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Plan B for Babbo?

TheMightyPat Jul 28, 2009 08:39 AM


We have an 11:15 reservation for 2 at Babbo on Thursday night, and are considering other options. I'll call tomorrow and Thursday in search of cancellations, and if nothing surfaces, we'll give the walk-in option a try (although we likely won't be able to make it there until 7:30 or 8:00, so I imagine it will be difficult to get a walk-in at that time, no?).

So I'm wondering if anybody has recommendations for a good Plan B in the neighborhood. If we get to Babbo and it doesn't look like we'll be able to get a walk-in, what is the best option in the neighborhood to try?

Thanks for the help.

  1. n
    notsochubbychubette Jul 28, 2009 08:47 AM

    il mulino

    4 Replies
    1. re: notsochubbychubette
      TheMightyPat Jul 28, 2009 10:07 AM

      Thanks very much. Recommendations for cuisine other than Italian are welcome as well... we're more interested in a great meal than specific cuisine.

      1. re: TheMightyPat
        notsochubbychubette Jul 28, 2009 10:19 AM

        Cru (pricey tho)

        1. re: notsochubbychubette
          RGR Jul 28, 2009 01:52 PM

          Chef Shea Gallante has left Cru, and there's been no word on a replacement. I'd steer clear.

        2. re: TheMightyPat
          SharonNY Jul 28, 2009 07:24 PM

          I had a wonderful experience at Pearl Oyster Bar, only a short walk away. Great lobster rolls, oysters, and fried oysters. They don't take reservations, but it's close enough to pop in and check.

      2. ChefJune Jul 28, 2009 10:54 AM

        11:15 is mighty late to be eating a carb heavy meal like most do at Babbo!

        Blue Hill is right around the block from Babbo and has great food.

        Our all-time favorite restaurant in the Village is El Charro on Charles and Greenwich Ave. Not in the price range of Babbo, but has great Spanish food and superior service.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ChefJune
          kathryn Jul 28, 2009 06:55 PM

          Blue Hill is very popular these days, though, especially after President Obama dined there -- so they may also be fully booked.

          1. re: kathryn
            cimui Jul 29, 2009 01:11 PM

            It's not *too* bad. We were able to book at 9:30 dinner there on a Friday night, with only a day's notice.

        2. prdct Jul 28, 2009 11:47 AM

          I would say if you strike out at the bar for Babbo you should try walking into Blue Hill. If that fails I would get a cocktail and head back to Babbo for your reservation.

          1. j
            Jorel Jul 28, 2009 03:59 PM

            Blue Hill is great. I really like Commerce, too.

            Lupa is good. Ushi Wakamaru for sushi.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jorel
              kathryn Jul 28, 2009 06:56 PM

              Lupa also has long waits, too. And I've seen Ushiwakamaru turn people away if they didn't have a reservation.

            2. t
              TheMightyPat Jul 28, 2009 06:30 PM

              Thanks for all the help. What about the Spotted Pig? Will I have any luck getting a reservation there on short notice?

              1 Reply
              1. re: TheMightyPat
                kathryn Jul 28, 2009 06:55 PM

                There are no reservations at The Spotted Pig.

              2. t
                TheMightyPat Jul 29, 2009 04:08 AM

                Thanks everybody. We got a reservation for the Commerce. We'll try the walk-in at Babbo, and if it's looking bleak we may swing by the Spotted Pig and try our luck there before heading over to the Commerce. Should be a fun evening.

                1 Reply
                1. re: TheMightyPat
                  Simon Jul 29, 2009 12:22 PM

                  i really really wouldn't bother with the Spotted Pig: a waste of time, and sure to have even a longer wait than Babbo...

                  imo, you should go the bar/walk-in area at Scarpetta instead of all of the above

                2. Bob Martinez Jul 29, 2009 12:56 PM

                  Gusto would work nicely. I've been there 3 times in the last 2 years and every meal has been terrific. I just checked Opentable and there's an 8:30 slot for two available. I'd grab it if I were you. You really don't want to be traipsing all over the Village on a muggy night without a reservation.


                  Haven Restaurant
                  1441 1441 Dresden Drive Suite 160, Atlanta, GA 30319

                  1. c
                    cimui Jul 29, 2009 01:22 PM

                    Blue Ribbon Bakery and Blue Ribbon Brasserie are solid options and not too far away. You should be able to walk into both without any / much of a wait on a Thursday. Neither takes reservations for groups smaller than five.

                    Mas (French) and Soto (Japanese) are also good and doable on short notice (but are a bit pricier than Babbo and the Blue Ribbons). Mercadito Grove is a very different restaurant than all of these -- less expensive, more casual -- but it serves good drinks, ceviches and fish tacos.

                    If you just want a place to kick back with cocktails and bar nibbles before your reservation at Babbo, look into Pegu Club or Employees Only. The margaritas at Agave are pretty good, but I personally would not eat anything there except for a small snack. Little Branch has excellent cocktails, but no food -- and actual opening times vary a lot, despite the written schedule. Doors *should* be unlocked by around 8 p.m.

                    [About four years ago, it would've been possible to walk into Babbo without a reservation at 7:30 or 8, but from what I understand, that's no longer the case.]

                    1. s
                      steakrules85 Jul 29, 2009 01:47 PM

                      I could never eat that late wow!

                      1. t
                        TheMightyPat Aug 2, 2009 10:19 AM

                        Thanks for all the help, everybody. We actually lucked out and got one of the walk-ins at Babbo at about 6:15. We sat for a few hours and the tables constantly turned over, so it was a complete stroke of luck that we got the table.

                        It worked out great, though, and we were very happy with the meal.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: TheMightyPat
                          lvtocook888 Aug 3, 2009 12:22 PM

                          We have an 11:15 reservation as well there this coming Saturday. From your post it doesn't sound as though we'll be that lucky to get something earlier.

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