It's been one major eating trip I had with Zhao Kun. So far I think I've gained 10 pounds from all the food we ate despite walking tonnes. And after our fabulous meal at Le Benardin yesterday, lunch at Katz's Delicatessen today, we headed to another popular NYC Restaurant called Babbo for Dinner.
For those that are not familiar with Babbo, this is one of Food Network's famous TV Chef and America's own Iron Chef Mario Batali's restaurant. Like Le Bernardin we had to make a reservation a month in advance to make sure we had a table.
Having our lunch at around 4pm we postponed our dinner till 10:15pm and was shocked to find that the restaurant was not only packed but had some patrons still waiting in line!
Hungry, we ordered our food minutes after we were seated and to our surprise the food all came pretty fast.
Complimentary Starter: Marinated Chick Peas
The Chick Peas were a little sour and spicy and were served with Buttered Croutons. It was a great pallet opener since it was spicy and sour
The bread was served cold and wasn't crispy on the crust. We weren't given any Balsamic and Olive Oil until after we requested for it. This is not bad service because other tables were not served either
Marinated Fresh Sardines with Caramelized Fennel and Lobster Oil
This was my Antipasti and it was really small as warned by my waiter. I was given two really small pieces of cured Sardines. The Sardines were sour and a little salty and went well with the Sweet Caramelized Fennel. I wished the portions were a little bit bigger
Warm Tripe “alla Parmigiana"
Zhao Kun's Antipasti. The tripe was braised to a very soft texture in the tomato stew and was served with a Pan-Fried Buttered Bread. I loved the texture of the tripe but felt the tomato stew overpowered the taste of the Tripe.
Beef Cheek Ravioli with Crushed Squab Liver and Black Truffles
We were in heaven after our first bite of the Ravioli. The texture of the Ravioli was Al Dente and the filling of Squab Liver and Beef Cheek was accentuated by the earthiness of the Black Truffles.
Whole Grilled Branzino with Radicchio in Pancetta and Lemon Oregano Jam
I was offered the option to have the waiter fillet it on my behalf but I declined. The Fish was finished with some Olive Oil and was seasoned and grilled to perfection. It was stuffed with some Lemon, Thyme and Rosemary and was delicious with the Lemon Oregano Jam. A simple, beautiful and delicious dish!
Rabbit with Peas, Babbo Pancetta and Carrot Vinaigrette
Zhao Kun's main course was also quite good. The Rabbit was moist and tender but it was a little bland except for the Babbo Pancetta which was crispy
Warm Rhubarb Crostata with Spiced Ricotta Gelato and Pine Nut "Crocante"
This was a really good dessert. The berries were sour but went well with the sweet Crostata and creamy Ricotta Gelato. A great way to end our meal!
Overall the meal was good. The Staff were very efficient and attentive tending to our table without us having to ask twice. Of the dishes we had we really enjoyed the Beef Cheek Ravioli, Grilled Branzino and Warm Rhubarb Crostata. Our bill came to a total of USD $75 per person without alcohol including tips and taxes which in my opinion was not very pricey. I can see why Babbo is always full!
Price: $$$$$ (USD $75 per person)
Address: 110 Waverly Place New York, NY 10011-9102
Tel: +1 (212) 777-0303
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