The Best Pizzeria in NYC
“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”
—Yogi Berra (1925–2015)
At Otto I can eat an entire pizza by myself; it is the best pizzeria in New York City! It is the brainchild of Mario Batali. He has created a casual Italian restaurant that is both a popular wine bar and a sit-down pizzeria with waiter service.
Choose from a selection of fresh salads; my favorite is the Romaine lettuce, red onion and a slice of provolone cheese. The seasoned vegetable antipasti (I love the lentils), and the gaeta, sicilian, & alfonso olives (order the olives!) are served in small ceramic bowls on a tray. The black truffle honey that comes with the cheeses is one of the best I’ve ever had.
The pizza, each sized to an average dinner plate, is thin-crusted with a variety of creative toppings, and cooked on a griddle. My favorite is funghi and taleggio (mushrooms and taleggio cheese). There is a selection of pastas too; pasta alla Norma is very good. The gelati are served in sundae form. The flavors, such as olive oil, may strike some as unusual. All the concoctions are very satisfying.
Reservations are highly recommended, especially for a large party on a weekend night. During the week, the wine bar area gets very busy, attracting an after-work crowd.
Otto is not a named for a man named Otto, but for the Italian word for ‘eight,’ otto. It is located on Eighth Street. We do pass One Fifth Avenue, where Otto is located, on the Greenwich Village Walking Tour, as well as 11 Fifth Avenue, where Otto’s owner Mario Batali lives!
Address One Fifth Avenue at East Eighth Street
Directions Get to Fifth Avenue to ride one of the following buses, M1, M2, M3 or M5, to the Fifth Avenue and the East Eighth Street stop; and you are there! Ride the #6 subway train on the green line to the Astor Place stop; walk along East Eighth Street, against the direction of the traffic; walk beyond University Place. You will see the sign for Otto on your left before reaching Fifth Avenue.
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