Many have pointed to 1998, the year that Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca opened in lower Manhattan in New York City, as the year that the Italian wine renaissance exploded in the U.S.
No one had ever seen anything like Joe Bastianich’s encyclopedic coverage of the Italian wine landscape. And perhaps never before had so many fine Italian wines been available in the U.S. by the glass and by the “quartino” — a format that Bastianich introduced to America, now popular from coast to coast.
“A quartino,” writes the curato of the wine list, “is a small decanter that holds a quarter of a liter. That translates to one-third of a 750 mL bottle, or about a glass-and-a-half. If you don’t wish to order a whole bottle of wine, or if some people in your party want one type of wine and others something else, then the quartino offers flexibility. Often guest split a quartino or two of white wine with their appetizers, then move on to a bottle of red with their main courses.”
The quartino is just one of the many ways in which Bastianich’s vision helped to — literally — reshape our perceptions and appreciation of Italian wine in this country.
We couldn’t be more thrilled to see that Babbo currently serves Barone Pizzini by the glass on its list.
And we’re proud to be a “drop” in the legacy that introduced a generation of Americans to the wonders of Italian wine.
It’s not easy to get a reservation at Babbo but try going on the very early side when it opens or enjoy appetizers and wines by the glass at the bar while you wait for a table on the later side. It’s worth the wait.