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Her sweet Babbo

Jennifer Che reports on her visit to Mario Batali's new pizza place on Fan Pier, where pizzas are cooked for just 90 seconds - in a 1,000-degree oven.

It doesn’t replace the North End by any stretch, and if you’re a visitor looking for one place to enjoy Italian food in Boston, I would probably still head to the North End. However, if you work or live in the area (or are attending a conference at the Boston Convention Center), it’s an excellent place to enjoy a great meal.

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Comments

"Come for the pizza - leave with a mouth burn'.

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Because he ate it before it was cool!

Bwah ha ha ha!

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What is the electricity bill on that sucker?!!

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wood-fired oven

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But I want it now!

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At one point in her review, she says she found herself wishing the pizza she was trying at the time had stayed in the oven a few seconds longer.

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but Otto in NYC. Batali graciously changed the name to accommodate the Otto chain out of Portland, ME that already has five Boston-area stores.

Wood-fired oven, Neapolitan style pizza, good pastas in sensible (primo-sized) portions, fine small plates, an affordable, big wine list. I was impressed, and I don't always think much of Batali's NYC restaurants, many of which I've found not such a great value for the experience. (Also, eff you, Mario, for encouraging the trend of restaurants playing ear-splitting music in the dining room, like the awful butt-rock you play at 95 decibels at the original Babbo.)

The Seaport "Otto" is much larger in scale than the NYC original, which strikes me as a potential problem with quick-cooked, thin-crust pies if you're not right on top of expediting. I feel bad for Pastoral, a fine local indie with a very similar concept a couple of blocks away on Congress.

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If the butt rock is as loud as you say, I'd wager Pastoral is perfectly named and will do just fine.

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of the last few years, and I say this as someone who routinely attends loud punk and indie-rock shows (with quality hearing protection).

I'm carrying a decibel meter for my review research these days, often get readings above 90dB, at which level it's necessary for patrons to scream to converse, and mistaken orders are a common problem when the server gets the lip-reading wrong. Further, I expect front-of-house staffers are suffering hearing loss, headaches and hoarseness from shouting after hours-long exposure to that cacophony.

At some point, lawyers are going to class-action this issue the way the did to get smoking out of bars and restaurants. However much they suit the owners' interests (noisy places are preferred by younger patrons, and a roar tend to push people not to linger, yielding more table turns per evening), the growing noise levels are a health hazard for industry workers.

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I was at Drink last week and pretty much unable to carry a conversation with my friends sitting next to me at the bar. Even the conversation between the bartenders and myself contained numerous WHAT's. Disappointing. Also disappointing that some restaurants and bars are opening with music of that volume, rather than increasing it as it becomes more of a club or a nighttime spot.

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Ear buds, gamer headsets, whatever. Its a new generation of hearing loss. I encounter young people like this all the time, easily identified by how loudly they talk in normal conversation. Such loud places must not bother them so much.

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cool theory bro

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of the sort that only old people like. The fact that the noise drives away the lawn-protection set is a bonus.

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I refuse to eat in any place where the volume of music is loud. I have walked out of restaurants that refuse to turn down the volume. If I'm eating in a restaurant I want to relax: let someone else cook, someone else serve and eat my meal either in relatively quiet (it's a restaurant, not a library) or where I can engage in conversation with a dinner companion without yelling. I would do the same in a restaurant where someone is yammering on their cell phone. Take it outside.

This seems to be a trend in a lot of retail businesses. Is the purpose to keep people from spending too much time in the store? Create a slightly unenjoyable environment that pushes people to eat faster, shop faster, just move faster. McDonald's, etc. method of crowd management.

JP Licks has joined these ranks. Every time someone enters the store a loud beep announces their presence. It may be useful for management to know someone enters but filling my ears with lots of beeps is annoying. I refuse to go there now; the sound of people engaging in conversation is pleasant and even inspiring (i'ts the coffeehouse atmosphere). But filling the environment with electronic noise is to pollute the environment with unnecessary and annoying noise.

Given the choice I stick with places that are not loud. If a retailer has to pipe grossly loud music then they are giving me a reason to shop online. And in that case I'll shop where there is not a brick and mortar store such as Amazon. I want brick and mortar retailers to understand that I will not support them in any form if they don't want me to be in their store to begin with.

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Looks like you've been going to the wrong kind of restaurants (i.e. cheap) =D

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Not cheap, but very tasty place called Pastoral: http://pastoralfortpoint.com/

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