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Mario Batali Bringing Babbo Pizzeria to Boston

Mario Batali Bringing Babbo Pizzeria to Boston


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He'll be focusing on Batali-style pizza, pasta, antipasto, and gelato

Italian restaurant giants Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich are reportedly heading over to Boston, Grub Street reports.

Word is that Batali will be opening a Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca in Fort Point, with B&B Hospitality Group signing a lease on a space at 320 Summer Street, with an entrance on A Street.

Unlike the New York flagship, however, Boston's Babbo will forgo the focus on beef cheek ravioli and instead serve up brick-oven pizza, as well as pasta, antipasto, and gelato, Grub Street reports.

In the meantime, Chicago is still breathlessly waiting for its own Eataly, while Vegas is wondering what else Batali will do in their hood. Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca will be B&B Hospitality's first Boston restaurant, although it won't technically be Batali and Bastianich's first in New England (Westport, Connecticut's Tarry Lodge gets that distinction).

Batali and Bastianich already have 11 restaurants in New York, as well as holdings in California, Connecticut, Las Vegas, and Asia.


Mario Batali Bringing Babbo Pizzeria to Boston - Recipes

Ever since my first trip to Osteria Mozza (and meeting Mario Batali on a subsequent trip to Pizzeria Mozza with my Top Chef Brother), I've been in love with his regional approach to Italian cuisine. In most cities, the streets are littered with Italian restaurants, most of which server what I consider to be Americanized Italian food (c'mon, we've all eaten it!). While it can be tasty, it doesn't get my heart all pitter-paterring in food excitement. Osteria Mozza did - and The Babbo Cookbook by Mario Batali likewise has been a goldmine of cooking inspiration.

I've been steadily working my way through it, whipping up fresh pastas, and now tackling several of the seafood dishes, including Sauteed Skate And Rock Shrimp In A Saffron Clam Cironette and Halibut with Carciofini Al Mattone And Tomato Anchovy Vinaigrette, but my favorite seafood dish so far has to be Swordfish Involtini Alla Siciliana. To prepare this dish, you must first make a basic tomato sauce, and then it's laden with olives, capers, red pepper flakes, pine nuts, currants and white wine. Into the braising pan the sauce goes, followed by Swordfish fillets topped with a yummy herb/bread crumb mixture. The whole thing gets baked together, and then served with the sauce ladled on top of the fish.

Holy cow! This sauce is something to write home about! The combination of briny capers and olives, spicy chili flakes, sweet currants and rich pine nuts sets off a chain reaction of flavor that will have you licking your bowl. The Swordfish with the bread crumbs is also fabulously moist and meaty, and goes amazing with the sauce. I've since made this dish several times, and it's quickly becoming one of my favorite household staples.

Swordfish Involtini Alla Siciliana (Adapted From The Babbo Cookbook)
Serves 4 people
Cooking time: about 1 hour (including making basic tomato sauce)

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups basic tomato sauce (see below)
4 swordfish fillets (totaling about 1 1/2 pounds)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Gaeta olives
1/4 cup salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup currants
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
salt & pepper

basic tomato sauce (makes 4 cups)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
2 28 ounce cans peeled whole tomatoes
salt

Directions
To make the basic tomato sauce, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened (8-10 minutes). Add the thyme and carrot and cook for 5 minutes, until carrot is very soft. Crush the tomatoes with your hands (I love this part!) and add them and their juices. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt. This sauce keeps for 1 week in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer.

To make the swordfish, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In an oven-proof skillet or braising pan, combine 1 1/2 cups of the basic tomato sauce with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the olives, the capers, the red pepper flakes, the pines nuts, the currants and the wine. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Rinse the fish and pat dry. Season each piece with salt and pepper. Place each piece of fish in the oven-proof skillet and top with a heaping spoonful of the breadcrumb mixture. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until each piece is cooked through.

To plate, place a piece of fish on a plate and spoons the sauce over it. Enjoy!

Source For Ingredients
wild-caught swordfish, organic onion, organic garlic, organic carrot, organic thyme, organic flat-leaf parsley and local Mission olive oil from The Hollywood Farmers Market

organic whole-peeled tomatoes, olives, capers, red pepper flakes, pine nuts, currants and Ezekiel bread (for making bread crumbs) from Whole Foods

Cookbook
The Babbo Cookbook by Mario Batali

This is hands down, my favorite recent cookbook purchase. Inspired by a trip to Osteria Mozza and at the urging of my Top Chef Brother, I purchased it along with my pasta attachments for my stand mixer. Since then, I've been cooking up a storm and loving ever minute of it! This is exciting food bursting with flavor and made accessible to the home cook. I gave it to my mother, The Original Diva, for Chrismtas, and she loves it, too. I may not be able to afford to eat at Osteria Mozza every day - but now I can bring the Osteria to my house.


Mario Batali's Babbo Bursts into Boston's Seaport Dining Scene

Babbo Pizzeria's opening has been the source of chatter for months. Bringing Chef Mario Batali and his big name to Boston's biggest dining destination has had in-the-know locals anticipating the arrival of Babbo just as eagerly as they awaited the start of spring in 2015. With the final melting of snow came the opening of Batali's first Boston venture: Babbo.

At Babbo's grand opening celebration, it was a pleasant surprise to see that Batali himself played host. Greeting guests with a never ending platter of salumi in hand, Batali made the rounds, introducing himself to everyone and thanking them for coming.

Batali ensured that every guest received a bit of his Italian hospitality and time. If it were exhausting, casually dressed Batali – complete with his signature orange crocs – never let on.

Babbo's pizza &mdash Photo courtesy of Babbo

A genuine smile on his face, Batali gave a short speech thanking guests for joining him in celebrating the opening of Babbo, Boston. Clear to include his desire to share a spot among the fine chefs who already have a foothold in Boston's dining scene, Batali toasted his guests and first venture in a new city with all the charm of your best friend.

The pride in his work shines through, as Batali talks of this visit being his first to the space. When asked how he could be so trusting, Batali shares that he has a great team he can trust who ensures every restaurant is perfect. Pointing out the rivet details above, Batali tells guests that these are the mark of his trusted designer.

Although the space is lovely, it's the food that will have you heading back for more.

Endless tastes of wine, along with a sampling of the menu, were passed and set out for guests' enjoyment, while they mingled. Big names in the restaurant business, friends of Batali, made time to celebrate – Michael Schlow and Jasper White among them.

Chatter of the food became the focus of conversations among new friends that night, and the buzz around Babbo Boston continues to grow with each day they're open.

Return visits call for more of what was served on opening night, including the slices of airy, crisp pizza dough with just enough chew to give that authentic Neapolitan taste, then topped with goat cheese, red onion, truffle honey and pistachio. They flew off plates at the grand opening.

But guests on return visits were equally as enamored with the sweet, creamy topping as they were on night one.

The same holds true for the side dish of peas, mint and prosciutto – a simple combination of classic flavors with spectacular results. It's sweet, tangy and salty, with just the right amount of each ingredient to make you want to turn this into a meal, or place an order to go to serve at home.

An enoteca and pizzeria, Babbo plans to make a big splash in its waterfront Seaport neighborhood, and it will.


Confirmed: Mario Batali's Babbo Pizzeria and Enoteca Will Not Be Coming to Boston's Fort Point

Last fall we reported that New York-based celebrity chef, restaurateur, writer, and TV personality Mario Batali was planning to open Babbo Pizzeria and Enoteca on Summer Street in the Fort Point section of Boston. Earlier today, however, the opening of the eatery appeared to be in question after Batali posted a note on his Twitter page saying that things were "not looking good right now," and now we have confirmed that the plans have indeed fallen through.

According to a post on the chef's Tumblr page, Babbo "will not come to fruition," though Boston may apparently still in Batali's sights, as his restaurant group "will continue to look for the perfect location to serve the exciting and vibrant Boston community." For now, though, there will be no Babbo--or any other dining spot from Batali--in the area for the foreseeable future.

[August 28 update: The Boston Globe is reporting that Babbo in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood may have fallen through because of Mario Batali and the landlord (Lincoln Property) not being able to agree on a lease. The disagreement was apparently due to Batali's plan to have a wood-burning oven in the restaurant, with a "potentially costly system" that would be required to vent the smoke from it. (The article says that Lincoln Property did not wish to comment on the issue and Batali was unable to be reached.]

[September 12 update: A quick followup to this--a new article in The Boston Globe mentions that the landlord is now looking for another tenant to open a restaurant in the space where Mario Batali's dining spot had planned to be.]


Mario Batali Might Be Opening Babbo Pizzeria in Boston

A New York-based celebrity chef, restaurateur, writer, and TV personality is hoping to open a restaurant in Boston.

According to a post on his Twitter page, Mario Batali is planning to open Babbo Pizzeria somewhere in the city, with Eater Boston mentioning that the eatery could be opening in the Fort Point neighborhood or the Seaport District. Batali runs an award-winning place in New York called Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca along with OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria in New York and Las Vegas and Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, CA, and Singapore, so it is possible that the new restaurant could have components of all three places--or it could be an entirely new spot (stay tuned for updates).

[November 27 update: The Boston Herald is reporting that Batali's new restaurant will be located at 320 Summer Street in the Fort Point area, which ties into the following article that we posted in March: A New Restaurant May Be On Its Way to Summer Street in the Fort Point Area . The Herald also mentions that this will actually be a third location of the aforementioned OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria, though it is possible that it may be called Babbo Pizzeria in order to avoid conflict and/or confusion with Otto Pizza, a Portland-based eatery that has locations in Cambridge and Brookline. The pizza restaurant is actually not a done deal, as no agreement has been signed yet for the 6,500-square-foot space, according to the article.]

[April 5, 2013 update: The Boston Globe confirms that Mario Batali's upcoming restaurant is definitely going to be happening, and that it will be called Babbo Pizzeria and Enoteca. The article also says that the restaurant could be opening in the middle of the fall. (Thanks to the Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog for bringing this to our attention.)]

[August 26, 2013 update: Eater Boston mentions that a Twitter post from Mario Batali says an opening for Babbo Pizzeria and Enoteca in Fort Point is "not looking good right now." (Batali then goes on to say "[I'll] keep you posted.") As soon as we hear more about what might be going on with Babbo, we will post another update here.]


Mario Batali to Open Babbo Pizzeria in Boston

Chef Mario Batali is officially opening a restaurant in Boston after first announcing his intentions in 2012. The restaurant's name has gone through many iterations: In 2012 it was going under the name Babbopizzeria and in 2013 it was dubbed Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca. According to the Boston Globe, the restaurant will be called Babbo Pizzeria and as previously hinted, it will serve wood-fired pizzas and pastas. It will be located on the ground floor of Eleven Fan Pier Boulevard, a new high rise building in Boston's Innovation District.

The restaurant won't be as formal as his well known Babbo Ristorante in New York City. The 8,700 square foot restaurant will, however, feature three bars, each one dedicated to either cocktails, pizza, or antipasti. There will also be private dining space and an "expansive" patio. Batali describes what he is aiming for the restaurant to feel like in an email to the Globe: "We're embracing the openness and brightness of the space but paying careful attention to construct beautiful, distinct, and comfortable zones within the light-filled room."

The delay on the Boston restaurant makes sense considering all that Batali has on his plate. He recently teamed up with Oglivy & Mather to form a new production company that "will create food and lifestyle programming aimed at millennials," there's also his new Hulu show called The High Road, and his column for New York Times Magazine. On top of that, Batali announced earlier this year that he has plans to open more New York City locations of his Italian megastore Eataly, as well as plans to expand to Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and LA. Construction on Babbo Pizzeria is expected to being in the next few weeks and the restaurant is slated to open "by the end of the year."


Talented locals run the show at star chefs’ Boston eateries

Chef Mario LaPosta with a pizza at Babbo Pizzeria Enoteca.

BALANCING ACT: Executive chef Ben Steigers of Pabu Boston creates a sushi offering.

Chef Ben Steigers of Pabu poses with "Michae's Negi Toro" sushi.

(10/19/2017- Boston, MA) Chef Ben Steigers poses in the bar area of Pabu in Millennium Tower on Thursday, October 19, 2017. Staff Photo by Matt West

(10/19/2017- Boston, MA) Chef Ben Steigers of Pabu. Thursday, October 19, 2017. Staff Photo by Matt West

(10/19/2017- Boston, MA) Chef Ben Steigers of Pabu. Thursday, October 19, 2017. Staff Photo by Matt West

(Boston, Ma 102017) Chef Mario LaPosta tosses pizza dough at Babbo Pizzeria Enoteca. Staff photo by Chris Christo

(Boston, Ma 102017) Chef Mario LaPosta prepares a pizza at Babbo Pizzeria Enoteca. Staff photo by Chris Christo

(Boston, Ma 102017) Chef Mario LaPosta with a pizza at Babbo Pizzeria Enoteca. Staff photo by Chris Christo

CREATIVE: Pabu Boston’s Ben Steigers is able to write his own menus.

When it opened in December, Boston&rsquos Eataly became the fourth U.S. location of Mario Batali&rsquos brand of massive, multi-floor Italian dining emporiums.

So when chef Dan Bazzinotti interviewed for a role at Terra, one of several full-service restaurants inside the 45,000-square-foot space, he wanted to make sure his hometown wasn&rsquot being served stale leftovers. &ldquoI think the first question I asked was, &lsquoAre you making an Eataly Boston or are you trying to just bring the Eataly New York store to Boston?&rsquo&rdquo Bazzinotti said.

Like most toques in this town, the Lawrence-raised chef&rsquos local pride runs deep. Ours is not a city that immediately fawns over imported, industry-hyped new restaurants that think they can coast on the marquee name of a non-native.

But after the opening-day ribbons are cut and the TV-fueled star owners jet-set to their next public appearance, these headliner-affiliated kitchens are actually helmed by local ambassadors who enjoy most of the same creative freedoms as chefs in independent restaurants, and get to put their own passion-fueled stamp on the cuisine. That may disappoint Food Network nerds who want to eat straight from the hands of a star like, say, Batali, but it ought to hearten those of us who want Boston to elicit unique flavor, even from national brand names.

&ldquoThe cool thing about Eataly is, it&rsquos not a corporate kind of place. I wouldn&rsquot do well somewhere like that,&rdquo said a laughing Bazzinotti, who moved to the multi-component marketplace and food hall from BISq, a Cambridge restaurant that chef Keith Pooler, his nine-year mentor at parent spot Bergamot, developed largely around the talents of his protege.

Bazzinotti says he got Pooler&rsquos blessing to take the chef de cuisine role at Terra, where the rustic cuisine, which revolves around an impressive wood-burning grill, offers him creative expression backed by Batali-level resources, such as the ability to source ingredients from the world&rsquos best purveyors.

Bazzinotti says any initial concerns over the Back Bay spot&rsquos local-minded personality were allayed by factors such as its commitment to New England farms and the integration of Boston-bred talent &mdash including our own nationally lauded restaurateur Barbara Lynch, who is behind Il Pesce, a seafood-oriented restaurant inside Eataly.

Batali dictates a few Terra recipes, such as a famed calamari stew. Otherwise, Bazzinotti says he gets to write on a blank slate.

It&rsquos all a balancing act between respecting the larger brand and bringing cities&rsquo individualized culinary personalities, say chefs in similar positions &mdash such as Michael Denk, chef de cuisine at Bar Boulud, the Back Bay sibling to London and NYC restaurants from namesake Daniel Boulud, an acclaimed international chef with additional projects from Palm Beach to Singapore.

&ldquoI write every menu, but nothing goes out without him (Boulud) knowing about it,&rdquo Denk said. And though personalization is paramount, many of these chefs entrusted to local outposts learned their craft as disciples of the national name, anyway. &ldquoMy basic training was with Daniel,&rdquo said Denk, who spent the last six years in Boulud&rsquos restaurants. &ldquoThey probably looked at me and said, &lsquoThis is a kid we can mold.&rsquo&rdquo

Similarly, Mario LaPosta, executive chef at Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca, another Batali enterprise in Boston&rsquos Seaport, has spent a decade working for the star. LaPosta learned Neapolitan pie-making in Italy and built the renowned pizza programs at Batali&rsquos Tarry Lodge restaurants, but still says that Batali&rsquos ethos and expertise &ldquotrickles down&rdquo to every person in the kitchen without feeling oppressive.

&ldquoHe really gives the chefs room to do what they want,&rdquo LaPosta said. &ldquoHe puts people in the position to run his restaurant, and then he&rsquos a total believer that they&rsquoll carry on the Batali name by giving them autonomy to cook the food they love.&rdquo

Sure, sometimes it&rsquod be nice if local diners appreciated that those standout pizzas were actually crafted by &ldquothe other Mario,&rdquo LaPosta said. But like most chefs in his position, he takes the supporting-act situation in stride.

&ldquoI think there can be a small element of frustration,&rdquo said Ben Steigers, executive chef at Pabu Boston in Millennium Tower, a chic Downtown Crossing spinoff of a San Francisco-founded izakaya from bigwig chef-restaurateurs Michael Mina and Ken Tominaga. They visit at least quarterly to review, collaborate and evaluate, Steigers said, but otherwise &ldquooffer autonomy to write my own menus and run the kind of food I want to run.&rdquo

Every chef appreciates accolades &mdash and he certainly deserves it for what he brings to the polished, impressive Pabu. But he doesn&rsquot dwell on where diners assign credit to the dishes.

&ldquoAt the end of the day, that&rsquos just how kitchens work,&rdquo he said. &ldquoIn my kitchen, a sous chef might come up with a great new idea we put on the menu, and then I get credit for it. The cooks are preparing the food that hits a table, and then people tell me that it&rsquos amazing.&rdquo

Ultimately, he says, all restaurants, from those with national ties to independent local joints, rely on funneling the top chef&rsquos expertise down the kitchen line.


Chef Mario Batali pleads not guilty to assault charge

BOSTON (AP) — Celebrity chef Mario Batali, whose career crumbled amid several sexual misconduct accusations, pleaded not guilty Friday to a charge that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman at a Boston restaurant in 2017.

Batali, 58, wearing his signature red ponytail and a blazer, did not speak during the brief hearing but nodded as the judge ordered him to stay away from the woman.

The court entered a not guilty plea on Batali’s behalf to a charge of indecent assault and battery.

Batali was released on his own recognizance. He will not have to appear at the next hearing, scheduled for July 12.

It’s the first criminal charge levied against Batali following sexual harassment and assault allegations that first surfaced in 2017.

The woman says Batali noticed her taking a photo of him at the restaurant and invited her to take a selfie with him. She says Batali then groped and kissed her repeatedly without her consent.

The woman filed a civil lawsuit against Batali in August, seeking unspecified damages for “severe emotional distress.”

Batali did not comment as he walked through a slew of reporters to leave the courthouse Friday. His lawyer said earlier this week that the charge is “without merit.”

“He intends to fight the allegations vigorously and we expect the outcome to fully vindicate Mr. Batali,” attorney Anthony Fuller said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

The woman’s attorneys applauded the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office for bringing the case.

“Mr. Batali must be held accountable criminally and civilly for his despicable acts,” lawyers Eric Baum and Matthew Fogelman said in an email to media.

Batali could face up to 2½ years in jail, if convicted. He would also have to register as a sex offender.

Batali’s food empire included such high-end eateries as Babbo in Del Posto in New York City as well as restaurants in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Singapore. He became a household name through appearances on Food Network shows such as “Iron Chef America.”

He stepped down from operations of his restaurants and was kicked off the ABC show “The Chew” in 2017 after four women accused him of inappropriate touching.

Batali said at the time about those allegations that “much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted.”

He also came under fire for sending a newsletter to subscribers that included both an apology for “many mistakes” and a recipe for a “holiday-inspired breakfast.”

Batali announced in March that his longtime partner, Joe Bastianich, and others had bought out his share in his restaurants.

The New York Police Department said last year that it was investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against the chef after a woman told 󈬬 Minutes” that Batali drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2005. Batali denied assaulting the woman.


Chef Mario Batali Pleads Not Guilty To Boston Assault Charge

Celebrity chef Mario Batali, whose career crumbled amid several sexual misconduct accusations, pleaded not guilty Friday to a charge that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman at a Boston restaurant in 2017.

Batali, 58, wearing his signature red ponytail and a blazer, did not speak during the brief hearing but nodded as the judge ordered him to stay away from the woman.

The court entered a not guilty plea on his behalf to a charge of indecent assault and battery.

Batali was released on his own recognizance. He will not have to appear at the next hearing, scheduled for July 12.

It's the first criminal charge levied against Batali following sexual harassment and assault allegations that first surfaced in 2017.

The woman says Batali noticed her taking a photo of him at the restaurant and invited her to take a selfie with him. She says Batali then groped and kissed her repeatedly without her consent. The woman filed a civil lawsuit against Batali in August, seeking unspecified damages for "severe emotional distress."

Batali did not comment as he walked through a slew of reporters to leave the courthouse Friday. His lawyer said earlier this week that the charge is "without merit."

"He intends to fight the allegations vigorously and we expect the outcome to fully vindicate Mr. Batali," attorney Anthony Fuller said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

The woman's attorneys applauded the Suffolk district attorney's office for bringing the case.

"Mr. Batali must be held accountable criminally and civilly for his despicable acts," lawyers Eric Baum and Matthew Fogelman said in an email to media.

Batali could face up to 2.5 years in jail, if convicted. He would also have to register as a sex offender.

Batali's food empire included such high-end eateries as Babbo in Del Posto in New York City as well as restaurants in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Singapore. He became a household name through appearances Food Network such as "Iron Chef America."

He stepped down from operations of his restaurants and was kicked off the ABC show "The Chew" in 2017 after four women accused him of inappropriate touching.

Batali said at the time about those allegations that "much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted."

He also came under fire for sending a newsletter to subscribers that included both an apology for "many mistakes" and a recipe for a "holiday-inspired breakfast."

Batali announced in March that his longtime partner, Joe Bastianich, and others had bought out his share in his restaurants.

The New York Police Department said last year that it was investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against the chef after a woman told "60 Minutes" that Batali drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2005. Batali denied assaulting the woman.


Watch the video: Mario Batali bursts into town (December 2022).