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Babbo - Dishes to Avoid Ordering

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I know that the whole Babbo thing on Chowhound is a bit played out. Everyone lists their favorite dishes and it is hard to know exactly what to order. I want to go at in a different way - what dishes would you avoid ordering?

Having been to Babbo several times, I would avoid ordering the Goose Liver Ravioli (too sweet), the Mint Love Letters (good - but not at the level of my favorite Babbo dishes), and the gnocchi with braised oxtail.

What dishes would you avoid ordering?

Selfishly, I am looking for insight into the cockles, goat cheese tortellini, and the linguini with clams and pancetta.

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Babbo
110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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  1. I had the linguini! It was an absolute waste of time. the pasta tasted like it was out of the box, the clams weren't juicy and plump and pancetta was passable. i would completely avoid the dish. it ruined my experience at babbo and is pretty much the only reason i won't even bother going back.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kelea

      Was excited to hear someone not love the goose liver ravioli and mint love letters, which people tend to rave about but I was underwhelmed with. I actually loved the gnocchi, but as Meat Loaf said, two out of three ain't bad.

      1. re: kelea

        I've had the linguini with clams at Esca and loved it: juicy, briny, clams with nicely chewy pasta and just a touch of heat. Perhaps the clams are better there.

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        Esca
        402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

        1. re: kelea

          "I had the linguini! It was an absolute waste of time. the pasta tasted like it was out of the box..."

          Just curious...
          Did the menu state that the pasta was supposed to be fresh, made in house? If not, there is absolutely nothing wrong with boxed pasta if it is of good quality. Dried pasta from a box is not an inferior version of fresh pasta; it is a totally different food. It is like comparing apples and oranges.

          Now, if you said the pasta tasted like a cardboard box, that would be another thing... [:)]

        2. avoid the goose liver ravioli? you must be joking. that dish is exquisite

          3 Replies
          1. re: FrankieLymon

            I think the goose liver ravioli is a very divisive dish and it really depends on where you fall on the savory/sweet spectrum. I am a savory person and tend to dislike sweets (I rarely order desserts.) I found the goose liver to be too sweet for my palate... but could see why someone else would have a more favorable opinion on the dish.

            1. re: Rizzobert

              I agree. I actually like sweets (almost always orders dessert), but prefer a more muted sweetness over an in-your-face hurt-your-teeth kind of sweetness. For reference, I don't like Milk Bar's desserts but love Chikalicious Dessert Bar. I found the goose liver ravioli a bit too sweet but can see how others can dig it, especially as I find a lot of Americans to have a big sweet tooth.

            2. re: FrankieLymon

              I'm with FrankieLymon and I like both sweets, savories, and sweets and savories combined!

            3. Has anyone tried the parpardelle with wild boar ragu or the Homemade Orecchiette with sausage and rapini? If yes - should I order or avoid?

              3 Replies
              1. re: Rizzobert

                I've tried a taste of it when my friend ordered it; very good but if you don't like the taste of red wine, avoid. I think that if I'd gotten a full portion I would have tired of it after a while.

                1. re: Rizzobert

                  Pappardelle with Wild Boar Ragu we thought was outstanding. Would definitely order it again. But nothing did it for me the way the Bolognese sauce did. It was the stuff dreams are made of. We saw so many plates of it going by we ended up ordering it in place of dessert and were not disappointed.

                  1. re: ChefJune

                    Completely agree with you with the Parpardelle Bolognese. That and the funghi trifolati are my almost automatic orders at Babbo.

                    However, I want to try some new dishes and I want to be wowed like the first times I ordered those.

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                    Babbo
                    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                2. I thought the ox-tail ravioli was stodgy and insipid, and the black squid ink pasta was really oily, and overdressed. I've been to Babbo multiple times and have never really gotten excited about the food.

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                  Babbo
                  110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: ExFlexitarian

                    Oxtail ravioli? Do you mean the goose liver ravioli? Or the gnocchi with oxtail ragu?

                    1. re: kathryn

                      At Esca, ask if they have the Monkfish livers, not on the menu but excellent!!

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                      Esca
                      402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

                      1. re: kathryn

                        oops, i meant beef cheek ravioli. getting my offal mixed up :)

                    2. Maybe it was an off night, but last week at Babbo I had the bucatini all’amatriciana, which was curiously underseasoned - rather sweet from the tomatoes but lacking in saltiness and heat. Needed more cheese, guanciale and hot pepper IMO. I preferred the version at Maialino.

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                      Babbo
                      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                      Maialino
                      2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: fm1963

                        I've had Maialino's and Lupa's bucatini amatriciana, but I still stand by Sandros' as the best I've ever had. It's well worth the trip uptown (81st near 2nd).

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                        Lupa
                        170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                        Maialino
                        2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010