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Time

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General Info
Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca is an exuberant celebration of the best of Italian food, wine and lifestyle. The menu is a roster of lusty creations, incorporating the best and freshest seasonal produce, Italian cheeses, meat, game and seafood, accented with fine Italian olive oils, traditional aceto balsamico and many unusual ingredients that will surprise and delight. Babbo seats up to 90 diners in its split-level dining room, and has a lively bar area where patrons may enjoy a quartino (quarter-liter) of wine, or choose to have a full meal.
Hours

Regular Hours

Payment method
visa, mastercard, amex, discover
Price Range
$$$$
Neighborhoods
Downtown Manhattan, Greenwich Village
Associations
Michelin
Categories
Italian Restaurants, Mediterranean Restaurants, Seafood Restaurants, Bar & Grills, Restaurants
Other Information

Bike Parking: No

Attire: Dressy

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Cuisines: Italian, European, Continental

Alcohol: Full Bar

Wi-Fi: No

Parking: Street

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: No

Good For Groups: Yes

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Reviews

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Veronica N.

05/17/2016

Overall

Their food is good but I think they need to improve on waiting time. Ive waited for almost an hour before they serve my orders. I almost starve to death literally.

NYCFoodie22

11/15/2011

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Its a falling star

I have been several times and its the classic fall from grace. They used to do fantastic creative things and now its cram expensive fair down the throats of tourists. Food was ok at best and service was disappointing. I really don't appreciate asking the waiter for a wine in the $75-$100 range and being compelled to try a $175 wine in a tone that made me feel cheap in front of my date. So many great places in NYC, I suggest you wait for the 50% off coupon that will probably be out shortly.Save your money.

mel059

09/12/2011

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Terrible Service. So/So Food

After making a reservation one full month in advance, I really do not see what the hype is. We had the traditional tasting menu. Sommelier was helpful and helped us pick a good bottle. SERVICE WAS AWFUL! Imagine, the waiter would come and finally tell us what we ate after we had eaten it. I thought that for all the clamoring that this is fine italian cuisine, we would have gotten better service than this, I do not know if waiter was overwhelmed with his other tables, or what. They should have presented the food and had the waiter tell us the story with what was being served when the plate was introduced to us. At one point, we had already finished the plate, when the waiter who served came and said well what was on your plate was.... This is because your service is poor, my friend. Not very surprising.
Anyhow, dishes were ok at best, prefer to go to some whole in the wall italian place in East Village and get a better meal. the charred hen we had was over salted. Seriously, I will never go back.

Curru

05/31/2011

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
NOT WORTH THE MONEY OR HIPE

I was very exhited when I finally was able to get a reservation for this very busy and popular restaurant. Was seated upon arrival an staff was very friendly and professional. The sommalier helped us pick out a really nice bottle of wine, but when the food arrived we were very dissapointed. My fish was very bland and swimming in a pool of bland sauce. The pasta course was simply just OK. Ordered the chocolate cake for dessert which was extremely tasteless. Could only really have 2 bites-- Just was not worth it!!!!! The background music starts to give you a migrane after a while unless you like headbasshing music while dining at a fancy restaurant... WOULD NOT RETURN!!!

Snagam

11/06/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Reservation line impenetrable

And inhospitable. I think I may have listened to an entire aria before the young lady came back on the phone after asking me to wait for a minute. The reviewers may rave, but the heart of this place is cold and dead. Waste of my time, and a wasted attitude.

DRINK

09/08/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
REALLY BAD - RUDE STAFF, POOR SERVICE, BAD FOOD

we scrambled to get a ressie...i wish i never did. We eat out a lot, and expect good service, and good food...especially with all the hype. The staff was really lousy. They act like they do you a favor...place is too small, the food was not very good, apart from 1-2 pasta's. The staff was clueless, and did not seem like they wanted to help. We spent a lot of money on wine, and were treated like we were in the way...tying up a table. One dish was inedible - too salty. the tongue appetizer was bad -- too much vinegar, covering the taste...do not bother going...it is not all that!

mmuller2

05/14/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Lovely Dining Experience

We had been trying to get a reservation forever and could never even get through on the phone -- Until we learned the trick (which I will not share for fear of never being able to get a reservation again!). So, we finally went for dinner for my husband's birthday.

The service was excellent. We had dietary restrictions and the servers were not only very diligent in warning us of any problems/switching up ingredients, but I was impressed that they communicated among one another, so that a new server was already aware of our restrictions.

We were interested in a tasting menu (there was so much delicious looking food on the menu, we couldn't choose!) Our waiter recommended - rather than try any of the published tasting menus - that we do an a la carte tasting - in which we can choose any combination of dishes we like. This was an excellent idea. Unlike most tasting menus, the portions were actually very generous (yes, we were absolutely stuffed at the end of the evening).

My only complaint is that I think the pasta dishes were a little bit too salty -- still delicious - but could have done with a little less salt.

Addiional comment on the service -- we noted that we did not feel rushed at all. We were seated around 7:20 and remained in the restaurant until almost 10. For such a busy/in-demand restaurant, I think it's unusual for the staff to not try to push you out -- and I appreciated it.

Favorite dish of the evening -- Beet tartare (and I don't generally even like beets!!)

Added treat - we saw Mario Batalli himself dining at the front of the restaurant when we walked in.

Overall, wonderful, pleasant dining experience. I look forward to going back soon!

kmneary

04/25/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Best of Manhattan

Babbo is among the best restaurants I've dined at. From the exquisite ambiance, to the attentive service and truly gourmet food, there is not a thing I would change about Babbo.

Upon walking in we were greeted by the maitre d who eagerly checked our coats at the door. Though we were about 20 mins early for our reservation we were escorted to our table as soon as we walked in. Nothing on the menu was ordinary: the meat selection offered rabbit, boar, venison, quail, duck, lamb and sea bass. Several sommeliers walked the floor and offered wine recommendations as we finalized our dinner selections.

We started off with the winter vegetable salad with goat's milk ricotta and pumpkin seed oil. The ricotta spread over the baguette slice was so creamy and delish! When the pumpkin ravioli arrived our waiter grated an amaretti cookie over the entire dish, which was the perfect compliment to the light sauce. The striped sea bass came with a chorizo vinaigrette and grated chorizo topped over the bass. My only regret was not being able tor try more of the mouth watering dishes!

I completely disagree with those that say the service was anything but exceptional. The wait staff was extremely professional and checked in with us enough to be helpful but not annoying.... they even treated us to a complimentary cookie assortment at the end of our meal.

Babbo is a MUST for anyone in Manhattan, I will definitely be back when I'm in the area again!

Joanne Blanco

02/22/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Believe the hype

Babbo is one of my favorite special occasion dining destinations. Part of the Mario Batali empire, his Italian specialities do not disappoint. I always order the pasta tasting menu so that I get a taste of everything. I prefer some dishes over the others (i.e. the Garganelli and Tagliatelle are delicious), but it's always good to get out of your comfort zone and try out new flavors. At first you think these little dishes will never fill you up, then as the courses keep coming, you find yourself wondering if you'll even have space for dessert. The answer is barely.

Seating in the main level is a tight squeeze but it's fun to watch the hustle and bustle of the waiters scuffling by. The dining area upstairs is brighter and a little more reserved. Patrons are allowed to make reservations up to one month in advance. I've haven't had any problems getting reservations lately, but be flexible with your schedule and don't expect prime dining times. I went for an early dinner one time and a scored a late reservation another evening.

umdmike

01/24/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Quality Italian

My girlfriend and I were overly excited to go to Babbo after months of anticipation. The restaurant was a little stuffy and pretentious, but it's safe to assume that's the atmosphere they are looking for.

The sides and appetizers were delicious, but the main dishes were uninspired. However, I do have to compliment on how well our dishes were cooked...I had the squab, and it was fantastic.

Happy we went, but most likely won't go back. On to the next.

sadienyc25

10/18/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
good pasta

great food---amazing pasta and wine. staff is helpful when ordering but could be more friendly. the decor is great and nice for a date spot. expensive but def an experience.

Utexas

10/02/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Worst Place EVER

Rude when we made rsvp and rude when we got there. Never again. As for the food, it was not all that and def. not worth the trouble. Def. a two thumbs down!

mirjam nl

09/07/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
So disappointed with Babbo Balsamico

I read the great book ?Heat? by Bill Bufford and wanted to celebrate our first wedding anniversary in restaurant Babbo, the place where Bill Bufford took an internship? So romantic at Wasgington Square Park for us Amsterdam people.
I knew it was a hype so called them 5 months in advance to learn that one can make a reservation one month in advance at maximum. I followed this instruction and we were 'lucky' to get a 10:45 reservation. Mind you, PM! Okay so far, so good.
We arrived in a good mood 5 minutes early. We were asked to wait to be seated, and enjoyed a couple of good drinks at the bar with a constanly apologizing barkeeper. At midnight our table was ready. We ordered fungi and sardines as antipasti. There we learned Babbo's preference for balsamico. We had a salad on the side from grean beans tasting very much like? balsamico. The primo was a shared spicy spaghetti, just a little balsamico. By the way it was so late, and the music was so loud (S*x Pistols and that kind of music) that we only wanted to go to sleep, but we still had one course to go. The secundo was an outright disappointment. I had a skirt and huge balsamico beef and my husband?s branzino was very plain and was served together with a completely cremated black piece of vegetable tasting of balsamico. He asked what kind of burned vegetable it was and that he is not particularly fond of burned vegetables (health freak he is!). The answer was that it was their style to burn it completely black but they would bring a new one. Same degree of fire wounds ...
We were so disappointed that we asked for the check, without ordering a desert or even coffee. All we wanted was out of this place to bed at 1.30am. This signal was read by the personnel and they sent us a manager who apologized and said that he would adjust the bill accordingly. We paid a mere $160 (no discount on the bill found, but too tired to get into a new discussion), My husband left a $10 tip and wrote on the AMEX slip 'for the service, not the food'.
What had to be a celebration became a little disaster. We definitely ate twice at Babbo at Sunday Sept 6th: our first and last time.
I cannot recommend Babbo, and I strongly believe this place is terribly overhyped. And the arrogance from the reservation till you leave the place is one big joke, at least if you look at it from a simple gastronomic perspective.

Fried air ... below zero.

Ga

08/23/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Nice place

This place is really cute. We had reservations made about a month in advance and got there pretty early but we still had to wait about 15-20 mins and the lower level is really small and packed, so there isnt much room where to wait. The food was good and so was the wine. I went this past week and did a tasting kind of menu where basically you go through like 8 courses including appetizers, main courses and deserts, and every course comes with a wine pairing. The wines were all pretty good (I liked the reds better) and the desert was really good. I would definitely go again.

KarenTX

07/26/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Amazing food despite the hassles

The food here is great, but I don't go very frequently because it's nearly impossible to get a reservation. Waiting for their stand-by tables is a huge hassle becuase they make you wait inside, crammed up against the bar -- often for more than an hour.

ShermanBB

07/18/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Highly overrated

This restaurant used to shine (See Frank Bruni's review from a few years back). But, while it's a ""good"" restaurant, I it is not ""great"". There are much better choices around New York. The contorni (the Babbo Greens and the Rapini) are far too salty, for example, to the point of being inedible. No dish particularly stood out -- although the bread was excellent. The wine list is very good, however. I have been twice, once in 2005 and then yesterday. I would not go again.

UpWest132

07/15/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Worth the Wait!

Making a reservation at this restaurant was almost as hard as trying to score Bruce Springsteen concert tickets. I called exactly one (1) month before the day of my wife's birthday (when their reservation lines opened) and got a busy signal for almost half an hour.
On the night of our dinner we were glad we weren't late. The lower level dining room was packed. I felt bad for those who were seated there because people waiting to be seated were almost standing on top of them. The upper level where we sat was beautiful tthough small.
The food and wine were excellent. The thing that amazed my wife and I the most was the service. I have never in my life seen a more attentive staff. We never had to ask for refills on water or wine, our questions were politely answered and our food was brought on time. To my surprise the bill wasn't as much as I had expected. We made sure the tip reflected the service. This is by far the best restaurant we have ever been to.

ladynyc0001

06/06/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Terrible! Rudest host I have ever encountered!

So a few weeks ago I went to have a late dinner meeting with a business associate of mine and one of his colleagues. I was coming from another meeting so I told them I would meet them there. I was dressed elegantly in a simple black dress and heels. Definitely in good taste. I am in my twenties, but that should be beside the point. I arrived and asked where my party was and the host was SO RUDE to me it was unbelievable!! He basically stepped out and stood in front of me as to block me from entering and said ""We don't want your kind here. Go somewhere else"". Now, I model for a living, so I would say confidently I am pretty attractive, and definitely carry myself with class and sophistication. I was not wearing anything provacative, so for this man to react like this and EMBARASS me infront of people was UNACCEPTABLE. I tried to explain to him I was meeting two colleagues of mine for a business dinner, and he said ""No. Sorry"". I felt helpless, embarassed and turned around and ran out crying. Apparently this ignorant host, had just dismissed a crowd of rowdy young people, and JUST BECAUSE I am young and female, he ASSUMED I was with this group!!! Can he get more ignorant??? Once he realized, I was in fact there for a meeting, he ran outside and apologized to me. How dare he? AS IF I WOULD EVER COME BACK IN THERE! This is New York City sweetheart, there are PLENTY of other good italian restuarants with employees that KNOW HOW TO BE POLITE AND HOW TO HANDLE CUSTOMERS. I live here and dine out at fine food establishments all the time, and have NEVER had a problem like this! I have never in my life been so insulted. My associate was also very put off and embarassed over the situation. NONE OF US WILL EVER GO TO BABBO AGAIN. AND I DEFINITELY DON'T RECCOMEND IT TO ANYONE ELSE. I attempted to call Babbo a few days later to complain to management, and after several times of being told that the managers were ""unavailable"" and empty promises that my phone calls would be returned, I gave up. Not even worth it. I definitely don't recommend this LOW-CLASS establishment to anyone. And alittle advice to the very rude host: Get a clue! We are over the snobby ""too important for you attitude"", you are a host after all! Have some respect for people! Work on your people skils buddy.

btour

04/22/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
What I had was averageExample: great place for good bread

So I had the lamb tongue as a starter and the goat cheese ravioli as an entr?e. The tongue was extremely oily and tasted more like bacon swimming in fat. The goat cheese ravioli was OK but very heavy and plenty of butter. Easy on the oil guys, it's good but too much of it turns the food heavy (cooking 101). Now, the service was impeccable!

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