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Babbo, Picholine or Scalini Fedeli for vegetarians?

My boyfriend and I would like to go to a romantic restaurant for a special occasion but I'm having a hard time deciding between Babbo, Picholine and Scaleni. Note: We are both vegetarians. Anyone have experience at all three and can make a recommendation? Thanks!

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  1. Picholine is French, not Italian...?

    Have you considered Scarpetta?

    Babbo, while I love the place, is not terribly romantic and while you can eat vegetarian there, some of the best dishes involve meat.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      We've been to Scarpetta and want to try something different. I've heard Babbo has a veg pasta tasting, which is why I was considering it. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

    2. I know this doesn't fit your request (because we haven't been to all 3 you mentioned) but FWIW Picholine has always been wonderful for my GF (a vegetarian). Truly high end, creative, inventive, dishes in a beautiful setting.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Spiritchaser

        thanks! I've heard great things about Picholine's veg offerings. it'll probably end up being our pick.

      2. I haven't been there recently, but as a vegetarian, I always thought Picholine was wonderful. To me, the fact that they have multiple options for each course, so that both you and your bf can order different things and try a variety is a huge plus.

        Scaleni doesn't have much vegetarian on it's menu, though they are accommodating. Just not in the same league in my opinion.

        Somehow, I've never been to Babbo.

        1. The best vegetarian selections at Babbo involve mushrooms. If you don't like mushrooms, then try Picholine (and don't overlook the cheese cart). I haven't been to Scalini Fedeli.

          1. Thanks for the help everyone. We made reservations at Picholine :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: ss03ny

              You should ask to be seated in the front dining room, it's smaller but taller than the back dining room and we've always enjoyed it more than the back dining room.

            2. I'm a picky eater vegetarian, Babbo has plenty of good pastas for me (get the buvette with cardoons if they have it - super simple and super tasty). I haven't tried the pasta tasting but I'm sure they'd do a veggie version (they do require everyone at the table to take part in a tasting, my wife never wants that much food).

              Where they fall down for me is sometimes in the appetizers, as a picky eater I'm not a fan of mushrooms and usually only have a few other choices. The parmigiana flan is very good if they have it, the autumn vegetable appetizer is fine, but doesn't wow me. In summer I like their caprese with heirloom tomatoes. Some of the contorni like brussels sprouts are normally cooked with pancetta, but they will make them veggie if asked.

              We really liked Picholine once, and then didn't like it on two more visits. In the end, the dishes are too complicated for me, I like simple italian better than complex french.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DavyTheFatBoy

                I did read somewhere that Babbo does a veg pasta tasting on request...but it does seem a bit informal for what we were looking for. I do have high expectations for Picholine, especially after trying several veg tastings in NYC and visiting many (imo) superb all-vegetarian restaurants including Candle 79 and Kajitsu

              2. Since you already chose Picholine, please report back. I have not tried it yet. I was going to recommend Babbo which has good vegetarian choices. Scalini Fedeli is not only a rip off, they have a Pending Grade from health dept. That is very bad. And they do not display the grade in the window anymore they hide it, which is illegal. I'd avoid that place.

                1 Reply
                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  Thanks for the heads up about Scalini. It was on our list for restaurants to visit during the year. Will definitely report back re Picholine