Chef, author, and restaurateur Mario Batali himself announced on Twitter over the weekend that he is coming to Boston "very soon!!" to open "Babbopizzeria!" ("Wheeeeeeeeeeee," he added, presumably in sheer excitement, although that part didn't get any exclamation points.) An industry source tells Eater that this upcoming restaurant will be somewhere in the Fort Point and Seaport District vicinity. Of Batali's existing restaurants, there's no other Babbo Pizzeria yet, but there's a Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, two OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria locations, and three Pizzeria Mozza locations, so perhaps this will meld elements of those.
On the other hand, an Eater tipster had heard that the new restaurant would be an extension of Batali's OTTO brand, so the Babbo name might just be a way of avoiding going head to head with Boston's existing, unrelated OTTO Pizza, the chain out of Portland, Maine. Batali's no stranger to the local brand, calling them "d bags and thieves" and "#scumsuckingleeches" on Twitter back in February, when he found out about their similar name and logo.
The Boston/Portland OTTO responded, claiming "no disrespect" but noting that it's a good thing they didn't choose a name like "Ray's" because "we'd probably have 50 or 60 New York pizza shop owners hammering us on Twitter instead of just one."
If Batali's Boston restaurant will be anything like his existing OTTO locations, diners may find thin-crust pizzas, fresh pasta, antipasti, and daily bruschetta specials. On the New York menu, the cast iron-griddled pizzas range from $7 to $15 and include options like pane frattau (tomato, pecorino, and egg) and vongole (clams, mozzarella, and garlic). There's also an 800-bottle wine list and a big dessert menu, including gelato.
No word yet on when or exactly where Babbo Pizzeria will open, but stay tuned for updates, and hit up the tip line if you've got any updates of your own!