Douglas David Seifert is in town for the Explorer's Club annual dinner. In the last couple of years, I've been all over the place with Douglas: San Diego, San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas, Kona, Antibes, and now, New York, and my strongest memories of Douglas involve guinea pigs and shark hunting (for photographs, of course) in clear Kona waters with Watt. Anyway, he managed to pull some strings to get us a reservation at Babbo, probably the most sought after booking in New York City -- and for good reason, too. The food was AMAZING. That Mario Batali guy sure knows what he is doing. All of the flavers [sic] were strong and pure, each deserving of a dedicated sampling, alone. We ate a large appetizer sampler including fresh sardines, egg and asparagus, pork shoulder, salami, sausage, and lardo with fig sauce (yes, it is what it sounds like. i also liked the red wine mustard sauce and the pesto salsa), and beef cheek ravioli, sweetbreads, bucatini, lamb chops, and MORE. I haven't been eating as much meat since the Vienna Teng-induced turkey cheeseburger fiasco, but I had to make an exception last night. And may God have mercy on the vegetarian who mistakenly orders sweetbread, which is actually the thalamus of some unknown animal (cow, it turns out. BSE horrors are going through my mind at this very moment...) [thanks for the correction, Kenny]. I know I should be avoiding cow in general -- especially sesos -- but I had to try it. They taste sort of like really good Chicken McNuggets.
I also had far too much to drink. First was a green apple juice mixed with some sort of sweet wine, followed by a glass of nice white wine, a bottle of rare, crazy-strong, port-like red wine (Douglas tells me that it was a bottle of Amarone-style Cabernet Franc: Quintarelli Alzero Cabernet 'Ca Paletta'), and finally, Fernet Minta, a minty, syrupy after-dinner drink. Both of us stuffed ourselves so fat that we were unable to have dessert (probably for the best, as I was feeling pretty sick and drunk when I stumbled home at 12:45am, after over four hours at the dinner table). Thank you, Douglas. :)
Unrelated: there are a few photos here of the casting call for the Apprentice 2. I walked out of the subway yesterday and had to fight my way through a huge crowd of people and security lined up all the way down Wall St. [see some photos]