As we arrived at Otto, I captured the classic shot of the awning and the delivery bikes. It has been the same for years.
With the onslaught of the latest and greatest, we often forget about the old favorites – those places that have been around for years and deserve their reputation. Not that Otto Enoteca Pizzeria is a quaint little Mom & Pop shop or anything. It is part of the ever-growing Mario Batali empire, after all. But it always lives up to expectations. Mario himself was hanging at the bar this particular Saturday. We saw some Instagram shots him posing with the bar customers.
But on this occasion, we decided to eat in the dining area. All too often we are at the bar or the abyss between the bar and dining area. If you can, ask to be seated in the back of the restaurant. It is surprisingly bright and sunny, decked out in Tuscan browns, oranges, reds and yellows. There are plenty of big tables and lots of space.
We attempted a light lunch, with two Antipasti and sharing a pizza. Then we had to add some of that awesome dessert I referred to below. We started with proscuitto, which is the perfect thing to get from Batali. Perfection, sliced razor thin. We also enjoyed the octopus, which was nice and meaty, served with hearts of palm, celery and fresh parsley. The servings of antipasti, by the way, are rather large and meant for sharing. Order sparingly or you won’t have room left for your pie.
Next up, which pie should we order?! There is a list of Classics as well as Otto pies. We went that route, which is a tad less traditional. Although we were expecting something slightly different from our tomato, pecorino & egg pizza, we were duly impressed with the flavor. I think we could have had two. The key was the tomato sauce they make – very sweet yet savory. I had a lovely glass of Chianti for $18 while I was at it.
And last, we could not resist a dessert. I even went for the wine pairing on this one. Sublime combination. Too bad I have no recollection of what it was! Nonetheless it was a perfect ending. The dessert menu from our original post has been modified slightly, but you get the gist. My recommendation is just go for 3 flavors of gelato!
Chestnut Nocino Torta $11
coffee gelato, zabaglione crema, marsala poached pears
We will continue to visit Otto for years to come I am sure. Next time a pasta dinner is in order!
One can never go wrong with Mario Batali. We’ve been going to Otto since before we moved to New York. It had been a while and we happened to be walking down 8th Street when we were struck by the desire to have coffee and dessert at Otto. We’ll go back again and do a full review of the food.
The space is cavernous and the bar has the classic standing room only marble tables for about 80 wine drinkers.
Lucky for us, we got seats right at the bar. Instead of enjoying their truly impressive wine list, we opted for the non-alcoholic treats. Below is the entire Dolci menu. It has to be seen to be believed.
I had the Olive Oil Coppetta, which I simply cannot say enough good things about. Olive oil gelato is CRAZY GOOD, particularly with lime curd (essentially key lime pie filling), fresh tangerine sorbet, pieces of blood oranges, candied blood orange rinds, and sprinkled with candied (maybe caramelized?) fennel seeds! OMFG.
Steve had the Maple Rum Baba, which was butterscotch gelato (yum) on top of a ‘rum baba’, which is yeast cake saturated in rum, covered with caramel bananas and spiced pecans. This was the complete opposite of my olive oil and fruit dish. And man was it good. This is the perfect pairing with an espresso.
- OLIVE OIL COPPETTA – 11 PIANOGRILLO OLIVE OIL GELATO, LIME CURD, TANGERINE SORBETTO, FENNEL BRITTLE, BLOOD ORANGES
- BLACK & WHITE – 11 MILK CHOCOLATE CHIP GELATO, HAZELNUT CROCCANTE, CRÈME FRAICHE GELATO, CHOCOLATE SAUCE, CARAMEL CREMA
- AFFOGATO – 8 ESPRESSO, WHIPPED CREAM, VANILLA GELATO
- MAPLE RUM BABA – 11 BUTTERSCOTCH GELATO, CARAMEL BANANAS, SPICED PECANS
- GUINNESS STOUT COPPETTA – 11 DARK CHOCOLATE GELATO, GUINNESS STOUT GELATO, COFFEE BURBOUN SAUCE, CHOCOLATE CRUMBLE, PEANUT CREMA
- GIANDUJA CALDA – 4.50 HAZLENUT HOT CHOCOLATE, WHIPPED CREAM
- MEYER LEMON PANNACOTTA – 9 HUCKLEBERRY SAUCE, MEYER LEMON SORBETTO
- BRIOCHE – 4.50 CHOICE OF ONE FLAVOR ON A SWEET BRIOCHE (WITH NUTELLA $5)
- ASSORTED BISCOTTI – 8.00
- GELATI & SORBETTI – 7.50 ONE, TWO OR THREE FLAVORS, WARM CHOCOLATE SAUCE $2
CRÈME FRAICHE, PIANOGRILLO, OLIVE OIL, VANILLA, CARAMEL, HAZELNUT, STRACCIATELLA, DARK CHOCOLATE, SALTY PEANUT, BUTTERSCOTCH, TUTTI FRUTTI, MASCARPONE, HUCKLEBERRY SWIRL, MILK CHOCOLATE CHIP
GRAPEFRUIT CAMPARI SORBETTO, TANGERINE SORBETTO, MEYER LEMON SORBETTO
1 Fifth Avenue @ 8th St. – West Village