Roberto Paciullo, the fellow behind the beloved Roberto’s, is up to something new. Late last year on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx’s Little Italy, around the corner from his original restaurant, he opened Trattoria Zero Otto Nove. The specialty is southern Italian food from Paciullo’s hometown, Salerno (the restaurant’s name comes from the local city code, 089), including first-rate pizzas made in a wood-burning brick oven.
Striver is knocked out by La Riccardo, a unique pie topped with pancetta, smoked mozzarella, puréed butternut squash, and basil. The crust is thin and nicely charred, but pliable rather than crisp; Striver approves, noting that it’s easily foldable. JohnAM, in dissent, finds it limp and tasteless, though he likes the high-quality ingredients. Other pies, besides standards like the margherita, marinara, and Caprese, include La San Matteo (sausage, broccoli rabe, fresh mozzarella), the Capricciosa (ham, mushroom, tomato, olives, fresh mozzarella), and a sturdy number with potato, sausage, and smoked mozz.
Beyond the pizza is a diverse and intriguing menu that hounds are just beginning to explore. Hits include a mixed grill of shrimp, squid, and octopus; a salad of escarole, olives, and marinated eggplant; and a near-perfect pasta: fusille with chickpeas and bits of crispy pancetta, tossed with breadcrumbs and grated pecorino—“a triumph,” declares allan evans.
Trattoria Zero Otto Nove [Bronx]
2357 Arthur Avenue (near E. 186th Street), Bronx