Babbo NYC: Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s Flagship Italian in Washington Square


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Babbo, the flagship restaurant of Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, featuring some of the finest authentic, inspired Italian cucina in New York and an excellent wine program in a lovely townhouse setting is a Fred Bollaci Enterprises Preferred Destination and is a must visit for any food connoisseur!

Opened by Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich in June 1998, Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca celebrates the best of Italian food, wine and lifestyle in the heart of Lower Manhattan.

Hailed with a glowing 3-star review by Ruth Reichl of the New York Times shortly after its opening, Babbo has since been met with much critical acclaim, and was the recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s Best New Restaurant Award for 1998. The menu is a roster of Chef Mario Batali’s famed and much-loved creations, incorporating the best and freshest seasonal produce, Italian cheeses, meat, game and seafood, accented with the best Italian olive oils (Frantoia from Sicily is one), traditional aceto balsamico and many unusual ingredients that will surprise and delight especially the most discerning diner. At Babbo, you will experience flavor combinations you never before imagined, along with traditional preparations, done with exceptional flair.

The wine list represents one of the most extensive collections in the city, presided over by Bastianich and served with precision. 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.

Babbo’s philosophy is to use the best local ingredients as simply as possible and serve them with flourish and joy, representing authentic preparations from the various regions of Italy, preparing them “as a Tuscan cooks in Chianti, as a Neapolitan cooks on the Amalfi coast, as a Sicilian cooks in Pantelleria”, utilizing the freshest local, seasonal ingredients, “at Babbo we cook as an Italian might in the Mid-Atlantic/Hudson Valley region.”






Babbo serves both lunch and dinner, featuring tasting menus as well as a-la-carte selections.

Many of the dishes on the menu have been featured by Mario Batali on “Molto Mario” over the years. Favorite antipasti include: Grilled Octopus with “Borlotti Marinati” and Spicy Limoncello Vinaigrette, Steamed Cockles with Red Chilies and Basil, Grilled “Vedure alla Caprese” with Goat Cheese, Roasted Beet Tartare with Chianti Vinegar and Ricotta Salata, Warm Tripe “alla Parmigiana”, Uovo d’ Anatra Duck Egg with White Beans, Duck Sausage and Saba, and Armandino’s Salumi, made by his father in Seattle– Finocchiona and Lamb Prosciutto.

For pastas, don’t miss the Goat Cheese Tortelloni with Dried Orange and Wild Fennel Pollen, Spaghettini with Spicy Budding Chives and a One Pound Lobster, and Mint Love Letters with Spicy Lamb Sausage–two flavor combinations you won’t find elsewhere. Another excellent choice, are the Sweet Potato “Lune” with Sage and Amaretti, which tastes almost like dessert.

Favorite entrees include the light and healthy, yet extremely flavorful, succulent and Spicy Two Minute Calamari “Sicilian Lifeguard Style”, Whole Grilled Branzino with Market Beans, New Potatoes and Lemon Oregano Jam, Halibut with Heirloom Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Cool Summer Gazpacho, Duck with Grilled Radicchio, Endive and Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette, Grilled Quail with “Scorzonera alla Romana” and Saba, Rabbit with Five Lilies and Arugula Pesto, Grilled Lamb Chops “Scottadita” with Broccoli Rabe Pesto, Grilled Onions and Lemon Yogurt, Grilled Ribeye for Two, and Ossobuco, among others. The menu changes periodically, and there are always fresh seasonal and daily specials, but many of the all-time favorites remain to the delight of loyalists.




Pictured above: a spring-time special at Babbo: freshly made pasta with stinging nettles, budding chives, and pancetta, absolutely unforgettable!


Please tell the folks at Babbo that Fred Bollaci sent you!

110 Waverly Place
New York, NY 10011

About Fred Bollaci

I'm CEO and President of Fred Bollaci Enterprises. I lost more than 100 pounds while living "La Dolce Vita" and I'm now known as "The Healthy Gourmet." Sample the good life with me through fitness, fine food, and good wine. Meet chefs who cater to a healthy gourmet lifestyle through my Golden Palate blog.
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