I wanted to go to ABC Kitchen with my parents on Wednesday, but we couldn't get a rez. So, we went to Otto, Mario Batali's pizza and pasta joint, instead. Mom and I started with drinks in the front bar section that meant to channel an Italian train station vibe. My experience with Italian train stations comes from spending the night on the floor in Milan with bums all around and nothing but a big mac for sustenance so I don't conjure great sentiments, but Batali's more idyllic image is quite nice.
When we sat down we ordered more drinks and started with some cheese and prosciutto. The deal was three cheeses for $11 and below you can see what that gets you. Not much cheese. We went with the ricotta, ubraico and pecorino, and each was delicious when paired with the cherries, truffle honey and spicy apricots provided.
For our mains, Dad went with the Ravioli di Brasato with tomato, basil and parmesan, and Mom had a special spinach lasagna. I went for the special truffle pizza.
BOOM. Now that, my loyal comrades, is a $35 pizza. It was swathed in truffles and guanciale, and topped with a glorious egg. I'm definitely against genetically modified shit, but wouldn't it be so awesome to have truffles shaped as dollar signs? Imagine if those truffle shavings on the pizza looked like neat little dollar signs. That would be ballin'. Truffles are so ostentatious in their in-concealable aroma, but if they looked like dollar signs, it would be an "opulence; I has it," moment. Google that phrase. The truffle pizza was bangin', although quite oily. The crust was delightfully thin and theres nothing I love more than a runny egg on top of anything. But yeah, I conveniently (and truthfully) didn't know it was $35 until Ed got the bill. Oops.
Mom's lasagna was also delicious. It had creamy bechamel and the homemade spinach pasta was a nice twist. Dad's freshly homemade ravioli were nicely al dente and stuffed with pork. The portions were on the small side and the pastas rang in at $17 and $18, but they were both special. There is a list of regular pastas on the menu that are all quite reasonably priced at $10. We didn't stay for dessert but I've heard that Otto's gelati are some of the best in the city. Next time. By the time we left the dining room was packed and loud. I definitely recommend a reservation.
Otto: 1 5th Ave at 8th St. (212) 995-9559