A few weeks ago I went to Otto, one of Mario Batali’s restaurants in New York (Washington Square? My geography is not good), apparently on the “cheaper” end of his scale, which I take to mean “really expensive, but not really fucking expensive”. It’s meant to be a pizzeria-type restaurant, but really expensive.
The menu is laid out with a pizza section, a pasta section, and then several sections of antipasti-type dishes. We chose to start with proscuitto, warm olives, and octopus with celery, followed by a pasta dish I can’t remember now (some sort of bolognese?) and their pepperoni pizza which has a few different meats on it. The octopus was by far the best thing we ate. The proscuitto was disappointing – $9 a plate meant we got four slices of proscuitto that was only okay. The olives were decent but not amazing. Pasta and pizza was also acceptable but not overwhelming.
The highlight of the meal, and the reason I would go back, were the gelato desserts. I can’t remember all the details of each dessert, only that they were heavenly. My dessert was an olive oil gelato topped with a swirl of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, and a couple other flavors including something fruity. A.’s was some obscure-liquor flavored gelato and the only thing I remember is that it had blood orange on it. P. got a simple affogato which was particularly good.
So if you ever go — go light on the food and heavy on the dessert. If I went again, I’d probably get some of the small antipasti and maybe a cheese plate and then go straight to the gelato. The cheese plate looked exciting, P. had gotten it before and it comes with three different sauces.