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Babbo - terrible experience!

That sounds really great! The way it ought to be.

The wait staff works the entire upstairs or downstairs rooms, not just individual tables, so I'm wondering if on Sundays, or other off days, all supervision is out the window? Probably why the general manager was upset, but not surprised.

I'm really glad you had a good time.

BTW, anyone have any good recommendations for sweatbreads? I've had them at Prune (not recently), and thought they were wonderful there.

Jul 03, 2007
peckslip in Manhattan

Babbo - terrible experience!

With respect to JeremyEG and MrNubbins, my issue was with the service, not the food (tho that was mentioned - perhaps the service tainted our entire experience?). When I spoke to the manager, I said not one word about the food, as that is subjective (to a point); the issue was with protocal, rudeness, sloppiness, and no oversite (the manager having to come over on his own to fill our wine glasses because the wait staff is absent??) - diners can forgive an evening of food being off, but managers can never forgive a poorly run establishment; he even said that it was unacceptable, and this wasnt the first time that he's heard this.

I go out to eat to enjoy myself, to try something new - I am certainly not above any restaurant, and no restaurant is above me, and have no desire to trade off terrible service for good food - if anyone wants to pay to be treated like dirt, be my guest.

And yes, I've heard good things about Otto, and yes I have had good experiences at Babbo in the past. But this was beyond the pale.

Jul 03, 2007
peckslip in Manhattan

Babbo - terrible experience!

I like Perbacco in the east village, but more for their pastas and starters; not crazy about their entrees. I've also had real good experiences at the Italian restaurant at the corner of White and Church - forget the name, but it's in the location of the old Baby Doll Lounge.

Jul 02, 2007
peckslip in Manhattan

Babbo - terrible experience!

I guess I've been lucky at Les Halles - but I've also gotten to know people there so maybe that smooths things.

This morning I spoke to the manager at Babbo, and he was very concerned took my complaints very very seriously - i relayed only my feelings about the (lack of) service, and not about food. He did want to know whether this tainted any possibility about my returning, and I said that it did.

Jul 02, 2007
peckslip in Manhattan

Babbo - terrible experience!

I don't mind it if the celeb cooks aren't there, as long as the staff is well-trained, with oversight - something sorely lacking at Babbo; they're just coasting. Perhaps an easy example of a well-trained staff/kitchen is Les Halles? I've always found that restaurant reliable, personable and consistent.

Some years back I went to Daniel, and when a waiter brought out a dish before we had finished with the plates we had, someone in charge ran over (chef? maitre d?), told the waiter in no strong terms to go back to kitchen and wait until we're done, and apologized to us - that's just common sense and manners, and showed they cared about quality and our experience there.

Jul 02, 2007
peckslip in Manhattan

Babbo - terrible experience!

I hadn't been back to Babbo in a while, but have had great experiences there, and have been dreaming about the ravioli so thought I'd give it another try - it was one of the worst experiences I've ever had!

Food and service was poor all around, and dining on a Sunday should not be an excuse for a second rate meal, and third rate service.

Upon arriving, we were treated wonderfully, and felt right at home; but that was short lived. Our waiter was technically good (with ingredients, explanations etc), but brusque - I kept on thinking of used car salesmen.

We asked to speak to a sommelier, as the extensive wine list was a lot to contemplate, and we needed some help navigating it - anyway, that's the sommelier's job. We also ordered at that time (asparagus, sardines, goose liver ravioli, king salmon, sweetbreads). The first course was brought out BEFORE the sommelier even showed!

Sorry, but I think that's so unprofessional and sloppy! We complained and the waiter came over and said, "I guess he's too busy, or forgot," and then corrected my pronunciation of "sommelier!" We were shocked at the rudeness, and sloppiness. The waiter did find us a nice bottle (as i said, technically he was knowledgeable, but of course, our food had already arrived), and service was non-existent after that: water glasses were left empty, wine wasn't poured, plates weren't cleared, and the waiter made one cursory stop to ask how things were, but did not stick around for an answer - perhaps he saw our half-eaten plates, and decided it was better not to have an answer.

Perhaps we should have spoken to the manager immediately, but waited until we exited and then had a short discussion with him.

Regarding the food: the ravioli was underdone, the sweetbreads were lifeless and runny, the salmon was average.

Jul 02, 2007
peckslip in Manhattan