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|Address:||39 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4JQ|
|Tel:||020 3641 9303|
|Price: £61.00||Wine: £25.00||Champagne: £41.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-3pm 6-11pm Sun 6-10.30pm|
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i see Babbo is owned by a football lawyer so forgive my no doubt poor gaming analogies. The food showed flashes of excellence but was completely inconsistent (like [insert name of your chosen striker here]). My starter of fried squid with little battered flakes of artichokes was an imaginative take on the traditional fritto misto and worked reasonably well flavour wise but Becks would have to shun so much fat. My overriding memory of the mains is extreme food jealousy, as the beef fillet was bought out, mixed with disappointment: a meat/veg dish shouldn't be the trump card in an Italian but the pastas were more Man Who? than Man U. Atmosphere and decor were near spot on: it exudes the quiet confidence of old wealth rather than the brashness of a nouveau footie celeb. But service, which started so well, let it down. The lady who handled our booking (a table for 6 with a young baby) was extremely accommodating, reserving for us a perfect spacious table tucked away at the back of the restaurant. Service during the meal, however, was well short of Mayfair expectations. We were given fizzy water as soon as we sat down and we asked for some tap water. When the second bottle of fizzy water came I pointed out we hadn't ordered it and whilst we'd drink it we only wanted tap next. When the third bottle of fizzy water was delivered to the table I was riled like an angry manager on the sidelines watching his players demolish the game plan. Eventually a waiter responded to my come hither looks and I had to say “Not only have we not asked for this bottle but I have SPECIFICALLY told you NOT to bring it. Take it away!”. Long delays in taking dessert orders, bringing them and settling the bill made me think the team had given up altogether. This place just doesn't have the wow factor or understated polish you'd expect for the level at which Babbo is trying to play. If I knew I would be spending £70 a head on a meal again I would go somewhere guaranteed to put it in the back of the net.