As Mario Batali continues his reign atop the American culinary landscape, his flagship restaurant, Babbo, remains a New York essential. What can you say about this place that hasn't already been said? The pasta! That pork chop! Mario Batali is a genius! Rock music in a fine dining restaurant? Brilliant! At this longtime darling of the critics, after almost 15 years, you're still at the mercy of the reservation gods if you want to get in (but we’ve had some last-minute luck by closely monitoring their Twitter feed). Buona fortuna!
Click here to watch the Daily Meal’s interview with Mario Batali on China, Eataly and Having a Day Job. — Maryse Chevriere