Photos by kathyylchan
September 30, 2006
Cuisine: Italian, Pizza
1 5th Ave, New York 10003
At 8th St
Meat – Prosciutto
1. Coach Triple Cream (Goat, NY)
2. Parmigiano Reggiano (Cow, EMI)
3. Taleggio (Cow, LOM)
1. Pizza Del Giorno – cheese, balsamic reduction tomato sauce, pancetta, onions, zucca (Italian squash)
2. Margherita D.O.C. – tomato, bufala mozzarella, basil
Spaghetti Alla Carbonara – Pancetta, Scallions, Black Pepper, Egg
Gelati – olive oil, lemon sorbet, cinnamon with figs
After watching the 5th Avenue Mile, the Astronomer and I sat down for a lovely late lunch with brother and his GF at Otto Enoteca and Pizzeria. I ate at Otto earlier this year for dinner, but misunderstood the menu description and ended up getting spaghetti with marinara. In fact, I made the same mistake when I dined at Babbo (except the pasta came with AMAZING lobster so it wasn’t too bad)! I hate it when Batalli doesn’t give proper menu descriptions! This time around I left the ordering up to brother who just happens to frequent Otto weekly.
We started off lunch with meat and cheeses. The prosciutto was sliced thinly, just the right amount of salty, and served without adornments. A high-quality prosciutto, but really nothing special. The cheese starter was spectacular. The cheeses were served with dipping “sauces”: honey with black truffles, preserved sour cherries, and preserved spicy apricots. I’ve never dipped cheese in anything before and found the pairings delightful! My favorite was the Parmigiano Reggiano with the sour cherries.
My entree was the heirloom caprese salad. I ordered light so that I could share the Spaghetti Alla Carbonara with brother, have some Pizza Margherita, and taste the Astronomer’s Pizza Del Giorno. The heirloom caprese salad was excellent. The fresh mozzarella cheese was to die for and the tomatoes were fresh and flavorful. The cheese and tomatoes were splashed in a light vinaigrette, sprinkled with black pepper, and finished off with some fresh basil. The portion was quite large for one, so I shared with the table.
Brother’s carbonara was wonderful as well. The few bites that I had were creamy and not overly eggy. The scallions added a unique touch to the Italian classic. The margherita was simple and delicious. You really can’t go wrong with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil! The crust was thin and perfectly crispy. The pizza del giorno was fabulous as well. The meat, cheese, and onion pairing was perfect. Great choice, Astronomer.
We finished off our meal with some gelati. I’ve always wanted to try the olive oil flavor and finally got a chance. The verdict? Delicious. The Astronomer did not find it refreshing; I found it interesting, innovative, and special. Brother loves the stuff. My favorite flavor was the cinnamon and fig! OMG. I wish I could buy a whole gallon. There were plenty of fresh fig chunks and the cinnamon was a fine accompaniment.
Lunch at Otto’s was a fun and tasty affair! I would definitely return for the cheese course and the gelati. The pizza and pasta were yummy, but the portions were a bit skimpy for runners.