After spending a lovely time at the Little Red Lighthouse festival yesterday, husband & I decided to check in with Otto to enjoy a casual dinner with a good bottle of wine. We intended to sit at the bar but the almost packed front room was absolutely deafening. The noise level created by a filled room of people trying to talk above the roaring music was incredible. We opted to wait for a table in the dining room. We were seated immediately almost as far as the kitchen which was a break from the bar scene. We were still left with no choice but to navigate through the loud and dated rock music inorder to hear each other.
We were approached 4 times by 3 different people in less than 5 minutes asking for our wine selection (twice by our waiter, one may have been the sommalier & we had no idea who the other gentleman was). You need at least five minutes to just get an overview of that wine list.
We ordered a wonderful Friulian Cabernet Franc that we thoroughly enjoyed especially at $35! For appetizers we shared the caprese salad and a braseola special that were both very enjoyable. While eating my salad, I dropped my knife & a busboy wisked it away from the floor expertly but never returned with a fresh one. It was impossible to catch anyone's eye during the hectic service in & out of the kitchen so I continued on without a knife. My husband was about to dip his crust of bread into the caprese's dressing when a bus boy lifted the plate from the table. He asked if my husband wanted to keep the plate to dip the bread, but since the busboy's thumb was now in the plate, my husband declined.
For entrees, we both ordered the special pasta of the night -penne with broccoli rabe and sausage, an oldy but a goody. The pasta was undercooked by a couple of minutes where it tasted chalky. It was just edible and I was too hungry to not continue but my husband did not eat it. We debated for a few minutes as to whether to say something right away but decided to not dive into the scene of sending back our plates & possibly multiple conversations about it.
When the waiter came to our table, my husband told him that the pasta gave al dente a whole new meaning and that it was not done. The waiter said 'oh, sorry about that', cleared our plates & asked if we wanted dessert. At that point, we just took the check.
We would go back to give the pizza a try now that we know what we are dealing with, but should we have expected more?