Just a few minutes ago, Mario Batali's three-star gem Babbo opened its doors for lunch for the very first time, and Eater is on the scene. Here's an up-to-the-minute account of the inaugural lunch:
[Krieger]12:00: Greeting from the host: "Good evening madam. Oh...I mean good afternoon. This is our first lunch."
12:02: Handshake from the GM. Always a nice touch.
12:03: Pre-lunch recon revealed the things to order include: the orecchiette with stinging nettles, the beef cheek ravioli (a classic that has been retooled slightly), and the brand new turkey porchetta.
12:05: Music starts flowing from the speakers. A burst of opera followed by some John Coltrane.
12:07: Lunch is only downstairs. Where are all the people?
12:10: Ordered: favas, cockles, beef cheeks, turkey.
12:15: Here's an Instagrammed pic of what the exterior looked like upon entry:
12:20: Two more people just showed up, young couple.
12:23: Ratio of servers to customers: 10 to 1.
12:25: Okay, the favas with mint have arrived:
12:28: Reservation booth really blowing up. At least one person constantly on the phone. Everyone else is milling around bored. Seriously people, get down here.
12:30: That fava dish was perfect. Ramps with cockles might be next...
12:31: Yes: confirmed. Ramps with cockles have been deployed:
12:35: There's another couple here. Older lady, younger man.
12:36: Music update: still Coltrane. This is mellow Babbo.
12:40: And here's the turkey porchetta:
12:42: So, the turkey porchetta includes turkey, fennel, and a pile of whole anchovies. Curious combo.
12:45: A server notes that the kitchen will be tweaking the menu for the next month. It's a work in progress.
12:49: How is the turkey porchetta different from regular porchetta? 1) It's made of turkey. 2) It has 1,000 percent more anchovies.
12:54: Still a mellow scene in the Babbo dining room. No Molto Mario, but that could change at any second.
12:58: Here are the almond cookies that finish the meal if you don't get dessert:
12:59: Still a lotta smooth jazz going on. Eight customers in the dining room now, including two people who are wearing shorts.
1:00: On the way out, host said, "Thanks again, and I hope you have a great night."
1:05: Eater has left the building. But here's a look at one of the pasta dishes on the lunch menu:
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