What’s not to love about Italian food? Cheese, sauce, bread… oh yeah, BREAD! When you can’t eat bread and grains, dining at Italian restaurants may seem impossible. Fear not my gluten-free friends! Babbo Pizzeria has a ton of allergy-friendly food options that will make you say “Oh, they serve pizza, too?” Located in Boston’s rapidly growing Seaport District, Babbo Pizzeria has all the ingredients for a top-notch dining experience…
To kick off my meal, I ordered a couple of appetizers, the Caprese salad, and the Grappa Cured Salmon. Caprese salad is an Italian staple, you can be sure that if you’re dining out at an Italian restaurant you’ll see it on the menu. What you can’t always bet on though, is how fresh it will taste. Well, as someone who has never been to Italy, I can only imagine this is what the real deal tastes like. The tomatoes were so ripe and juicy with the perfect amount of basil to balance it out. Then there was the cheese. I have a rule about cheese, I usually do not eat it but I always say if it’s worth it, I’ll eat the darn cheese. Well, this was worth it! It was as fresh as can be and the flavors blended together like a dream. Isn’t there a song lyric about that? “Sweet dreams are made of cheese…” (I’m so cheesy – Somebody stop me!).
When the Grappa Cured Salmon came out my eyes immediately lit up, this is my kind of plate! Simple, clean and guaranteed to be delicious. Check, check, and check! Babbo has a real game-changer for this dish – preserved citrus. I’ve never seen this done before but now I feel like it should come with every order of salmon. The citrus added a beautiful color and because they were preserved, it was such a unique flavor.
Next up was a trio of small plates, something Babbo is known for. I had the Wax Beans, Roasted Fig & Saba, and the Eggplant Caponata. The wax beans were a first for me but definitely not a last. I loved how the texture was just like pasta and it soaked up the pesto – a function I rate pretty high on my list of priorities! The roasted fig was very sweet and it was nice to be able to break up the other savory dishes with a bite in between. Also, who doesn’t love dessert for lunch?
The Eggplant Caponata was my favorite of the three. The texture and taste were that of a chili, one that I would totally curl up with on a football-Sunday in my pajamas… ok, ok, I mean my Snuggie, and plaid blanket (hello, Fall!). This chili was great for any season though because it’s served chilled but is still a hearty dish. Versatility wins in my book!
Now we get to the main course(s)! All were amazing: the sausage, the razor clams, but the real VIP was the lamb. Served as a skewer, the meat was perfectly cooked and oozing with juiciness. Lamb is not something I seek out to eat but this is the first thing I will order on my next trip to Babbo. The meat was so tender and so flavor-packed. I wish it was a never-ending skewer, but low and behold, I kept eating but another serving never magically reappeared on my plate. Funny how that works!
The sausage had a great spicy kick and was extremely filling so if you want the best bang-for-your-buck I recommend ordering this dish. If you are a beach-goer, especially in New England, chances are you have seen a razor clam or two (or a million) on your walks along the water. I always try to catch them with my hands before they manage to sneak their way under the sand, man those things move quick! Well, I was able to snag half a dozen at my visit to Babbo (but who’s counting!?). They did not disappoint, it really did taste as if I caught them straight from the beach myself. Fresh as can be!
I guess the polite thing to do after eating a 5-course meal is to say “no thanks” when it’s time for dessert. But who are we kidding? Bring on the sweet stuff! The melon sorbet made me weak in the knees. Each bite melted so easily in my mouth and I was left with the taste of pure perfection. Imagine finding the ripest, sweetest melon you could find, then turning it into a frozen treat. Babbo did that! The nice thing about this dessert is that even after a feast like mine, it did not make me regret ordering it because it was so refreshing and light. It really did taste like eating a piece of fresh fruit but even better because the texture was like a bite of air… frozen sweet air that is. No regrets here, friends!
If you’ve got a craving for Italian and want to be where all the action is in Boston’s fastest-growing neighborhood, head on down to Babbo Pizzeria.