Otto review (longish)
Went there for the first time last night and liked it very much.
Although i go to Lupa a lot, i'd never been to Otto -- mostly because i eat pizza very rarely (and i didn't realize they served all the Lupa-style antipasti that i love) and because of some of the negative reviews here.
My gf and i went there around 11:30 (Wednesday) and it was still more or less full (we got one of only two open tables). I was initially put off by the loud music when you enter but it was okay once we sat down (the speakers seem to hit the entrance particularly hard and i have to admit that when we entered it was bad enough that i was tempted to turn and around walk out)...we ate:
-- prosciutto...yummy (no surprise), perfectly cut and quite lean...
-- funghi misto...very good
-- rock shrimp, ceci and chili flakes...the shrimp were only ok, and didn't really look/taste like rock shrimp to me...but the chick peas weren't overcooked and had a nice density, and it was still a fine dish...
-- anchovies w/ breadcrumbs...the anchovies were tart and delicious but there weren't nearly enough of them (maybe four??) and the dish was really just a cup of breadcrumbs (actually giant olive-oil saturated croutons) ...at 8 dollars, this dish was kind of a ripoff...but if they doubled the anchovy portion and it'd be worth it...
-- brussels sprouts w/ vin cotto...i prefer the Lupa version w/ pecorino but still tender and a nice foil for the other dishes
-- a raw fennel and bottarga pizza...excellent except there wasn't enough bottarga (barely any really)...
-- a quartino of Sicilian Syrah and 2 quartinos of a Fruili Merlot...both excellent, esp the Fruili
-- combo of: hazelnut strachiatelli (sp?) gelato (awesome), roasted cinnamon gelato (eh), and tangerine sorbetto (excellent)...
Service was fine...they were a little understaffed (and it's easy to imagine how some of the service complaints i'd read about might have occured during prime time) but our waiter was pleasant, and the busboys were efficient and friendly...
Total Bill: 108 plus tip...which i thought was pretty good given how many things we ordered and all the wine...and it was nice to be able to go to a place with that big a menu that was still bustling at midnight on a weekday...
If you go again, make sure you order their cheese plate, I usually have them recommend the cheeses. It is terrific. Have to also agree that the olive oil gelato is one of a kind and I also liked their gorgonzola gelato.
i too love the OO gelato but i didnt know they had a gorgonzola! damn, i gotta get back there. go there after dinner somewhere else for drinks and gelato. thats it. still like the place, tho. too many NYU-ers maybe but what the hell, its close to them.
I absolutely loved Otto, and am going to be in NY next week, and have made a reservation to eat there again...I LOVE the "salumi" pizza, broccoli with pecorino, and have only tried the chocolate gelato, and it was awesome...Am not normally a biscotti fan, but ordered their biscotti plate, and it was heaven! Glad you liked it...Have had a hard time understanding the negative reviews concerning the food..think it is really quite wonderful, AND, think the price is right...
I've been to Otto several times. I don't know what pizza you're eating there,but what I've had has been dreadful. This is Mario's idea for the perfect pizza? Naples 45 blows it away. In fact John's blows it away too. Actually,my local by the slice place is better too. Otto just doesn't do it for me.