Went to Babbo last night. It's a good news, medium news, bad news report.
Good news - the food
Medium news - the service
Bad news - the ambiance
The food is excellent. I had the lamb tongues vinaigrette, the nettle pasta, and the duck. All were very very good; the lamb tongues especially so. The vinaigrette and the meat melded perfectly, for a taste that was neither too tart nor too meaty. A great dish. Others have commented on much of the menu.
The service was okay. We didn't notice any of the superciliousness or snobbery others have mentioned; we had to wait for our table, but only about 5 or 10 minutes past our reservation time, and both hostesses were apologetic and pleasant at the same time. The waiter was very helpful with our many questions, including one about portion size (which I vaguely recall someone else getting a rude response to). It was somewhat difficult to get his attention at times. The busboys had an annoying habit (probably taught them, since they all did it) of looking at a completely empty plate and asking if we were done. While I don't want them grabbing my plate before I'm finished, I think it's clear I don't want to eat the plate! Bread was simply plopped down on the bread plate.
The ambiance was really unacceptable. We were seated near the kitchen, at a round corner table (if you know the restaurant, we were on the ground floor, on the left, in the back). There was constant rushing of waiters and other staff past our table, we couldn't really look at each other, it wasn't comfortable. This table should not exist in a restaurant charging this much.
But the worst thing was the music. At one point, First, it was not the right kind of music for this place; a sort of indistinct country rock type thing. IMHO, if you are going to play music in a high end restaurant, it should be subtle and classical or perhaps jazz; I'd really prefer no music at all.
Second, it was blaringly loud. We asked three times before the finally turned it down. That's also unacceptable in such a place.
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