Two friends and I went to Babbo last night and, although the food was very good, the service really distracted from the evening.
We wanted to order the tasting menu, but one member of our group didn't eat red meat or poultry. Of the six courses on the tasting menu, one was duck and the other lamb. We asked our waiter if they could make some substitutions to accomodate his dietary preferences. The waiter said that they would only make one subsitution, but not two, and that all three of us would have to have the same substitution. Seems a bit harsh, but if that's the way it is, that's the way it is. We decided to just order a la carte.
We picked out a wine and asked the waiter if he had tried it. He said he had and gave us a rather detailed description, so we went ahead and ordered it.
The wine didn't come until we were more than half-way through our first course.
When the sommelier eventually arrived with a bottle, it was the wrong wine. We got another copy of the wine list and showed him the wine we ordered. After the correct bottle was already opened, our waiter returned to the table to tell us that since he had made a mistake with the wine, his initially description was not correct. He didn't offer to let us choose a different bottle, which would seem appropriate under the circumstances, and we didn't want to press the issue.
One of us ordered a decaf coffee to accompany dessert. When we were almost done with dessert, a different waiter brought an espresso and left before we correct the order (or at least ask if it was a decaf espresso). We waited another five minutes for a waiter to return to get the correct coffee order.
Like I wrote above, the food was very good and the atmosphere was very fun. But several service-related glitches really distracted from our evening.
On another note, I ate at Blue Hill over the weekend and had one of the best meals of recent memory.