Jfood reporting back on dinner and many thanks to all the recommendations.
M&M Jfood drove the furthest and therefore they were there earlier than friends who live in the city. This gave them a chance to relax at the bar, sample the available nibblies and watch some of the food go by on its way to the front tables. The bar offerings included some petite olives and some bread sticks. The olives were nice and the bread sticks had an interesting texture, almost fried, with the flavor of cheese with a little kick. It was a nice beginning and watching the Primi course go by was a great treat.
The Jfood plus friends were seated at a wonderful table, a four sided 4-top and Jfood could view the enormous bouquet of blossoming cherry blossoms that was placed on the center table. He also witnessed the Captain prepare numerous glasses of wine for other tables. So Jfood was very pleased with the seating. As he looked around he noticed that the crowd was not a typical NY Steakhouse post-work Business type set. The patrons were younger than Jfood would have thought, there was more diversity in the outfits, some suits to some jeans, with a nice buzz in the air. Jfood was afraid of the noise level but even at their four-sided table, he was able to clearly hear the person across the table.
The Server was prompt and attentive throughout the service and others who have mentioned that the service was less than desired would have been pleased with Jfood's. He was personable, affable, explained all the specials, and did not rush the table. They had a 630 reservation, the pace of the meal was nice and the desserts were finished and bill settled around 10-1015. One nit here is that the bread was delivered but no butter was brought. Jfood flagged a server who gladly brought.
Now onto the main event, the food.
At the recommendation of many and after discussing with the dinner companions Jfood decided on a Primi and Secondi, although it was difficult not ordering the Pig’s Feet.
For Primi he ordered the “Goose Liver Ravioli with Balsamic Vinegar and Brown Butter.” There were probably 8-10 nice sized ravioli with a dark and succulent reduced balsamic sauce, glazing, but not overwhelming the packets. The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente, with just a little bite, and the goose liver had a great flavor. The balsamic really accentuated the richness of the filling. Jfood's one nit was that he would have liked a little more filling as he thought the pasta-filling ratio was a little too high to the pasta side. One ravioli barely had any filling.
For Secondi Jfood ordered the “Fennel Dusted Sweetbreads with Sweet and Sour Onions, Duck Bacon and Membrillo Vinegar.” Three perfectly cooked chunks of sweetbreads in a wonderful vinegar broth. The first bite sends the tongue sensory up a notch. The outside of the sweetbreads was crispy and perfect and the texture and the flavor of the sweetbreads themselves were soft, moist, succulent and divine. You can tell Jfood really liked this. The vinegar and onions created a wonderful balance of flavors. As Jfood stared at the last bite he felt a sense of despair, he wanted more. This dish ranks up with one of the best and lightest dishes Jfood has ever eaten.
Dessert was a split order of seven Gelati and Sorbetti that M&M Jfood split. Each brought forth a deep flavor. It was a great way to end the meal. Last nit of the night was that Mrs. Jfood asked the runner for milk for her tea. This was not brought and Jfood needed to flag another server down for the milk.
So Jfood has been to the hill and enjoyed. In his opinion Babbo is well worth the seeming aggravation to obtaining a reservation because once you cross the threshold you will have a great experience.