Otto Pizzeria e Enoteca
One Fifth Avenue on 8th Street
$90 for three, with several drinks, with tip
When a group of my friends and I just want a laid-back night with good food but can’t afford the other Batali establishments, we end up at Otto where we can eat thin-crust pizzas cooked on a flat-iron griddle. My favorite is the funghi and taleggio pizza with earthy mushrooms and fragrant taleggio cheese. The fennel with bottarga, or Italian caviar, showered with mozarella and pecorino pizza is also delicious. For those who want something more familiar, the classic marinara and pepperoni pizzas are also available as well as smaller pasta dishes like penne, spaghetti and linguine. We spend most of our money in antipasti like prosciutto, octopus, tomato and mozarella salad and the anchovies.
The service is brisk especially when the place is hopping on weekends. If you prefer to skip the dining room, there are tables at the bar where you can just stand and hover over your food and Italian wine. During one visit, our waiter bumped into our table and spilled water all over my brother’s lap. They apologized by bringing him a complimentary beer and dessert afterwards. It’s not Babbo, but your wallet will gladly thank you for it.