Babbo Still Reigns Supreme

Going to Babbo is always a huge indulgence.  I haven't been in awhile so this past weekend we went with 2 other couples who had never been.  Needless to say, they were thrilled!

As times passes, some restaurants just do not have the spark that they had when they originally opened.  The food just doesn't taste as good as you remember.  Babbo, on the other hand, still reigns supreme.  Mario has the smarts to keep his signature restaurant with some of the best food in town.  Perhaps he doesn't receive the 5 star rating because of the rock and roll being played but if you are going to work the room all night you might as well listen to the music you least I would. 

We begun the evening with pomegranate Bellini's.  My friend would have been happy to have the pitcher to herself.  They were delicious, light and a perfect start. 

Everyone started with different appetizers.  I had the braised fennel with pears and goat cheese.  The fennel was cooked perfectly with a dash of sweetness to it.  Served over freshly cut pears which created the crunch and a piece of toast with a hunk of goat cheese.  Light and different.  Next to me, my friend has the Babbo Salumi which is a variety of salami's made at Babbo and also made by Mario's Dad in Seattle.  Each one had a different texture and taste.  Someone had the roasted beets which is not one of my favorite veggies but she was in heaven.  Of course someone hasto have the beef cheek raviolis which is a signature dish.  If you have never been to Babbo, it is a must try.  They are always delicious but beware it is very rich.  Last appetizer ordered was the grilled octopus.  Grilled perfect with a sharp lemon vinaigrette which changes the entire flavor.  Really adds to it. 

As a table, we split the special of the day which was a lamb prosciutto which was a very interesting taste.  The consistency is like salami but the taste is pure lamb.  Really good.  We also split a pasta that was layered with chestnuts and cheese.  Different and delicious. 

Dinner came and we were ready to go.  We were also going through the red wine.  The sommeliers at Babbo are excellent and their wine menu is extensive.  I highly recommend talking to the sommelier if you go.  They are knowledgeable and can cut through the large inventory in a flash. 

I had the Whole grilled Branzino.  They show it to you and then they fillet it.  The fish was done to perfect.  Juicy and rich served with a citrus jam.  Not to heavy which for me was good.  Sometimes when I go to Babbo I find it is too rich.  This night I ordered on the lighter side and was thrilled with the results.  Other people had the fish too.  Someone split the osco bucco which is always divine.  Someone else had the barbecued skirt steak which was cooked perfectly and also had a delicious bite to it.  They love herbs and flavors there. 

Dessert was a must try.  I almost devoured with my end of the table the chocolate pistachio semifreddo.  The donuts were also a bit hit and of course the little plate of cookies they give as an added bonus.  We also dipped into the dessert wine for the last big bang.

Bottom line, a fantastic meal and a great experience.  The service is wonderful.  The vibe is full of energy - thanks to that good old rock and roll banging in the background. 

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Joanne Wilson Joanne Wilson loves food, books, and music. She lives in New York City. Her husband Fred and children Jessica, Emily, and Josh are bloggers too. More »

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