I Finally Went to Babbo!

On Sunday night, my parents and I were wandering the West Village and stumbled upon this little hole-in-the-wall Italian place.


Just kidding. My mom made reservations a month ago. To get a reservation, you have to call exactly a month to the day you want reservations when their reservation line opens at 10am. (You can also make reservations on OpenTable or walk in.) We started discussing coming here to celebrate my finishing the NYC Marathon, so by the time we made it, we had quite a few things to celebrate.

The food was amazing, but the service was exquisite. Any time any of us got up to use the restroom, they picked up our napkins from our seats, refolded them and put them back on the table. They were so incredibly attentive, though it did sometimes feel like that attentiveness was to get us out and the next table in, but whatever.


They brought us a chickpea bruschetta to start, which was delicious and had a little kick.


For our appetizer, my mom and I split the mussels. Thank you for just putting the bread in the mussels, because that is what I was going to do anyway.


Hi Mom!


Hi Dad!


My parents do not like fancy ingredients, so they were joking about the menu before we went. “I’m going to get the oxtail,” my dad said.

“No, wait, that actually sounds good.”

I got the gnocchi with the braised oxtail and completely cleaned my plate. You know, just to make sure each bite was as well-made as the first.


My mom got the fettuccine with pancetta and radicchio. I tried a few bites, and I think they took a few years off my life with the richness.


I mean, we weren’t going to not get the Brussels sprouts. They were also made with pancetta, so even my dad liked them.


We also got a side of roasted potatoes with rosemary. (Anything cooked with rosemary will now forever remind me of my friend Mary’s HappySnax, which are the best nuts you will ever have.)

I am still dreaming about that gnocchi with oxtail.

Tell me about your favorite restaurant or your best meal ever.

20 comments on “I Finally Went to Babbo!

  1. Dori

    Mmmmmmmmm I want to go to Babbo one day! I ate at Blue Hill a few years ago and it was so amazing and delicious. Definitely a stand-out. And living in Jersey City, I’m lucky to have two incredible restaurants that would be impossible to get into if they were in Manhattan – Thirty Acres and Razza Pizza Artigianale.

  2. Caitlin

    Oh yum this meal looks incredible! I love your writing style, the sarcasm about being able to just walk right in and also the bread in the mussels anyway, YES I got calamari as an app last weekend and they put the bread in the sauce for me, I was like thank you for doing what I already was going to do. Chickpea bruschetta and Brussels, I’d be in heaven! I don’t think my dad would ever even try the Brussels, not after I asked him to try a roasted chickpea once and he hated it.

  3. Joan

    Can I just say it’s too funny that I have eaten in, like, 3 restaurants in New York, ever, but one was Babbo? So somehow I beat you to that one. Let me have some central Pennsylvania gloating.

    It. Was. Fabulous. And I’m so glad you and your mom and dad had a good time!

  4. Shauna

    Looks DELICIOUS. When I stalked the menu (ihaveaproblem) I had settled on the gnocchi in my imagination so I’m glad one of us actually had it!

    Best meal ever: French Laundry.

    Enough said.

  5. Jen

    I ate there for my birthday a few years ago. It was SO good (although definitely pricey for us at the time … er, and still). Loved our meal and how helpful the waiter was in crafting a menu for us since my boyfriend doesn’t eat beef or pork!

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Jen: Aw, that is really nice. The lady next to me was apparently a vegetarian and got all pissed when something came and she tasted some sort of beef stock in it. They seemed so accommodating that I’m sure they would have helped her find something else if she’d mentioned that upfront…

  6. Niki@justrunninwithit

    Babbo is on my list of places to try. I just went to Pure a few weeks ago and I loved the lasagna. I’m trying ABC KItchen next month (FINALLY got a reservation), so I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

  7. Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat

    I lucked out and went on a (no so memorable) date a few months ago there, and had a very memorable meal! Salivating at the thought of it and I am not a girl who likes to go out to eat or gets excited by restaurants much!

  8. Fiona Jesse Giffords

    Really delicious food items and hopes you had amazing time out there. Eating outside is always tough as you have to choose more healthy options for you. But you have selected all good dishes.

  9. Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian

    When I was like 10 my parents took me and my sister on a weekend trip to NYC. I’m from Upstate (Albany) so going to the city was a treat for us. My parents wanted to take us out to a nice dinner, well – they probably just wanted to go to a nice dinner haha, and they took us to Babbo. No joke, I remember that dinner to this day. I remember how they brought me and my sister this place of different ice creams for us for dessert. Me and my 7 year old sister were in heaven! I want to go back so badly as an adult now.

  10. Maria @ Pappa Don't Preach

    Jealous. Sounds absolutely amazing and you know what, those brussels sprouts look to die for! Did you know I have a brussels sprouts obsession. Well let’s refer to them as baby cabbages, because thats what they are. L.O.V.E

  11. Bitsy

    Next time bring me, please! I’ve gone to Babbo twice and its always so special. I love going to restaurants where superior service is apart of the experience. The last time I went I had the lamb chops and died a little inside. They were amazing! I am hoping to go back soon and do a tasting menu.

    My favorite tasting menu I’ve had is the omakase at Nobu. So inventive and delicious!


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