Saturday, February 28, 2009

Can a restaurant live up to your expectations?


Babbo...Mario Batali's mecca of italian cooking. I had wanted to go there for years. Well a month or so ago for my birthday I finally got the chance when my girlfriend surprised me with a reservation. Once I found out we were going, questions started coming into my head. Would it be as good as I expect it to be? Have I built it up too much? What if I don't like it? I always wonder if a restaurant or anything for that matter gets too built up that it cannot possibly live up it your expectations for it. So did Babbo live up to my expectations? Al these questions were answered by the time we finished eating well over 3 hours after we arrived. When we arrived we were seated at a great table in the back of the first floor which gave us privacy but also allowed us to see all the food coming out of the kitchen. We decided to get the tasting menu with the wine pairings.

The first thing out was the chick pea buschetta that Babbo is known for. It was a great way to start the meal. Then the tasting menu began. The first course was house made coppa with pickled ramps and pecorino. It was amazing. The rich meat sliced paper thin with the pickled ramps adding the perfect bite.

Next up was the first of the two pasta dishes. It was pappardelle with chanterelles and thyme. This dish was earthy and the pasta was done perfectly.

The final pasta dish was duck tortelli. This was amazing. The rich sauce and the duck filling was a perfect combinaton.

Next up was the meat course which was hanger steak with trumpet mushrooms and cipollini onions. The steak was a perfect medium rare.

After the meat course came the cheese course. This was a piece of Coach Farms finnest with fennel honey. The fennel honey and the cheese were an amazing combination.

Next was the first of the dessert courses. It was a crema con mosta, which for the life of me I can't remember the description.

The next dessert was a chocolate tartufino.

And finally the last course, which at Babbo is the only course that both people don't get the same thing. The menu listed a pecan and date budino with carame gelato. The surpise dessert was an apple tart with cinnamon gelato. Both of these desserts were the perfect end to a spectacular meal.

In the end Babbo lived up to its reputation. The food was amazing, the service spectacular, and staff knowledgable. Some advice for your trip: go hungry and don't be in a hurry. We left full, satisfied and happy. Now all we have to do is go back and order the rest of the menu which looked amazing as it passed our table on the way to other diners.

So has anyone else experienced this?

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