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Otto Restaurant (NYC 2012)

Starting Sept. 2, 2012, until I’m done, one post about my fabulous New York City 2012 vacation will post until I’ve finished sharing all the fabulousness with my readers. I have lots more on the horizon for NEB and my New York City posts need to complete before I can. I hope you have fun reading them.

Fish Course Appetizer at Otto NYC

Fish Course Appetizer at Otto NYC

Lately, I’ve been remembering my meal at Otto Restaurant in New York City.  As I eat copious amounts of salad and lighter fare during a hot summer, I think back to some of the dishes I liked so much at this restaurant, and wonder if it is time to recreate one or two of them.  As I enjoy Labor Day here in the United States, I don’t have a bento packed for lunch.  It’s the perfect time to remember a lovely meal enjoyed on fabulous New York City vacation.

One evening, plans didn’t work out for the evening, so Feisty Foodie, one of her friends, and I changed our course, heading over to Otto NYC for a bite.  When I had previously asked about the best Italian food in NYC, Otto was one of the top on her list.  We were lucky enough to snag a table, and the ordering began.  Feisty wanted to order a fish course appetizer she felt was a good deal for what you get.  Five appetizer sized fish courses for $21: seppia con acetini; octopus, celery, lovage; anchovies, breadcrumbs; shrimp, ceci, chilies; and mussels, peperonata, mint.  This particular dish was way outside my food comfort zone.  I liked the shrimp based dish as I’m used to shrimp from my own home state.  The mussel dish was the first time I’ve ever tasted mussels and I found it pretty okay.  The rest I wasn’t too wild about; they were just too far off the food palate for me at that time.  I don’t regret trying them, just wishes I would have enjoyed them more.

Baby Spinach Salad with Truffle Honey & Ricotta Salata at Otto NYC

Baby Spinach Salad with Truffle Honey & Ricotta Salata

One dish I did especially enjoy was a baby spinach salad with truffle honey and ricotta salata. This too was a stretch for me. I’ve always shied away from trying anything with truffles, as I have heard they are earthy in taste. I’ve equated them all these years to mushrooms in the sense of an earthy taste. The few wee things I’ve tried lately flavored with truffles I’ve quite enjoyed. This salad is now included in that circle of truffle delight. Making this at home probably wouldn’t be too hard, but I don’t know where to source the truffle honey. I’m kicking myself for not buying some at Otto!

Pasta Carbonara at Otto NYC

Spaghetti ala Carbonara

I’ve been trying to perfect some variation of pasta carbonara for quite some time now.  I was extremely excited to go to Otto since this dish is on their menu.  The sauce didn’t disappoint: creamy goodness with hints of bacon.  The only thing I didn’t quite like was how al dente the pasta was.  That’s okay.  I still quite enjoyed my dish.

Bianca Pizza at Otto NYC

Bianca Pizza

We also ordered the Bianca pizza, a marinaraless pizza that my system thanked me for. Cheese, olive oil, and a bit of salt atop a crispy pizza crust made me groan in delight. Between the pasta (regardless of it’s overly crunchiness) and pizza I was one happy girl filled with some great Italian food.

Black and White Dessert at Otto NYC

But no matter how full I am you know I am always going to try a new dessert, right?  Enter the black & white: milk chocolate chip gelato, hazelnut croccante, creme fraiche gelato, chocolate sauce, caramel crema.  I think this dessert is what has helped kick off my recent obsession with chocolate/caramel combinations.

All in all I give Otto a big thumbs up.  If I get back to NYC, I’m never going to new restaurants, as I’m just going to keep repeating these favorites.  :)


  1. Yvo says:

    Hahaha! Nice. Ahem: though I will say that Otto probably makes their own truffle honey, and perhaps you’ve got a friend in NYC nice enough to attempt to send you a jar ;)

    I’m sorry I didn’t realize the grande pesci was way outside your comfort zone though! And yes, the pasta being too al dente is a common complaint of Batali’s places. He seems to request that the pasta be cooked crunchy. Yikes!
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    • Jenn says:

      Thanks for the truffle honey source, Yvo. As for the grande pesci, that’s okay. That’s what the trip was all about right? Expanding my horizons. Good for me to try new things.

  2. Aimee says:

    Just wonderful Jenn! So jealous too! ; )

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