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'weird stuff' guy takes a crack at Babbo - long

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'weird stuff' guy takes a crack at Babbo - long

BB | Sep 26, 2005 01:14 PM

Several hounds recommended Babbo for their assortment of unusual meats, and we managed to get in last night for a memorable dinner. Some of the ‘mystery meat’ dishes were maybe not as aggressive at I might have liked, being sanitized – understandably – for public tastes. Still, overall, the food was superb.

The lamb tongue vinaigrette was a real treat: tangy and delicate with what looked like a blob of fresh mozzarella on top but which turned out to be a soft boiled egg. The testa – a kind of house-made headcheese – was also pretty great, meltingly soft and topped with shredded artichoke. I wanted the tripe appetizer but my companions drew a line – I was only allowed so many ‘weird’ items. However even they were blown away by the octopus, and to their credit they both sampled the tongue and testa and claimed to enjoy it.

So I let them order pastas: a papperdelle with ragu; goat-cheese filled tortellini – very rich; and the mint love letters which are still pretty darn special. With some regret I forewent the lamb-brain ravioli, but I figured I’d rather have my brains out where I can see ‘em, not pureed and tucked away inside a thick pasta pocket.

My sweetbread entrée was perfectly cooked – the breads rich and creamy – but the sweet and sour sauce may have been a bit overwhelming. Mike had calamari rings cooked quickly in a bright red, spicy ciaoppino-like sauce, which was absolutely fantastic, and he did not seem to mind that I kept snagging spoonfuls. Tommy went for the baby leg of lamb – solid if not flashy.

I’d rate service at A- or B+, very attentive though we were in the far corner upstairs. I guess it’s policy that you have to order everything at once (except dessert) or maybe it was just late (around 9:30). Our server seemed a little impatient as he helped us navigate the menu but again, maybe the hour.

Stuffed as we were we had to have some olive oil gelato, acquired no doubt from the nearby Otto. That stuff continues to confound and delight me.

Still open to more recs - if you send me, I will review.

-BB

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