Babbo on Top (Thank God Mario’s Not On Top Of Me!)

A few weeks ago, Mario Batali’s ridiculously famous and popular New York City restaurant, Babbo, was named the #1 Italian restaurant in the whole city. Whoa… that’s pretty much an honor considering the amount of Italian restaurants here. I believe there are more Italian restaurants in the 5 boroughs than any other type of cuisine. Now that Mario is pretty much done w/ the stupid-ass Fool Food Network, he’ll have more time to bask in his celebrity and roll around naked in his pool of dollars ala Demi Moore in that shitty movie (anyone else just get a horrible visual of this and laugh??). And, I have to say, he friggin’ deserves it.

My question to you, dear readers, is what do you think about Babbo being named #1? I have eaten there once and I still remember the meal I had – amazing Ostrich ravioli. You know you’ve hit a great place when, years later, you still remember your food. Have you had a memorable meal at Babbo or anywhere – if so, where was it and what was it?

I’ll leave you with a quote by the lovely Italian Stalion fire-crotch that he gave months ago when word was out about him leaving/being asked to leave the Fool Network (his wit and frankness bring a smile to my face ever time I read this):

“They don’t need me. They have decided they are mass market and they are going after the Wal-Mart crowd, [this was…] a smart business decision. So they don’t need someone who uses polysyllabic words from other languages.” -Mario Batali

So, again, what are some of your most memorable meals?

6 thoughts on “Babbo on Top (Thank God Mario’s Not On Top Of Me!)

  1. I respect Mario’s knowledge of food so much that I think he could pull off Greek food better than a Greek! His food acumen is that sharp.

    On the flipside of the Batali cheerleading squad, a buddy of mine just returned from Vegas and he ate at Mario’s and sadly, it was big plate – small entree kinda food (although tasty).

    Most memorable meal? In Greece…my 1st lamb on the spit, beer icy cold from being dunked in a nearby river and watermelon cracking from the cold river. Priceless.

  2. this really deserves its own blog post and in fact, I’ve been sitting on the notes for almost a year. However, my most memorable meal was at Tapioles 53 in Barcelona last year. It was our delayed honeymoon, and we’d just arrived a few hours earlier, napped, and had set out on foot for our dinner reservations. After stopping and munching on a few tapas on the way, we sat down at Tapioles 53 for the most amazing meal I have ever had. While there were many dishes that made it wonderful, what stood out for me was the pasta we had.

    We visited Barcelona at the height of wild mushroom season, and the pasta we had was locally made pasta with a mushroom ragout made largely from “trumpet of death” mushrooms. It was about as close to a religious experience as I’ve ever come. I don’t know that I’ve ever eaten so slowly, savoring every bite, not wanting the experience to end – even though what was coming was likely to be as good if not better.

    And, more about the meal on my blog someday. In the meantime, it was definitely my most memorable meal. I’ve eaten at a few of Mario’s places in NYC, and they’re great, but they didn’t even come close to my memory of Tapioles 53.

    2nd place goes to the all you can eat vegetarian thali we had at a tiny little place in Jaipur in India, but that is definitely a story for another time.

  3. i had a great meal at babbo, it was lunch but still great. the pisarustica was the best ever. BUT my most memorable and best Italian meal ever was at palo. they have a bread cart!!!!!!! i had the potato encrusted dover sole/ lamb chop combo so good!!!

  4. Beast was the best meal I’ve ever had. Three words: foie gras bon-bons.

    I respect Batali even more than I already did (which was plenty) after reading this. Thanks!

  5. Having JUST finished reading “Heat” a considerable period of time after it was written, I am still scarred by the description of the author arriving to talk to Batali, who had overslept and was still recovering from a drunk. Naked, fat, hair askew and not tied into a ponytail, looking like a red haired version of Ron Jeremy. I need to go lay down.

    I like to think I have not had my most memorable meal, yet (insofar as quality or decadance). It’s still coming. Until then, I just remember being in a box seat at the Hollywood Bowl with my new boyfriend, my first visit to LA, my first visit to the Bowl, my first experience with thick sandwiches from Jerry’s Deli, hand cut chips, strawberries, cheese, and a bottle of cold champagne. The weather was beautiful, the concert was delightful, and I knew afterward we’d go back to our suite, which we’d just checked into that day, and make love to one another for the first time (we’d been together nearly a year and always said we’d wait until we were in a suite in a nice hotel, so the knowledge it was coming made me like a nervous virgin all over again). It was a heady experience. There is something to be said for the slow approach. We are still together 7 years later, and I still think of that night constantly.

  6. Wow, Kate! I feel like I know you… well! YES, I totally was affected by that part of HEAT… nasty!! Mario is so not sexy, but that mental picture of a big, fat, red, bad-breathed Batali is enough to make me boycott his restaurants!! Thanks for sharing your sweet luv story!! I re-read it three times and realized how cute it really is. HOLLA! that you guys are still together! Love it!!

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