(212) 777-0303 | Reserve Onlinewww.babbonyc.com
Mon - Sat: 5:30PM - 11:30PM
Sun: 5PM - 11PM
The “original jewel” in the Batali-Bastianich empire, this “energetic” Village Italian in a “quaint” carriage house “lives up to the hype” with “sublime” pastas and other “transcendent” dishes delivered by a “gracious” crew; “wrangling” a reservation is “hard” and you’ll need a “full wallet”, but it’s “legendary” for a reason.
Honored with the James Beard Foundation's Best New Restaurant award when it opened in 1998, Babbo remains a reigning champ among New York's Italian eateries. The culinary superstar status that co-owners Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich have acquired since Babbo's inception hasn't had any adverse effects on the perfectly cooked pasta and much-loved traditional-meets-original recipes served here.
Drawing international visitors and neighborhood regulars alike, this softly lit, split-level space balances the boisterous conversation of its guests with a backdrop of driving rock music. Radiohead and Zeppelin pair well with lively Mint Love Letters, a dish of pasta envelopes stuffed with fresh peas, mint, Parmigiano-Reggiano and cream, then topped with spicy lamb sausage and pitch-perfect tomato sauce. And the bold flavors of chili flake-flecked Sicilian calamari and osso buco with saffron orzo and chestnut gremolata — it's for two, so bring a friend with an appetite — stand up to the straight-ahead rock of U2 and the Black Keys.
For a "best of" overview, order the traditional tasting menu or the selection of six pastas and two desserts for; optional wine pairings are available for both. Reservations help at this bustling and beloved spot, but if you go early, you might score a seat at the bar, where you can dine. The restaurant also announces any last-minute open tables daily at 3pm via twitter @BabboRistorante.
A, B, C, D, E, F, M to West 4th St./Washington Square
What to tell a cabbie
Take me to the northwest corner of Washington Square Park.
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