I know, its passed too late for another babbo review, but a bunch of people on this board helped out so...here goes nothing. Me and my girlfriend went to babbo for the first time last night. A HUGE fan of batali and having read Heat multiple times, I had high expectations for the experience and i would say they were met by some dishes and exceeded by others.
I'll start by mentioning that our service was nothing short of flawless, silverware was replaced throughout the meal, napkins refolded, timing of courses was perfect, and our server was very personable and added his own recommendations without hesitation.
Antipasti- Great, but not unforgettable
Warm Lamb’s Tongue Vinaigrette
with Brown Beech Mushrooms and a 3-Minute Egg- This was our first dish and was a pleasant start. A soft poached egg(could have been a tad overcooked, did not "run" as much as we'd hoped) topped the texturally deceptive Mushrooms and pieces of Tongue. The overarching flavor of the dish was, however, a strong vinegar without a doubt, but not strong enough to overshadow the other components of the dish. I'd reccommend it for fans of the ingredients and the balsamic taste, but not for everyone. 8.5/10
Finocchiona and Lamb Prosciutto- 5 thin slices each of Fennel salami and a light prosciutto. The salami was powered with the flavor of fennel and was quite tasty, the prosciutto was mostly a textural wonder with delicate slices coming apart in the mouth and melting on the tongue. The meats were served with a black pepper olive oil toast which added a little variety and playful element to the plate. This dish was very good and a small portion; which was great for us but may disappoint those looking for a huge plate of meats. 9/10
Pasta-Best of all time?
with Braised Oxtail- A big fan of gnocchi, I was most apprehensive about how this dish would go over. The gnocchi were incredibly soft and I was caught off guard, having expected dense gnocchi given the dishes name and its pairing with the thick ragu. All in all, the ragu was meaty and delectable and the gnocchi were toothsome but i feel like the dish succeeded much more in its individual components then as a whole. 8.5/10
Goose Liver Ravioli
with Balsamic Vinegar and Brown Butter- Okay, so I'ved heard everything about this dish from "It's the best ever" to, "Might as well be Easy-mac pasta bathed in a bottle of balsamic." I am most DEFINITELY in the "best ever" camp. Yes, this dish IS only for fans of balsamic sauces; Yes, it is VERY heavy; Yes, IT IS AMAZING. The sauce is very sweet and heavy, but the ravioli were cooked perfectly and the filling stood on its own as incredibly rich and creamy. Take it in its pieces or all at once, It is my favorite pasta dish at the moment and completely lived up to any hype. 10(11)/10.
Secondi- Damned good choice
Braised Pigs Cheeks with Apple Cider vinegar and an assortment of vegetables(special, unsure of exact components)
Perfectly cooked pork that fell apart when cut with a fork topped with crisp cucumber and carrots over an assortment of what i can only guess to be a mixture of fruits and braised cabbage. This dish wow'ed us both with the texture and taste of the pork and its undertones of autumn. I would say its a "Can't miss" but then we saw the sweetbreads, duck, osso bucco, and Steak for two pass by the table. Ignoring my indecisive nature when it comes to meat, this was a very very good dish. 10/10
in Polenta Crust with Ricotta Gelato and Creamy Caramel- Picture, if you will, perfectly caramelized cranberries mixed in a buttery filling inside the best pie crust you've ever tasted. Now pair it with perfectly textured and flawlessly creamy gelato. Can't recommend enough, and i normally HATE cranberries. 10/10
Pistachio and Chocolate Semifreddo- Only way i can describe it is an ice cream cake with the very essence of pistachio covered in an incredibly dark chocolate ganache. The texture of this dish is such that every time you ever have an ice cream cake after this dish, you will be expecting this texture(and be sorely disappointed)10/10
At this point, we splurged
Assortment of Gelati and Sorbetti
Espresso-Easily the worst of the group if only for my distaste to coffee, excellently textured nontheless 8/10
Chocolate- The darkest, most dense sorbet I have ever tasted 10/10
Olive Oil- Enough has been said, its like they are playing a trick on your tastebuds 10/10
Quince/Green Apple/Grape-Each was the very essence of their respective fruits 10/10
Salted Hazelnut-Very creamy and decadent with just a spike of Salt 10/10
All in all, an amazing experience. Highly recommended.