Babbo Love

November 18, 2011

And so the Gwyneth Paltrow love continues…will it ever stop? I doubt it. I hope that’s ok.

My friends and I were all incredibly thankful for this, her affection for Mario Batali and subsequent praise of Babbo. That sounds like some sort of tribal chant, doesn’t it? – “the praise of Babbo”. Not quite… well, almost. If you call consuming a colourful myriad of Italian Wines, ordering Pig’s Trotter and experiencing food-gasms over Sweet Potato Tortellini a tribal experience… which I’ve promptly decided I do. So there you go.

Peta, Vicki and I were to take Bhey and Russ out for a special dinner. Our way of saying “thanks for letting us completely take over your one-bedroom apartment for two whole weeks and showing us around the city. You’re amazing and generous and we cannot thank you enough. We love you, please enjoy this pig’s trotter as a token of our love and gratitude”. Babbo said this perfectly.

Babbo serves up supremely divine, rustic Italian cuisine. But it’s better than your average ‘top quality’ restaurant. There’s just something special about Babbo. It’s assured yet not arrogant. And it surprises you – I mean, they were playing the Red Hot Chilli Peppers as background music. And the staff were all very very friendly and helpful. We were given great advice from the Sommelier, choosing matching Italian wines.

We ordered Prosecco to start, followed by a white, a red, then a dessert wine. It appears my white was the only glass I captured on camera, but you get the idea. We were not short of a drop.


We all shared our appetisers, which was actually quite a scene. We passed my iPhone around for some sneaky shots – everyone (by this point in the trip) was not only incredibly supportive and enthusiastic of my photographic documentation, but also incredibly skilled. Thanks, guys, for embracing my nerdy qualities. Anyway, after snapping a shot, we proceeded to taste, appreciate and then pass our plate to the left. And so it went, until all our appetisers were enjoyed. Efficient and effective, if not curious to the outsider.

Calamari with a Spiced Crumb, lovely and very well cooked.

Pig’s Trotter, one of Babbo’s signature dishes. It was very flat and crumbed, like a fine schnitzle.

Mussels with Chilli, Garlic and Wine, with Toasted Bread. Enough said.

Sweet Potato Lune Tortellini, with Sage and Amaretto Crumbs – uhuh. Complete and utter bliss. Just simply, amazing.

Caprese Salad – such a favourite of mine, made with unbelievably good quality ingredients.


For mains we essentially stuck to our own plate, with a swift taste of neighbouring dishes. All were divine. I was quite proud, as we all chose something different and exciting based on our Waiter’s recommendation. I love doing that – trusting those who you respect and going for it. In my experience, rarely does it disappoint.

Russ’s Pork Chop – thick, tender and with lovely sweet tomatoes and peppers.

Bhey’s Oxtail Ragu – you can’t go wrong with a rich ragu, really. Completely delicious.

My Beef Cheek Ravioli with Crushed Squab Liver – very creamy and tender morsels. A favourite of our Waiters. I felt very sophisticated eating this (just in case you were wondering…)

Vicki’s Tile Fish with Cucumber Gazpacho – incredible clean and fresh, and so stunningly vibrant.

Peta’s Grilled Guinea Hen – deliciously charred, with barbequed corn kernels providing an exciting burst.


We shared a couple of desserts – by now we were rather stuffed, yet there were two dishes that we could not pass up. And we shared, that’s hardly an overwhelming bite 😉

Strawberry Shortcake

and Creamed Corn Custard with Cornmeal Doughnuts, which was the winner for me. Such an exciting concept!

Babbo Love. Love for good food, love for NYC and love for my friends. Corny like a cornmeal doughnut, but completely true.

Heidi xo

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  • Iron Chef Shellie November 18, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Those donut sound interesting, yet amazing at the the same time!

    This reminds me to cook something outta my Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook sometime soon!

  • Michelle Chin November 18, 2011 at 8:49 am

    cornmeal doughnuts? that sounds very interesting! it must taste like maize. hehe.

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 18, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Love the level of comfort in these dishes. But that last picture is just gorgeous-very Sex and the City! 🙂

  • Lisa November 18, 2011 at 10:53 am

    You ate liver but you don't eat pate? I think you may need to revisit your pate revulsion.

    That does look like the perfect thank you dinner for your hosts.

  • Anonymous November 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Ah! Was the perfect thank you!! Very spoilt. Was a deliciously fun night. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Bhey x

  • CC11 November 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Creamed corn custard – I can't imagine what it would be like as a dessert, would love to try it.

  • Yasmeen November 18, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    'Assured yet not arrogant' is the perfect way to sum up a restaurant with that special something! I've heard great things about Babbo from my Village-area dwelling friends. Looks and sounds as wonderful as its meant to be.

  • Hannah November 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Under any other circumstance, my Gwyneth tolerance would be wearing thin, but she keeps steering you to such wonderful food-and-friendships moments that I'm finding her strangely tolerable. Very odd. 😛

    P.S. Oh heavens, that dessert isn't helping my cornbread craving!

  • Heidi November 19, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Michele – yes you must, I am keen to get the book too!

    Michelle – hard to tell a big difference but yes…more grainy of sorts 🙂

    Lorraine – oh why thanks 😉

    Lisa – it's just plain pate on bread… ugh! but maybe you're right…I suppose I could try it with other toppings too…like roasted tomato – balance out the flavour??

    Bhey – you deserve spoiling, gorgeous girl. Miss you!! xo

    CC11 – it was lovely – a really interesting flavour, one to savour 🙂

    Yasmeen – I would agree 🙂 thanks!

    Hannah – haha love it, glad you're tolerating her – so many do not, I appreciate it 🙂 CORNBREAD!!

    Heidi xo

  • The InTolerant Chef November 19, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I'd feel very sophisticated too! The dishes sound lovely indeed, and that custard sounds intriguing 🙂

  • msihua November 19, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Man you are so lucky! Sounds so posh dining in style 😛

  • Sherilyn @ Wholepromise November 20, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Babbo love alright – it all sounds irresistible!

  • Heidi November 21, 2011 at 6:58 am

    InTolerant Chef – so different!

    Msihua – yes, a little posh I suppose 🙂

    Sherilyn – ooooh it was 🙂

    Heidi xo