Photo from restaurantsinnyc.com
(This is the third in a series of posts that recap my weekend in NYC - to see the first two posts, click here and here.)
For dinner on Saturday night, Jo and I went to Mario Batali's Babbo. Batali is also a partner of Eataly, so you could say that Jo and I did our part to contribute to Batali's millions of dollars.
Photo from NYMag.com
This picture is perfect, because you can see exactly where we sat - the last two bar stools at the far end of the bar. Sitting at the bar was perfect; Johnny the bartender was a riot and we were seated next to a former employee of Babbo, who was knowledgeable about the dishes.
Now, most importantly, what we ate (the menu is here):
We started with Grilled Octopus, which were tender, meaty and delicious, and the Winter Vegetable Salad, which was also delicious. (Unfortunately I can't remember what was in it! Should have written it down.)
Pumpkin "Lune" from Babbonyc.com
Then we split two pastas: the Goat Cheese Tortelloni and the Pumpkin "Lune." The tortelloni were fantastic! Creamy goat cheese center, tender fresh pasta and the fennel pollen and orange were subtle, but flavorful complements. The Lune were also delicious. Our waiter shaved an amaretti cookie over the top when he served the dishes. A nice touch, but I couldn't taste the amaretti. But honestly, the pumpkin sage and butter was so delicious, that I didn't miss the amaretti.
Jo and I also split two side dishes: Roasted Beet "Farrotto" and Babbo Greens. Oh boy, were these great. I have been wanting to try to make farro at home (Giada has a couple recipes for it), but I haven't been able to find it at my normal grocery store. After I found the recipe for the Roasted Beet Farrotto on the Babbo website, I decided a trip to Whole Foods is in the cards this weekend! The earthy beets and the nutty farro worked wonders together. And because of the beets, it was a gorgeous red color! The Babbo Greens were baby bok choy that tasted like they had been sauteed in an agrodolce (sweet and sour) sauce. They were so flavorful.
For dessert, we split the Pistachio and Chocolate Semifreddo and it showed up with a birthday message and candle!
Apologies for the dark photo; I used my Blackberry
It was the perfect end to a delicious meal! My heartfelt thanks to Jo for a memorable birthday dinner and weekend.
If you find yourself in NYC and are craving delicious Italian food, give Babbo a try.