Pizzas with inventive, Pavlovian toppings fly around this cutely crafted Italian space from the Batali-Bastianich team.
When dining at Otto, you must understand that you will not have the best pizza in the city. You might not have anything even close to the best slice of pie New York has to offer. What you will taste, however, are light, airy crusts topped with high-quality, fresh ingredients that will satisfy anyone with a craving for some authentic flavors of Italy.
The best pizzas on the menu are undoubtedly the Otto Lardo, with thin strips of cured salt pork and scattered stems of rosemary, the Vongole, with clams, mozzarella, and garlic for zest, the Cacio e Pepe, with mozzarella, cacio, pecorino, parmesan, and black pepper, and the Prosciutto Arugula, with tomato, cacio, mozzarella, crudo, and a light pile of arugula placed delicately on top. No ingredient is played too heavily or too extravagantly. Instead, each is used with a subtle restraint uncommon to our expectations of pizza. These are melt in your mouth ingredients that seem to elegantly dissolve into the crust with every bite, and while said crust is then not as crisp as some would prefer, its soft, thin layers enhance the overall lightness of the pie.
The salads and sides also have much to offer here, and you could be forgiven for occasionally eating an entire meal that did not involve a single slice of pizza..The Otto Chopped Salad and the Baby Spinach, Ricotta Salata, and Truffle Honey Salad with large, rustic croutons are surprisingly good starts to a meal, as are any of the cheeses or Verdure. In this list of small, vegetable-focused snacks, the Eggplant Caponatina and Cauliflower alla Siciliana are simple yet stunning in their ability to encapsulate the depth of rich, full Italian flavors.
The space itself is nothing but adorably cute, and it is nearly impossible to feel anything but happy and at ease in a warm room perfect for any type of meal and any type of occasion. While it might not have the best pizza around, Otto may indeed be the most pleasant place to eat pizza of any kind.
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