110 Waverly Place, New York NY 10011
Found and old receipt in my drawer, I wanted to write about this long before I started blogging, its one of my favorite culinary experiences of all time. Ironically on the Best of Joan Hamburg Radio Show today (WOR 710AM), Joe Bastianich, who is Lidia’s son and Mario Batali’s business partner and friend was talking about how and when this restaurant started. It was originally The Coach House which was a place for special family occasions. Batali already had Po, and Bastianich had Becco, when they came across this lot for rent late one night, they came up with the idea. So I know I will add to this later, but for now, I just wanted to record my experience as best I can before I forget all together.
This was Mario Batali’s very first restaurant. I waited at least a couple of months for a reservation, and I don’t mind having dinner at 5-6pm, in fact I prefer it because I don’t normally have a big lunch or even any at all sometimes. It was for my 40th birthday and it was a beautiful Spring day. I started off with fresh anchovies in citrus (perhaps orange?) and not anything we know that resemble the salty stuff you get from a can. The Secondi or 2nd course was the Stinging Nettle Pappardelle with Wild Boar Ragu. The boar tasted like a cross between really good beef and veal, a very rich but not gamey taste. The main course I had was Agnello Scottaditto (mini grilled lamb chops) with risotto. It was not that I was disappointed in the dish, but I had gotten so used to making it myself, I loved mine more and I tend to make them just a bit more rare (these were cooked through). I never tell a cook or chef how to cook something in a restaurant like this because they’ve done it at least a hundred or thousand times more than I have, so they should know best. My date had the duck, I liked hers better than mine, we shared. I was given a $100 gift card from a client since it was my birthday, even still, I think the tab came out to around $300 with tip. (Yes, I paid, though it was my birthday, it was my date’s also, and her cousin, who introduced us, gave me the gift card, I felt it was only fair). Great meal.
May 24, 2006 Waiter: Ronald @ 5pm
The Bill Breakdown for 2 people, my notes are in parenthesis, the bill gave no descriptions:
$7 Large Bottled Water (Pellegrino?)
$14 Mozzarella (fresh buffalo?)
$11 Sardines (Fresh, with citrus)
$23 Stinging Nettle Papardelle with Wild Boar Ragu
$29 Lamb Chop (scottadita, 3 baby chops on bed of risotto)
$12 Chocolate Cake
$4.50 Decaf Cappuccino
$16 Torrette Super
$12 Babbo Homemade Nocino