Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan Dinner

quick dinner at Otto last night

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quick dinner at Otto last night

Nathan | May 14, 2004 02:57 PM

I know this an unpopular sentiment but I really enjoy eating there. I always sit at the bar (which is my wont virtually anywhere) and so I can't speak to the service difficulties others have experienced.

I doubt I need to mention the wine side, no one would cast oenophilic aspersions on Otto.

Began with the cauliflower and eggplant antipasti -- unfortunately they've altered the cauliflower preparation, it's still nicely prepared and marinated nicely in olive oil but the jolt of lemon juice that used to accompany it is now absent.

(I'm a fan of bold elemental flavors which is why I generally enjoy Batali's restaurants. Though the best dish I've tried in this city is the simple egg and caviar preparation at Jean Georges).

The eggplant was fine and nicely balanced with tomato.

Unless you have some sort of Platonic ideal notion of pizza qua pizza I don't see how anyone would not enjoy the guanciale pizza -- tomato sauce, mozzarella and the guanciale steaped into the sauce. At the suggestion of the bartender we had a fried egg on top which worked remarkably well (though I felt that the pizza would make a strange but ideal breakfast). Do try it.

The pizza with fresh ramps was very good as well, if less interesting.

Then had an informal grappa tasting (another reason to sit at the bar) followed by gelati. The Talenti was superb but it was fun to try the house's fruit infused varieties.

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