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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!
Posted by Anonymous on 12/29/2006
I was here for a late lunch in august.... the pizza was to die for. I had the arugula pizza and i can not stop raving about it to my friends. My friends had the pasta... it was not too bad either but the pizza was definitely something to write home about. The crust was thin and crisp and did not go soggy at all... even my last slice was as crisp as the first. This is part of the reason why i loved it so much. Soggy things are my worst nightmare. The dessert was also heavenly.
Posted by J.Rich on 12/28/2006
The pizza has been continually disappointing to us. The whole pie is soggy and cold before the pizza's half eaten. Sorry Mario, that's not what I expect, ever, and especially not for that price. We kept trying, but now we no longer eat dinner there...we just go for wine and appetizers or just gelato. The gelato is the best I've ever had, regardless of location. It's worth the trip by itself. Great wine selection, but what do you expect? He owns a wine shop!