Earlier this year The Reader's Mike Sula tackled the entirety of Eataly, and now he has returned for its fine-dining restaurant, Baffo. Sula dubs the restaurant Babbo Lite, concluding that many dishes are "imported directly" from Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's flagship restaurant in Manhattan, while others "look awfully familiar." Sula does point out that he has not eaten at Babbo, however.
Though he eventually finds dishes that measure up to the prices, his meal begins badly with "two very weird antipasti" and an expensive ravioli dish on the primi menu he likens to "cat food" and calls "one of the most repugnant things I've eaten in recent memory." Things perks up with a few of the other pasta courses, and even better with separate entrees of lamb chops and branzino.
Sula also gets in a dig about the settled lawsuit against Batali and his partners over improperly withheld tips, and calls a server consulting a notebook instead of the sommelier he said he would, "needlessly duplicitous." Overall, he deems the prices at Baffo are "far too high to justify the ostentatious high jinks."
· Baffo tries to bring a bit of Mario Batali's Babbo to the midwest [Reader]
· All Baffo and Eataly Coverage [~ECHI~]