Waiting at the bar (crowded)
Soon, we are seated at the family table in the dining room where we squeeze in and share the space, wonderful smells, convivial atmosphere, and great meal.
One table, shared by all
We are hungry, but pause to search the menu for octopus. Success, they have two dishes! We start with barbequed octopus, then an appetizer of octopus salad, accompanied bruschetta. For entrees, we choose branzino and ravioli with spinach and mushroom. Yum! And, we eat family style, sharing it all.
Octopus salad and bruschetta
We are challenged to top our first great dinner with our second dinner. We've made a reservation at Gato, Chef Bobby Flay's Mediterranean restaurant on Lafayette Street, between Bleeker and Houston, and arrive early, but they seat us and we start again with barbequed octopus. Yes!
Babbo is beautiful. It is intimate, with a warm, classic Italian ambiance. The bar area has great seating both at the bar and at tables and booths and also brings an interesting people experience as we strike up conversations with those next to us. We get the best seat in the house, on the end at the window in the bar. Don't ask, don't tell!
Main dining area
Our seat in the bar area (with a Manhattan and prosecco to start)
For our entrees, we share papperdelle with wild boar and duck with braised red cabbage and juniper berries, in a vinagrette. They divide the portions for us in the kitchen and serve the incredible meal. I've seen many of these dishes in Mario Batali's cookbook, Molto Italiano, and it's a fabulous experience to actually have them made his way. The pictures don't give justice to this incredible meal! Wow, Mario, please let us come back.
Papperdelle with wild boar, duck leg and duck breast
And, for desert, a cheese plate. It doesn't get much better than that!