Ottomatic Favorite

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Last night, I checked out a dinner spot that I’d heard a lot about: Otto. Located in the West Village, this Mario Batali restaurant serves up a variety of appetizers, pizzas, and pastas with a killer wine list. Unlike Batali’s Babbo (which I went to once and can’t afford again anytime soon), the dishes are very reasonably priced – $9 for a pasta dish, $12 – $15 for a pizza.

We were glad we’d made a reservation, since the place was pretty packed. There’s a wine bar in the front, with more seating options in the back. We were politely greeted by a red-haired waiter who aptly looked like Mario himself.  We started off the meal with a drink, possibly the most expensive glass of wine I’ve ever had (all wines by the glass were $12-$15, despite the reasonable food prices). But it was a bit more than a glass and super tasty.

For an appetizer, we ordered a three cheese platter which comes with three dips – apricot, some kind of honey, and black cherry (my favorite). I particularly enjoyed dipping the ridiculously tasty Coach Triple Cream goat cheese in that cherry dip – not what I’d expect a food segregationalist like myself would enjoy, but I’m already craving more. For my main dish, I got a delicious pasta with eggplant and ricotta. The food is meant to be shared, but you can also just order your own. The portions weren’t gigantic, but that worked for me and I still had some to take home for lunch today.

So this spot is my new favorite Italian. It’s got everything – wonderful food, good service, decent prices, and a lively vibe. It would work either for a date or for big group…I can’t wait to go again. It’s making me hungry just thinking about it!

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