I've been meaning to try Babbo, but now am rethinking that after a disturbing story by a friend who went on Saturday night. She and a friend were not terribly hungry, and after being informed by the waitress that there was no "minimum" required, they ordered three appetizers, an entree, and a few glasses of wine between them. Shortly after, the Manager charged up, waving their order, and informed them that they were REQUIRED to order entrees, and if they didn't, they would be forced to move to the bar. My friends refused, since the waitress had indicated there was no such requirement, and they wished to hear each other over dinner. The upshot: for the "privelege" of keeping the table, one woman had to order an "entree" portion of her appetizer (which she didn't want, couldn't finish but was nonetheless charged *double* the price of the appetizer for - which, at $26 was well above the price for an average entree!). At no time did the manager apologize for the conflicting policies presented or for his brusque manner. He even went so far as to claim that chef Mario *personally* objected to the women's order - a claim that seemed slightly specious, to say the least.
Anyone have a similar tale or a possible explanation? The manager's name was Robert Amato. Any good/bad stories out there?
I should note, in the interest of deflecting backlash by Babbo fans, that my friend loved the food, usually NEVER complains about service, but was very troubled by this episode.