Thursday, April 06, 2006

Babbo

Although I had a nasty experience at the Spotted Pig, I couldn’t hold a grudge against the Batali Bastianich Empire – I had a reservation at Babbo. Getting a reservation at Babbo can be a huge pain, especially for a weekend evening at 8pm. Think back to your middle school days when you called the radio station over and over to win concert tickets. Sort of like that.

I was so excited for this meal – I knew it was my favorite food blogger’s favorite place in New York. I ate carefully throughout the day in preparation – I wanted to eat enough to ensure that my stomach didn’t shrink up, but not enough to fill me up. Lots of bulky low calorie foods like apples.

We agreed in advance to get the regular (rather than pasta) tasting menu for a relatively reasonable $70, and we couldn’t resist the wine pairing, for another $50. While I was waiting for my dining buddies, I noticed an older man at the end of the bar receiving VERY special treatment – surely someone famous but I have no idea who.

Here’s what we ate:

Sweet Pea “Sformato” with Duck Bresaola

This miniature flan tasted like sweet young peas and was served with clover sprouts. The wine, Sauvignon, Russiz Superiore 2004, was light and crisp and tasted like grapefruit.

Pappardelle with Chanterelles and Thyme

This buttery fresh pasta was served with an equally buttery Morellino di Scansano, “I Perazzi,” La Mozza 2004; the dish was huge but I couldn’t stop eating the clearly handmade pasta.

Duck Tortellini with “Sugo Finto”

The least memorable of all the main course tasting items – it was by no means bad, if I had ordered it alone I’d probably be raving, but compared to some of the other dishes it just didn’t stick in my memory as well.

Veal Loin with Peas and Prosciutto

The best dish of the night – the skin was crispy and stuffed with herbs. I can’t explain why this veal was so delicious; it was intensely flavorful. My stomach was completely full by this point, but I had to eat every morsel of this. (Wine: um, yummy. Undertones of deliciousness. More please.)

For dessert:

Coach Farm cheese (similar to Humboldt Fog with varied textures and luxurious creaminess) served with Pink Cranberry Mostarda

Meyer Lemon Semifreddo with Huckleberries (This must not have been memorable because I don’t remember it. Or maybe I was drunk.)

Bittersweet Chocolate Crema (It really was bitter, but so so smooth and delicious. My dining companion didn’t like it, so I ate his share.)

Warm Chestnut Honey Spice Cake with Chestnut Gelato – I’m not a cake eater, so I just had a nibble of gelato and went back for more of the bittersweet crema. The dining companions reported that it was scrumptious.

I didn’t take ANY photos because I was embarrassed – I know I need to get over that. I would ABSOLUTELY go back to Babbo – the price was high but not horrifying and the food was extraordinary. The service was well timed and very accommodating, although our server did seem to want for a sense of humor. The wines were perfectly chosen to match our meal, we weren’t rushed at all, and the portions were very generously sized for a tasting menu. I would prefer one less dessert and one more small savory dish, but my dessert loving dining companions were delighted. I can’t say enough good things about this meal – I will be back to Babbo as soon as possible. Next time I’ll try to get a few photos.

3 Comments:

Blogger s'kat said...

What an amazing experience- I'm so jealous!

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

sounds fun!

12:58 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

Nice Mebeth, I can't believe I'm just reading about your adventures in Babboland. That is one restaurant Swimster and I have yet to get to. He's been several times but before we started dating. I now have a renewed excitement and motivation to get there. And don't worry about the camera, your words speak louder anyway:)

2:49 PM  

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