Mom and Dad were in town for a few days and Wednesday night we had dinner at Babbo. This picture is from the end of the night, but the picture serves to set the stage:
Babbo is Mario Batali's flagship restaurant in New York (don't start an argument with me in the comments saying that it's Del Posto, ok?), it's been open for 10 years and it's still tricky to get a reservation (you have to call in [or show up in person, as I did] exactly 30 days in advance of the date you want to eat) and, based on Wednesday night, I'd say the continued popularity is justified. The dining room was beautiful, the service magnificent (probably my almost favorite thing about a real good restaurant is real good service...you know, everyone being knowledgeable, polite, and attentive?), and the food? My goodness. Let's review:
Babbo Salumi for Dad
"Neci con Funghi Misti" for Mom (can't remember exactly what this was, but mushrooms and cheese were involved. The result? Deliciousness.)
Grilled Octopus with "bortolli marinati" for me.
Primi (pasta course):
This one was a special ravioli that involved cheese and asparagus (don't worry, we got more than 3 raviolis, they just plate them for you)
And Beef Cheek Ravioli with Crushed Squab Liver and Black Truffles
Babbo is known for it's out of the ordinary menu items, like dishes with pig foot or lamb's brain, but beef cheek and pigeon liver was as weird as the Barnes family got that night. Absolutely delicious.
Mom had the Grilled Pork Chop with Cherry Peppers, Cipolline and Aceto Manodori.
Dad and I split the Grilled Ribeye for Two with Roasted potatoes, Garlic, Rosemary and Aceto Manodori. We considered getting the Osco Buco, but we didn't have 3 hours for it to braise (get it? get it?) First they brought out our beautiful, huge piece of freshly grilled meat for us to admire then they carved it and arranged it artfully and awarded it to us.
nom nom nom nom nom nom nom.
This is Mom and Dad.
This is the Babbo skylight which provided the excellent light in the evening's earlier photos.
This is a claim ticket. For my coat? No, for my steak. It was such an unrelenting meat battle that I decided to take a little break and asked them to box it up. Since Babbo is so classy they leave your leftovers with the maitre'd to pick up on your way out so that you don't have an undignified bag of food at your table with you during dessert. So cool. Also, at Babbo, if the table cloth gets a little dirty or spilled on, they cover that part of the tablecloth up with a creaseless unfolded napkin so you don't have to see how messy you might have been. Classy!
For Dad, Pistachio and Chocolate Semifreddo.
For Mom, Mascarpone Cheesecake.
For Me, a Honey and Pine Nut Tart.
For right before we left, assorted little cookies.
Well, if you couldn't tell, it was a great meal and a great way to reunite with my parents, one of whom hadn't been to New York for more than a year and the other of whom hadn't been to New York for more than two years! After dinner we went to the Film Forum and saw "Sweet Smell of Success" which is a very enjoyable yet surprisingly confusing film noir about the New York Broadway gossip pages in the 50's. If you didn't see it in your BYU freshman film class then I recommend catching it at your local art theater if you have the chance.