Friday, February 18, 2011
Go for the pasta. That goes for too many Italian restaurants. Go for the warm, inviting atmosphere. It's like being at home, except you'll get waited on. Go for the best of Mario Batali. You'll have to plan ahead for one of the hard-to-come-by reservations, but it's better than waiting on line at Eataly. Whatever reason brings to you Babbo, you'll likely find something to enjoy about it.
You can try the pasta tasting menu if you don't want to think too much about what to order, but better yet, craft your own version of it and share. You can come out ahead, sample the pastas that you find most appealing and get larger portions of them. That's what my dining companion and I did on this visit, when we were seated in the much more pleasant upstairs room.
Marinated chickpeas in balsamic vinegar, olive oil and chili flakes kicked things off. It tasted, oddly, like hot dogs.
oasted beet tartare was a mold of chopped red and yellow beets marinated in chianti vinegar, topped with a wig of ricotta salata. Beside it sat several condiments — capers, an anchovy paste, sea salt, green onions and mustard — which were fun to alternate between on the olive oil-drizzled toast.
The pumpkin lune with sage and amaretti were delicious. The dish managed to balance the sweetness well.
Posted by kitchenette at 8:56 PM