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Posted by Ohio visitor on 02/13/2005
While visiting the great city of New York, I and my party happened upon Otto's. It looked wonderful and warm from the sidewalk so we dicided to check it out. After finding out it was a Mario B. restaurant we were thrilled since our group loved his show. The wine list is great if you love Italian wine which I do. Ambiance was good. It was a crowded Saturday night so we expected to wait and we did for 1 1/4 hours. No problem. Upon being seated we ordered pizza and pasta. The pizza was generally good, spartan toppings and nice thin crispy crust. However, the pasta dish was the worst plate of food I have ever been served in a restaurant. It looked like it had sat under a plate warmer for a few hours. The sauce was a muddled mess of over reduced tomato, capers, anchovy and onion. The pasta was undercooked and tasted like raw semolina flour. I asked the waiter about the undercooked pasta and he replied it is always cooked that way. This wasn't al dente, it was raw. I figured when in Rome I'll try it like Otto's thought it was supposed to be eaten. I could not stomach the dish. Our complaints were heard by the manager who generously comped our meal. You may be saying why come out and write this critical review? The pasta dish was so bad I couldn't believe Mario would have conceived the product. It was just a big disappointment.
Posted by MEH on 02/11/2005
I've been frequenting Otto for over a year and love it. The food is outstanding - very tasty and well priced. The atmosphere is awesome too. I've never had a bad experience there - and its even better now that they take reservations. I highly recommend the restaurant!
Posted by Anonymous on 02/02/2005
Well, what can I say....first of all, I called to make a reservation and was told that they were not taking reservations over the phone., but that we should get to the restaurant and put our names down. We got there at 720pm, granted it was a saturday night, so we expected it to be busy, but what we experienced what utterly exasperating! We stood around the bar area and had some drinks and appetizers, which incidentally were really good, but having to wait 3 HOURS to be seated made the whole experience tedious. We couldn't leave because we didn't think we could find anywhere else and besides we wanted to check out the food and see what was enticing people to stay for so long to be seated. To top it all off, when we told the hostess that we tried to make reservations, she smiled nicely and said that they only take reservations for half of their tables because they rely on walk-ins for the other half! The food was terrible! There was no flavor to any of our dishes. In fact the best thing on the menu were the cheeses - and they didnt have to make those! All I can say is that if you're a mario batali fan, go for the atmosphere and wine, but don't go for the food. My husband sugggested that we should open our own restaurant across the street and name it - "Still waiting? Come over and actually get to eat today!"
Posted by Debbie on 12/18/2004
Delicious verdure (vegetable mixtures), interesting pizzas, unusual gelati, marvelous wines, and a lovely warm decor make for a friendly visit. However, problems occur with the wait staff. Aside from one friendly waiter, there are 3 or 4 bored bus boys with nothing to do other than whisk the food from under your fork! I experienced this all 3 times I visited Otto.
Posted by Johnny T on 11/30/2004
The food is "elegantly simple," the uncomplicated preparation allows the flavors to soar thru. There are wines for all tastes and price ranges and the service is warm, deep, and friendly. A very knowledgable staff from waiter to Maitre D' to the Sommy, etc. A nice friendly place to share amazing food beautifully priced. And the bar up front is great for just wine and apps, its a scene. A real NY treasure! Take it from a foodie. And Mario is always around in his orange clogs and shorts too.
Posted by Batali fan on 11/23/2004
The best place to eat if you don't have time for Babbo.
Posted by italiano on 11/09/2004
For what it's worth, the pizza is pricey but I have no complaints. The past dishes are priced moderately, the wait staff is not that great, but I guess that's what keeps prices down. As for the comment about the pasta not being cooked all the way through... I don't know what kind of Italian you are, but it's called 'al dente' in my family. Che un peccato.