How about that pairing?

Last night was my third time to Mario Batali’s flagship Babbo, and words cannot express how delicious his pasta is.  I insist on the pasta tasting menu paired with his reserve wines, and each course is so perfect, it makes me want to give up on cooking forever.

Imagine watching Led Zeppelin in LA circa 1972.  Bonzo is absolutely wrecking another drum kit with his tree-trunk grade drumsticks, Page has sold his soul to the devil and plays like it with the devil’s own violin bow.  Plant lets out a high-pitched howl like an air raid siren in London during the war, and you just know something’s going on that is bigger than all of us.  That’s what it is like eating Mario Batali’s pasta.

But there is something else about the evening.  Perhaps it was the Run DMC playing when my Tagliatelle al Nero came out (paired with such a unique Gavi).  I don’t know if it was the White Stripes playing when my Garganelli Funghi Trifolati came out (paired with a gorgeous Baralo).  Maybe it was the AC/DC playing when my Pappardelle Bolognese came out (make no mistake–Batali’s Bolognese is the Sistine Chapel of pasta.  The world stops for his Bolognese.).

The point is, while all this amazing pasta is happening on the table, while all this beautiful wine is happening, the place is abuzz with casual, fun energy.  The music is not only unpretentious, it rocks!  You feel like Mario just plugged in his iPod and threw together the most gorgeous dinner party ever.

So here’s to a beautiful bowl of pasta, and here’s to pairing it with Italy’s finest grape juice.  And what’s more, here’s to rocking out while you do it.  A tip of my hat, Mario.  You’re doing great work.