If you enjoy eating out, then New York City is an amazing place in which to spend time as there is a fantastic choice of places to dine. There are restaurants offering all types of cuisine from around the world, and one of the most popular options is Italian. You will find a variety of Italian restaurants, that vary from informal, pizzeria-style eateries to fine dining establishments. If your preference is for the latter, then one of the best Italian restaurants in New York City is Babbo.
Babbo is described as a celebration of the very best of Italian food, wine, and lifestyle. It offers diners a unique, culinary experience that is ideal for a special occasion. It is equally suitable for those who simply want to enjoy a fine dining Italian experience. The main reason to visit Babbo is clearly the food, which is some of the most exquisite in New York. For many years, Andy Nusser has been the executive chef at Babbo, though this role was taken over by Nancy Silverton on June 5, 2019. Although this means that there is now a new menu, the focus on serving Italian classics in a modern way remains the same.
There are several dining options, and this is one of the reasons that this restaurant stands out from the competition. Diners who choose to eat a la carte can choose dishes from the four-course Babbo menu. This menu has been reduced in size since Nancy Silverton took over as the executive chef of Babbo. The antipasti offerings are now predominantly salads, while the primi course offers a selection of pasta dishes. Diners can then choose a meat or fish option from the secondi course before enjoying an Italian dessert.
Another option is to choose one of their tasting menus, each of which has the option to enjoy wine pairings for an additional cost. The pasta tasting menu consists of seven tasting plates of pasta dishes. The other tasting menu option is the Lazio tasting menu. Again, this consists of seven tasting plates of traditional Italian dishes with a modern twist. To enjoy either of the tasting menus, everyone at the table must participate.
Diners can also take advantage of the mozzarella bar, which is a new feature of the restaurant that was only introduced in 2019. From the mozzarella bar, diners can choose from a selection of seven dishes that have the classic Italian ingredient mozzarella as their central ingredient. There are two separate dining areas at Babbo. The first is on the ground floor level, and this is where people usually dine. Upstairs is the Sopra private dining room. This can host up to 36 diners in the daytime and the party can create a three or four-course many of their choice from the Babbo classics. For these parties, wine is available from their award-winning cellar.
Of course, having an enjoyable dining experience is about so much more than the food, and it is the overall experience of enjoying a meal at this restaurant that makes it the best option of all the Italian eateries in New York City. According to New York Magazine, Babbo stood out from anywhere else as soon as it opened in 2998. While the combination of Italian classics and daring ingredients made the food memorable, there were many other elements of this restaurant that made it an exciting place to eat.
The ambiance of the restaurant is something else that stands out. While there is a certain element of formality that you would expect at a fine dining establishment, it also has a relaxed, warm and welcoming ambiance that adds to the dining experience. The wood paneling, muted colors, and dim lighting all add to this atmosphere.
As a one Michelin-star restaurant, Babbo has also received a review from Via Michelin, and it is the vibe of the restaurant that is one of the major points noted by the reviewer. The review states that the restaurant recognizes the changing needs of the modern diner by creating a different vibe depending on the time of day with the use of music. At lunch, diners can expect the gentle sounds of Stan Getz or similar artists, while in the evenings, dinner guests can expect the more excitable sounds of artists such as Tom Petty of Led Zeppelin.
Of course, enjoying a delicious dining experience in a restaurant with a great vibe comes at a cost. You can expect to pay over $100 for a four-course a la carte meal at Babbo. If you opt for one of the tasting menus with wine pairings, you can expect to pay closer to $200 per person. Therefore, it is an Italian restaurant that most people will reserve for a special occasion. Most diners would argue that it is worth stretching your budget a little to appreciate the quality of food on offer at this establishment.
The award-winning wine cellar is the go-to option for many of the diners who want to drink good quality wine with their meal, and the excellent wine selection is something that is noted by many reviewers. However, there is also a fully-stocked bar so that you can choose your favorite tipple for before, during, or after your meal.
If you want to find out for yourself why Babbo is the best Italian restaurant in New York City, then you will find it at Waverley Place. It is closed on Wednesdays and only opens between 5 pm and 10 pm for dinner service on Mondays and Tuesdays. It is open for lunch between 11.30 am and 2 pm from Thursday through to Sunday and then reopens for dinner service at 5 pm. On Thursdays and Sundays, the restaurant is open until 11 pm, and there is a later closing time of 11.30 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Making reservations for this restaurant is essential.