24, 2008 07:04 AM

      Unfortunately, Andrew Carmellini just left A Voce. I really loved that place. I haven't heard any word on how things are since his departure.


      If you're willing to eat at the bar at Babbo, you can show up right when the open. If you aren't a big group and get there right away it shouldn't be a problem.

      1. re: bml
        VAfoodie RE: bml Jun 24, 2008 07:08 AM

        Can my 14 yo who looks 17 if she sits up straight eat at the bar?

        1. re: VAfoodie
          bml RE: VAfoodie Jun 24, 2008 08:30 AM

          That's a good question. I don't know if they have a problem with kids who are clearly under 21 dining at the bar. That might be worth a phone call. But I also agree with the poster below that Peasant is excellent. I haven't been there in a while but I loved there suckling pig.

        2. re: bml
          Marge RE: bml Jun 24, 2008 07:17 AM

          Aha, I was wondering why there was no longer any mention of AC on the A Voce website...oh, well...

          1. re: bml
            bykim1 RE: bml Jun 24, 2008 10:48 AM

            Ironically, the interim chef at A Voce is Manuel Trevino, who used to be the sous chef at Babbo, but is more known for his brief appearance on Top Chef this past season

        3. LeahBaila RE: VAfoodie Jun 24, 2008 06:54 AM

          But you CAN get in to Babbo...for a small price: www.tablexchange.com


          1. m
            MellieMac RE: VAfoodie Jun 24, 2008 07:24 AM

            We tried Morandi recently. Very much enjoyed the whole experience. Yummy fried artichokes. Good pastas. And they do a dessert of sugar coated fried doughnut holes that are delicious, I would go back for sure to try more.

            1. VAfoodie RE: VAfoodie Jun 24, 2008 07:52 AM

              Morandi looks intriguing though dinner reviews are spotty. A Voce vs. Da Andrea vs. Morandi? Or perhaps help me choose between the first 2, and I could do Morandi for our goodbye NYC Sunday brunch.

              4 Replies
              1. re: VAfoodie
                LeahBaila RE: VAfoodie Jun 24, 2008 07:56 AM

                Morandi's brunch is outstanding...absolutely check it out during that meal. I've heard not-such-good things about its lunches and dinners, though I've not experienced them for myself.


                1. re: LeahBaila
                  rugburn RE: LeahBaila Jun 24, 2008 08:02 AM

                  I just went there with some friends for dinner the other night, and it was wonderful. No compalints here, yummy pasta, good fried olive and salumi plate apps.

                  1. re: rugburn
                    stephaniec25 RE: rugburn Jun 24, 2008 08:28 AM

                    I just went to Morandi and found the food to be very disappointing. Nothing was outstanding, everything was average and I could make better at home. The atmosphere is nice though.

                    If not Babbo, why not try Del Posto for a pasta tasting or Lupa for very similar pastas and lower prices. I also second Peasant (below). I love Peasant and always have a great meal there.

                    1. re: stephaniec25
                      VAfoodie RE: stephaniec25 Jun 24, 2008 08:42 AM

                      Been to both Lupa, which I liked, and Del Posto, which I thought was...meh.

              2. r
                RCC RE: VAfoodie Jun 24, 2008 08:12 AM

                Peasant in Nolita is a good Northern Italian restaurant. Quite a lot on this board likes it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: RCC
                  Lucia RE: RCC Jun 24, 2008 11:45 AM

                  2d Peasant.

                2. Spends Rent on Food RE: VAfoodie Jun 24, 2008 08:51 AM

                  Alto is excellent northern italian - we visited in February and Michael White is doing some amazing things there. We also love il Mulino - but find that harder to get into than Babbo. Personally we were not impressed with Babbo on the two occaisions we visited.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Spends Rent on Food
                    MMRuth RE: Spends Rent on Food Jun 24, 2008 10:44 AM

                    I also had a superb meal at Alto last fall. I think I read that L'Impero is going to be closing at the end of the month for renovations - and a name change.

                    1. re: MMRuth
                      rrems RE: MMRuth Jun 24, 2008 10:53 AM

                      You are right. I had forgotten that the last time we were at L'Impero the maitre'd told us about the upcoming renovation.

                      1. re: rrems
                        MMRuth RE: rrems Jun 24, 2008 10:58 AM

                        I've not been to L'Impero, but my BIL went recently - really enjoyed the food but thought the decor was a bit dated/dull - so hopefully this will be a positive.

                  2. r
                    rrems RE: VAfoodie Jun 24, 2008 10:42 AM

                    I think Alto and L'Impero are the best substitutes for Babbo. You mentioned Da Andrea, which is very good for the price, but in no way a substitute for Babbo or even Lupa. Scarpetta is also very good. The chef, Scott Conant, was formerly at L'Impero.

                    1. f
                      foodfetish928 RE: VAfoodie Jun 24, 2008 11:06 AM

                      try bar stuzzichini. food is very good and they have a large selection of dishes and small plates. they won best small plates in new york magazine a few months ago. def worth it!

                      1. o
                        offthebeatenpath1 RE: VAfoodie Jun 24, 2008 11:43 AM

                        Not sure if you are up for Brooklyn, but Al Di La is absolutely fantastic italian.

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