So, I love Mario Batali. I've met the guy - I've eaten at a bunch of his restaurants, I have his cookbooks - so what is with the insanely salty pastas he serves at all his restaurants?!!!! I really want to have nothing but kind words, compliments, and good experiences to relay about eating at his restaurants, but a few months ago I ate the spaghetti carbonara at Otto and had to send it back because it was so salty. It was literally inedible, and I dreaded each bite. I tried to force myself but it was just plain awful....so they replaced it with another dish...and it was the same thing. I can only assume that the cooks are just throwing fist-fulls of salt into the water for the boiling...it's awful! A few nights ago we went to Esca, and I ordered the linguine with clams hoping that this change in location would bring with it a less salty pasta- but it was the same problem! My boyfriend tried it and his lips puckered in distaste from the gross amount of over-salting. WHAT IS UP WITH THIS? I even heard folks at the next table talking to one another about how their pastas were too salty, but they didn't send it back because they did the tasting menu (in which you only get about 2-3 tastes of the pasta.). Anyway - I don't get how such a famous and well-respected chef can have this happening at his restaurants. I think if the chefs at each place tasted the pastas they would wince in pain and be embarrassed to serve the dishes. Isn't over-salting one of the most basic things cooks are supposed to know???!!!