All Reader Reviews of...
1 Fifth Ave., New York, NY, 10011
at 8th St.
By maryboyer on 7/23/2003
I would go back just for the gelato. The taste of it gave me chills. I give big credits to the dessert chef.
not typical, better!
By lucia on 6/25/2003
don't think john's or any other corner pizza joint. awesome, flavorful and not everyday pizza. the toppings are great and it can be hard to choose, but you will quickly establish favorites! love the meat board and all it has to offer!
anchovies can be good
By daveyspells on 6/8/2003
it's a night out of enjoying good food in a warm atmosphere. the portions are small, but as the waitperson will explain, it's so you can enjoy more of what is on the menu. the sommelier is more than happy to help you with their abundant selection of wines and grappas. mario batali's restaurants are designed for the people who enjoy the entire act of dining out, not just to satisfy hunger. the chef's respect for food shines through in the dishes, taking them to a different level (anchovies on pizza is what I think of when writing this). the dishes come out perfectly complimented, though they could look odd on the menu to the unappreciative eye (triple cream goat cheese with rhubarb syrup and sea salt with thyme). the dishes have innovative, yet , obvious flavors that are sure to leave one wanting more. way to go mario. thanks for giving us a restaurant with your flare at prices reasonably lower than babbo.
Authentic and fun
By Liz on 5/16/2003
Don't be influenced by the neg. reviews on Molto Mario's pizza haven. My advice - if you know the real thing from Napoli, this is it, but if you prefer Ray's Pizza, you'll be dissapointed. Our party of 5 started with a varied selection of cured meats, marinated artichokes and plump, juicy olives. Then we moved onto the centre of attention, Otto's pizza. Crisp, tasty thin crusts are the ideal base for a rich, sweet tomato sauce. The classic margherita was a clear winner. We also enjoyed a quattro stagione including a quarter topped with flavourful funghi. A white pizza with the thinnest asparagus and goat cheese was sharp and sweet at the same time. Gelato is a standout, especially the butterscotch and pignoli brittle. Strange behaviour at Otto - wax paper wrapped sourdough thrown on the table, tasty but impersonal. Crowd is casual. We paid around $40 per person which included wine (good selection).
Eat at the Bar
By sequoia on 5/5/2003
Stick to the lovely array of appetizers - Gaeta olives, artichokes, parmesan cheeses served with black truffle honey and order a robust Chianti. The bar is quite Italian and is stocked with grappa, amaro and Campari. The pizza is disappointing and has no similarity to any pizza made in Rome or Sicily.
Afraid of the celebrity chef
By dpUWS on 4/18/2003
I think the NY food critics are afraid to criticize a celebrity chef. Maybe afraid to say they really don't like something for fear that they will be the only one that thinks that? This place is big disappointment. The food is mediocre and the prices are outrageous. Fifty-cents an olive? A dollar for a mushroom. Count them in the little ramekins in which they are delivered. A table of four gets 2 pieces of bread wrapped in wax paper? The pizza is nothing special. And the Lardo pizza. I am sure Mario is laughing that he can put anything on a pizza, any price and NYers will think it is great! This is one NYer who has the guts to say "never again".
Mario Batali does it again
By volnay on 4/17/2003
As if we all didn't already know the strength of Batali's ingenuity. For any disbelievers, a trip to Otto would surely wash away any residual doubts. Far more casual than his other restaurants, Otto brings to NY a casual atmosphere with food that is simple, yet rich in texture and delight. Fried Smelts (a special on Friday) were so enjoyable, we ordered a second plate. The lardo pizza literally melted in our mouths. The decor is not overly impressive, nor romantic. But it is certainly the food that will bring you back, the rest is just dressing.
Get a pizza oven, Mario!
By CityGirl3 on 4/17/2003
Well, this is a disappointment. The pizzas are less than stellar, though the gelato is terrific.
Good, but NOT a restaurant!
By soldanli on 4/16/2003
The reason there are so many bi-polar reviews here is because people go there expecting a "restaurant" experience. Really this is a wine bar (100+ bottles to choose from), w/ some appetizers to nosh on (only 15 or so food choices!). There are NO ENTREES on this menu. All antipasti are small & the pizza's are thin crust and not very large. Everyone was ultra friendly to me and my two six- year-olds! Beware, although the ambience is festive and fun for families, there is barely a food item on the menu for children, not even buttered pasta. The simplest pizza (Margherita) was "just okay" to them. The desserts while wonderful to an adults palate, were judged "not sweet enough" to my children. I would go back if I were looking for an "enoteca" with some appetizers. It is good, but just don't think of it as a restaurant!!
Most Overrated Restaurant in the City!
By mr_smart_guy on 4/15/2003
The only reason I would return would be to stand in the front bar area for a quick drink before heading to a REAL restaurant! The pizza crust is paper-thin and the "unique" toppings DO NOT justify the ridiculous prices. Try again, Mario, we know you can do better!
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