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Babbo: Is there a 'must order' dish?

Heading to Babbo for the first time on Saturday. Is there anything on the menu that is an absolute must try?

Also, is the tasting menu a no-brainer as well?

Thanks!

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Babbo
110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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    1. re: kathryn

      I agree with kathryn I would do a la carte as well. The menu is very large and there are so many appealing things to try. I've only been once but I felt that ala carte provided better options. If you are lucky enough to visible multiple times then the tasting would be something to experience. However, if this is your first time I'd do ala carte to try to experience as much as possible.

      Everything from what I have sampled was delicious.

      Pastas- Pumpkin lune with sage and amarettis, chianti stained pappardelle with wild boar ragu, fettucine with pancetta

      Mains- Hangar Steak, Duck and Pork chop, which was one of the best I've ever had.

      Desserts are also incredible. Pistachio and chocolate semi freddo, whatever crostata they currently have since it changes with the season, Chocolate hazelnut cake.

      I've been meaning to go back for awhile now, but of course its nearly impossible with their reservation system to get a reasonable time. Even booking out a month in advance can be a hassle. Some have gotten lucky just showing up at the stroke of 5:30 when they open and snagging a table near the bar, but not everyone wants to take that chance.

      Other dishes I've heard raves about include the beef cheek ravioli, goose liver ravioli, branzino, veal chop, and the maple cheesecake.

      Whatever you choose I doubt you would be disappointed. This is Batali's best restaurant.

      1. re: kathryn

        I would actually say the tasting menu deserves a look some times. They do occassional seasonal tasting menus that are pretty great.

        About 4 years ago I went and I had the pasta tasting menu which was good but too much pasta and I wanted to die afterwards. I think even the dessert was pasta. However it did have probably my favorite dish I've ever had there and that was a black squid ink tagliolini.

        Maybe 2 years ago I had a special tomato tasting menu, where all the dishes incorporated tomatoes, and that was actually really inventive and surprising.

        I agree that the regular daily tasting menu is not really that special.
        You won't be disappointed going a la carte though, so it's up to you.

      2. Personally, I like the pastas the best and am always happy wiith the pasta tasting menu.

        1. Personally, the two raviolis - beef cheek and goose liver - and the goat cheese tortellini float my boat every time. But everyone seems to have their own favorite(s).

          1. We were just there and our favorite dish of the night was the pineapple upside down cake - get it if it's still on the menu. Other winners for us were beef cheek ravioli and guancia ripiena (pork jowl stuffed with sausage). The chianti pappardelle with boar ragu was only so-so and the goose liver ravioli, though delicious, was a bit cloying with all that balsamic - I would have preferred it as an appetizer. The brasato al barolo was very disappointing.

            1. My favorites at Babbo:

              Pig's foot milanese
              Grilled octopus
              Beef cheek ravioli
              Lamb's brain francobolli
              Garganelli with funghi trifolati
              Lamb chops
              Duck
              Saffron panna cotta
              Gelato and sorbet

              2 Replies
              1. re: Riverman500

                Olive Oil Gelatto - I get that at every batalli place I go to.

                1. re: tpigeon

                  I second the Olive Oil Gelatto recommendation. It doesn't sound like it would be an appealing desert but it really was amazing. I also enjoy the corn gelatto.

              2. Thought I'd piggyback off this thread-- my husband and I got a gift card to Babbo so we are going in a couple weeks for the first time and I'm beyond excited! I've read a lot of the threads here on CH but I wanted to clarify something. We are probably going to order two pastas, two mains, and two desserts (no way we'll be able to compromise on dessert!). Ideally we'd like to share the two pastas. Should we tell our waiter that we plan on splitting the pastas? Would they plate it separately and would they serve it as part of the same course or make it two mini courses? Thanks!

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                Babbo
                110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                6 Replies
                1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                  They can split both onto two plates for you. I've seen them do it before. If your server doesn't offer, definitely ask.

                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                      Enjoy! We love Babbo. Contrary to what some people on this board may say, Babbo is very accommodating to personal requests. They will without a doubt split a whole order of pasta between the two of you.

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                      Babbo
                      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                    We're going Saturday-- confirmed my reservation today. Good thing I saved the confirmation # because they misspelled my name when they took the reservation.

                    Also, I thought you Babbo fans might know: where can we go watch the US Open afterwards in the neighborhood?

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                    Babbo
                    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                      Yep, that's the only thing I do there. Always go with a a friend with no reservation and sit at the bar. Create your own tasting menu from the a la carte menu and they split everything in 2 for you, makes the experience that much better, since you get to try more food...

                      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                        My favorite dishes and I always order them are the squid ink pasta with rock shrimp and calabrese (this dish is not widely known but always get nods of approval from waiter when I order it) and you have to get the massive steak for 2, it is seriously one of the best steaks I've had (and I've been to pretty much every steakhouse in the city).

                        1. Couple years old but still helpful ... http://www.chow.com/digest/7080/babbo...

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                          Babbo
                          110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011