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Reviews + Photos from nymag.com
Posted by Alex on 02/15/2007
Here is everything you need to know about Otto: 1) The atmosphere is great -- it's noisy, they play great music, there are always a ton of people having a great time -- there is always a good feeling in the air and it's fun 2) The food is excellent -- it's fresh, authentic yet original, inventive, rustic, comforting, and above all, absolutely delicious 3) Anybody who says the pasta is undercooked is misinformed -- it's called al dente and if you don't know what that is then you shouldn't be posting critical reviews 4) It's in a great neighborhood, just north of Washington Square Park and 5) You should probably go. With a date. Or with a group of friends. Or with your family. Or by yourself to hang out at the bar (they have an excellent wine list too). This has got to be one of the greatest restaurants in all of New York (taking into account the value -- not expensive for what you're getting. Trust me on this one.
Posted by Gastronome Girls on 02/13/2007
My friend and I frequent Tabla, Abbocato, and Molyvos... We have had good food. But such was not the case when we visited Otto for the first time. We arrived @ 5:30 and were seated immediately. With the consideration taken that this is primarily a wine bar we did not expect several courses. Let me get to the point... I ordered PENNE CON NOCI E ZUCCA. A bachelor with minimal skills in boiling water could have made better pasta! It was tought and undercooked. and the portion size was miniscule; about a cup and a half of penne. Wine was good, gelato was good... Maybe you will have better luck with the pizza.
Posted by john on 02/13/2007
Four of us went to Otto Friday Feb 9. Waited at the bar from 7:50 to 8:40. Noise level basically required us to yell at each other. Dining area somewhat quieter but there are literally no soft surfaces anywhere in the restaurant- noise echoes like in an empty house- with 200 people in it. Even at a small table -with four people!- everyone couldn't follow the conversation. My pizza was oversalted and the pasta dish was oversalted and had too much pepper. One of the four was satisfied with her dinner. When we left the restaurant Fifth Avenue seemed quieter than the Reading Room at the New York Public Library. Verdict: fun for the twentysomething crowd, alas now that I am over 30 I would rather get something better for the money and be able to hear my friends at the same time.
Posted by Toothless on 02/09/2007
Apparently Mario's idea of good pasta is cooking it only for three minutes and then throwing it on a dish with some sauce...at least that is what the waitress informed my table when we complained that our pasta was hard. The sauce had a nice aroma and was tasty, but hard.
Posted by Amateur Foodie on 02/08/2007
So, last night my best friend M. took me to Otto, an Italian restaurant/enoteca (wine bar) on 9th and 5th Avenue (1 block north of Washington Sq. Park). I walked in the heavy wood revolving door to find myself in such a warm inviting space in red and gold colors. They have a bar in front and then these ten or so tables, counter height, with marble tops with votives, and no seats, that make for a great conversation/bar-type area. People just pony-up to whatever table suits their fancy and they can order off the menu and 3 page, small print, wine list (truly dizzying). When M. arrived we were taken through the first hallway of cute tables, dark walls, candlelight, through to a second room with more of the rich gold and red tones in the front. We were seated right at the entrance of this room, by a gorgeous display of wines, lemons, salts, all artfully displayed in pyramid form. We were immediately attended to and given water and a cute package of artisnal bread in parchment paper. Our waitress then came over and suggested the most delectable salad (Sformato di Parmigiano), that came with chopped greens with an aged balsamic vinegar drizzled on top. I could have stopped at that it was so amazing. We also ordered pizza's (margherita D.O.C. with tomato, mozzarella & basil and M. had the funghi & taleggio cheese pizza, to die for!) and wine (she was very knowledgeable about what they had and she was spot on with the pairings) and sat their for at least 2 hours while we watched the place filled up. All during the evening we had people checking up on us, pouring us more water and more wine. As a most exciting addition to the evening they played the greatest sequence of top 80's music hits I've ever heard!!! I asked the maitre-d about it, but she didn't know why they had chosen that night to play the 80's music. Well, I loved it and needless to say, I sang my old favorites and Otto's praises all the way home! I will be back!
Posted by Anonymous on 01/20/2007
The hour and 20 minutes we spent waiting to be seated had only this compensation; it was so loud we coudn't hear each other so that we would still have topics to discuss over dinner. However, the din during dinner, meant we still had topics for another evening to be spent somewhere quieter. Delicious pizza special (guanciale), delicious salad of baby arugula and roasted cherry tomatoes, lovely proscuitto and arugula pizza. However, difficult to really judge, given the noise level, which was unbearable. Would not go back for that reason alone.
Posted by Native NY Girl on 01/19/2007
I just can't understand why everyone raves about Otto. The food is just not very good. I was with a large group of friends and we ordered tons of dishes which ranged from edible to gross. The gelato was pretty good, but that doens't excuse the bland pasta and dry pizza. This was my second attempt, -- never going back!