Thursday, April 05, 2007

Otto

Last summer I read - and very much enjoyed - Heat by Bill Buford, the story of the former New Yorker literary editor's adventures as a "kitchen bitch" at Babbo, the hugely successful restaurant owned and run by The Ginger-Haired Wild Man of New York chefery, Mario Batali. Towards the end of the book, after many months spent being burnt, exhausted and delighted in equal measures, Buford moves to Italy to learn about butchery and pasta making. Meanwhile, Batali dreams up Otto, one of a string of restaurants he now has in New York. As far as I can remember, Buford suggested that the smart money said an up-scale, local pizza place just wouldn't work. Well, the smart money was wrong.

We arrived at 7:28 for a 7:30 booking and were wafted through an enormous crowd to our table. The place was packed and a scrum was forming at the desk. We ordered quickly - the seafood anti-pasti selection ($21), one pizza lardo and one anchovy pizza.

The wine took a while to arrive and the anti-pasti was vey average, but the pizzas were incredibly good - thin and crunchy bottomed. And then we chose two ice creams - Olive oil with Maldon sea-salt and Sweetcorn. Both were fantastic, actually, y'know, exciting, which is not something you often get to say about ice cream.

Great prosecco grappa too. Hic.

4 comments:

dis said...

If you get a chance, try a pastrami sandwich at Katz's Deli located at 205 E. Houston Street, on the south-west corner of Houston and Ludlow. And don't forget to buy a salami for your boy in the army. Its the cafe with the orgasm scene from "when harry met sally"

Lynne said...

I'm struggling to cope with the concept of olive oil and salt ice cream, marvellous though Maldon undoubtedly is.

Strangely - I can get my head around Sweetcorn ice cream much more readily.

Glad you're having fun in NY. I was there in 94. Stayed at the Paramount (another very dark hotel) which had it's own Dean and Deluca for brekky.

Must take Miles there one day - can you believe he's never been...?!

Bring me back a giant pretzel please!

PS: this is DivineMrsM posting with my google account....

dulwichmum said...

I am so jealous!

Robert said...

where are me superstar wides? loving your styles