One Fifth Avenue,

New York, NY 10003

Tel +1 (212) 995-9559

July 2008

Owners Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich opened Otto, their pizzeria/wine bar several years ago and have never looked back. Not surprisingly in these tough economic times, Otto is almost always packed. Diners come for the pizza, pasta and Italian charcuterie that are the house specialties. And then there is the gelato, which is among the finest readers are likely to find on this side of the Atlantic. The wine list is incredible in both its size and scope. A number of wines are offered by the quartino (250ml), an ideal size for two people that makes it easy to taste several wines without having to order an entire bottle. The wine list contains a vast selection of hard to find wines from Piedmont, Tuscany and the rest of Italy that would put many a high-end restaurant to shame. Otto is open for lunch on the weekends, and is an ideal place to take families with young children.

The large plate of affettati (cold cuts) was delicious, especially with a class of the Col Vetoraz Prosecco, one of my favorite versions of this popular sparkler from Veneto. I loved the Pizza Margherita D.O.P., which was topped with bufala mozzarella. The Mushroom and Taleggio Pizza and the Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza were standouts as well. Vie di Romans’s 2004 Flor di Uis appeared to be in a bit of a closed phase. The wine’s signature aromatics and lush fruit were present, but not fully expressive. Cerbaiona’s 2005 Rosso di Montalcino was absolutely gorgeous. This tasty red offered up sweet, inviting aromatics along with bright red fruit in an elegant, refined style that reminded me how great Sangiovese from Montalcino can be, even at the simpler Rosso level. All the signature qualities of Cerbaiona’s more important Brunellos were there, albeit in miniature. It was a great wine to enjoy liberally alongside the delicious pizzas. 


Crostini with lentils

Assorted affettati

Assorted pizzas 



Col Vetoraz Prosecco



Vie di Romans Flors di Uis



Cerbaiona Rosso di Montalcino


[Photo and credit: Otto, New York]

--Antonio Galloni