When we were in Italy, the kids wondered if we go to such fantastic restaurants when we travel, how come we don’t get to do that in NYC? Huh. Good question. We decided to start going to a nicer than the norm restaurant one Sunday a month. Our first outing was this past Sunday night. No surprises, we began with Babbo.
I have written about Babbo many times because it is one of my favorites. We had a great time. They love the vibe and the music. The place was packed. Wall to wall in the bar. Mario made sure we really had a special evening.
We began with apple Bellini’s. The kids had them sans prosecco and with sprite. Not the same as Italy, alas. After studying the menu and asking a bunch of questions, decisions were made and we ordered.
Jessica had the grilled octopus salad with a lemon vinaigrette which is always good and she loved it. Emily went with the beet salad. Thinly sliced beets with shaved beets on top and a sprinkling of ricotta salata. Em thought it was top. Josh went for the Neci con Funghi Misti. Chestnut crepes stuffed with mushrooms and cheese. Right up his alley. Fred went for the sausage special and I went with the winter salad special. Little bites of root vegetables that were crisp and tossed with the radicchio and mache salad. Really simple and good. We were also given a few things to try. Pieces of warm lamb’s tongue diced with sauteed chanterelles and a warm vinaigrette. On top an egg that oozes when you open it. We were told to toss that throughout the salad. It was quite good and something I would have never ordered. We also received 2 plates of the special meats of the house – prosciutto, salami etc. Always good at Babbo.
For the main courses, everyone got something different. Josh went with a pasta. Fettuccine with three different kinds of cheeses. Oozing and rich. Fred went with the special of sea urchin with pasta. This wasn’t one of their best. The pasta was a bit too al dente and the sauce was not as good as the one we had a few nights ago at Centovini. Jessica went with the wild striped bass. Crispy crust served in a large soup bowl with a chorizo vinaigrette. She loved it. Emily had a grilled pork chop that came with artichokes and small onions. The chop was the size of her head. I was impressed that she finished most of it.
We were all really full but opted for 2 desserts to split. This was the treat of the night. They brought out every dessert on the menu. All of our eyes popped out. Wow. Thank you Mario! So we would each take a bite and pass to the left and on occasion throw another one in to the mix since it was about 9 desserts. We then voted on our favorites. The favorite was the maple pudding with donuts on the side, hands down. It was rich and delicious. The second was the upside down caramel cake which actually tasted more like a rich carrot cake. So good. The last was the pistachio and chocolate semifreddo. A mixture of both tastes in a round circle light and cold. The gelatos were good, so were the cookies especially the ginger snaps. I believe we almost finished everything. We also had a great glass of muscatto.
The night was a success. Jessica declared that the meal at Babbo was better than anywhere we ate in Italy. That was quite the compliment since we ate pretty well in Italy. Everyone is certainly looking forward to our next outing. Nice beginning of a tradition. We have to keep our 3 foodies broadening their palettes. I can’t decide what is more fun, eating out as a family or watching the kids order and discuss the menu. It is a toss-up.