Mario Francesco Batali, also known as Molto Mario, is a celebrity chef that have been visible on national television on numerous of occasions.
You might have seen him on Molto Mario, Mario Eats Italy, Iron Chef, the list goes long and he’s truly an expert of Italian cuisine and its history.
Today he co-owns, often with his partner Joe Bastianich, and operates restaurants in no less than six different cities in US and abroad.
So where to go to eat and dine his delicious well prepared and food? Here’s a list of his, Mr Mario Batali's, establishments in New York City.
Babbo Ristorante & Enoteca
110 Waverly Pl New York, between N Washington Sq & Mac Dougal St
Babbo NYC has been around for almost 20 years now and you might argue, can they still deliver. The answer is as simple as it always has been, Yes! Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich surely knows how to make you feel welcome and over the moon as you sit down and dine at Babbo, one of his flagship restaurants, its feel good factor is on the very top.
While you are here, at an Italian restaurant, you should definitely look more closely on the pasta section when ordering and especially the black spaghetti with seafood or the beef cheek ravioli. Or why not go for the pasta tasting menu, never disappoints. Regulars also recommend the grilled octopus and the Babbo Salumi.
It’s not cheap, but at Babbo NYC it’s most definitely worth it, and if you are not hungry you can always just pop in for a nice and relaxed drink at the bar.
85 10th Ave New York, between 15th St & 16th St
Del Posto is another of Mario Batali’s flagship restaurants on the very high end in NYC. Its said that this is his most refined creation together with Joe Bastianich and its easy to tell when you enter. In 2010 Del Posto received four stars from the NYT, the first to do so in almost 40 years.
Service her is absolutely impeccable and the European luxury atmosphere give it all a very sophisticated touch. But Del Posto is not flawless, when it has its dips you wonder what all the fuzz is about. Luckily this doesn’t happen often and Del Posto surely stands out as one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC
Go for the tasting menu of you can afford it, its worth it. Others have recommended their Butterscotch Semifreddo, the handmade Orecchiette with Lamb Shoulder Sausage and the BB&L Beef Ribeye (a whopping $130 for two).
200 5th Ave, Flatrion near Madison Park
Eataly in NYC is best described with Mario Batali’s own words “A grocery store with tasting rooms” and this is exactly what this place is all about. It’s become increasingly popular with lines sometime extending as far as to Fifth Avenue. Covering a massive 50,000 square feet it offers several of tasty selection from all around Italy and is a must visit for anyone in town. Just make sure that you are hungry and thirsty before entering.
In here you can also find another associated with Mario Batali, La Birreria. Located in an inspiring rooftop setting they offer awesome local brewed ales and high end imported ones. It’s actually more of a restaurant to little surprise than a birreria. Try the pork shoulder if you want to play it safe.
125 E 17th St New York, between 3rd Ave & Irving Pl
Bar Jamon has been a go to spot for late date nights for some years now. With it’s cozy and causal ambience its easy to understand why.
Bar Jamon core focus is simply delicious Spanish wines, and lots of them, accompanied with small tapas making this a great spot for drinks and light snacks. Don’t miss out on their great pan con tomate, one of its best according to regulars.
This is more of a traditional place which is less expensive than the neighbour Casa Mono next door.
170 Thompson St New York, between Houston St & Bleecker St
That Lupa is all about Pasta’s, as in many others of Mario Batali’s restaurants, shouldn’t come as a surprise when looking at the menu. They are all handmade of course and meats are cured in-house. It’s comfy Italian casual feel, with thought of style, makes this a perfect spot for hitting a laid back meal with a glass of “great” Italian wine, any day of the week.
Try the Bucatini All'Amatriciana, the Casarecce with Short Rib Ragu or the fennel gnocchi. Or, just go for the tasting menu (about $65 per head).
As for the wine list, its all Italian and comprehensive to say the least. Ask for advice if you are uncertain.
Finally, you need to try the Tartufo as a dessert, period.
355 W 46th St New York, between 9th Ave & 8th Ave, Theater District, Hell's Kitchen
Given its location Becco will be a crowded place no matter what time you try to get a table, and yes, it’s a lot of tourists. If you don’t mind this and feel like having hassle free pastas, then just head here. You will enter hungry, hopefully, and leave with a bigger belly, as Becco serves “unlimited” pasta portions ($24 per head).
Go for the pasta special if you want to play safe.
52 Irving Pl New York, between 18th St & 17th St, Union Square, Gramercy, Flatiron
Mario Batali’s Casa Mono is sort of a timeless NYC classic that has been around for some time now but never lost its appeal in any way. It’s all about Spanish food here and it’s going to be difficult to find better than this around this town.
Casa Mono is a place where ordering is made easy, because you can choose what ever you want on the menu still feeling comfortable that you made the right decision. This is were you can take your taste buds on an adventure, at the same time as your first date.
Try the Pan Con Tomato as a first order. You can then go for the Ensalada Mono with Manchego and Pimentón Spiced Marcona Almonds as well as the Razor Clams, Skirt Steak and the Foi Gras.
402 W 43rd St New York, between 10th Ave & 9th Ave, Hell's Kitchen, Midtown West
Similar to Lupa, ESCA just continues to remain at the top of NYC elite restaurants. Its difficult to get a table here since its always jam packed, as many of Mario Batali’s other restaurants.
ESCA is a place for fish lovers as its variations are creative and delicious at the same time. Go for the Crudo, as this is how you start your meal here, then just experiment your way forward. The Seppia, Vongole Forno and Bucatini are great.
243 E 58th St New York, between 2nd Ave & 3rd Ave, Midtown East
To summarize Lidia Bastianich (Joe's and Mario Batali’s), Felidia, you can say simple, delicious and flawlessly executed food. Lidia herself still considers this place as the flagship or crown jewel of her restaurants. Felidia is all about consistency and her chef, Fortunato Nicotra, makes sure it delivers time after time.
As the menu, inspired by different Italian regions, has a tendency to change more often here than other places, you will always be inclined to go back again to try something new.
Look for the black and white spaghetti with oven-dried tomato, Yellowfin Tuna and sweet shrimp & calamari.
OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria
One Fifth Ave at 8th St, New York, Greenwich Village
Otto Pizzeria is a popular place to go to for a relaxed meal and take out. Its not one of the normal high-end Mario Batali spots we are used to but more about fresh Italian olive oil inspired food and thin crust Italian pizzas.
You can hang at the bar while enjoying a Pizza with clams and have a chat with the bartenders. Sit down with friends or family and order a cheese plate, which is delicious by the way, and let the hours fly away in a warm type of atmosphere.