Just came back from a meal at Babbo,with 3 others, which I've been looking forward to. I'm not a hyper-critical crazy person, just have grown up with good, sophisticated food. I've read about Babbo on Chowhound, and had Chowhound recommendations in mind when I ordered.
I had for my first course Warm Lamb's Tongue Vinaigrette with chanterelles and a 3-minute egg. Main problem was the balance of vinegar in the vinaigrette---way too acidic. Lettuce was lost at the bottom, what should have been the richness of the egg was lost. Husband had "Neci con Funghi Misti" which also was overly acidic. Third app was Pig Foot " Milanese" with rice beans and arugula which was slightly burnt.
2nd courses: Maccheroni alla Chitarra with oven dried tomatoes, red chiles and bottarga di muggine slightly too al dente, actually not al dente, but just underdone. Sauce was nice though. Tasted the Mint Love Letters with spicy lamb sausage which struck me as ok, but not extraordinary.
Secondi:Whole Grilled Branzino with braised celery and lemon oregano jam--pretty good. Fish a wee bit overcooked, the lemon oreg. jam really delicious, the braised celery tasteless and tough. Friend liked the Grilled Lamb Chops "Scottadita" with eggplant "in scapece" and lemon yogurt but I didn't taste it. I was shocked at how bad the Spicy Two-Minute Calamari sicilian lifeguard style was. It was probably cooked about 6 minutes, and had become chewy. Sauce had absolutely no bite to it, completely unseasoned tasting , boring. Friend ordered Fennel Dusted Sweetbreads with sweet and sour onions, duck bacon and membrillo vinegar which, as sweetbread lovers, we found surprisingly mediocre....almost like mediocre chinese food, too much sweet , not enough sour, little depth in the flavour of the sauce.
Desserts were nice. I had a grape, and yeasty pastry thing which had a lovely flavour, could have used a little more fruit in the balance of tastes. Pumpking cheesecake delicious.
But why is it that people rave about the food at this place. After all my negative food talk I would say we had great service, loved the physical place....but the food??? I'm SO disappointed!