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Plan B for Babbo?


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.

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    1. re: notsochubbychubette

      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: notsochubbychubette

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

        2. re: TheMightyPat

          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.

      1. 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

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

          1. re: kathryn

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

            Lupa is good. Ushi Wakamaru for sushi.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jorel

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

            2. 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

                There are no reservations at The Spotted Pig.

              2. 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

                  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. 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.


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                  1. 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. I could never eat that late wow!

                      1. 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

                          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.