Tag Archives: Italian restaurant

Otto Enoteca Pizzeria


I recently received a gift card to Otto Enoteca Pizzeria (thank you, Chris!), one of my favorite Italian restaurants in the city. “Otto Enoteca Pizzeria is modeled after an Italian train station and located on 8th Street, in the historic One Fifth Avenue building,” … at the edge of Washington Square Park in the heart of Greenwich Village. Upon being seated, we were given a large, thick piece of bread wrapped in white paper and a packet of long bread sticks. The bread was decent, but would have been nice to have butter or olive oil and vinegar.

It was tough choosing between Spaghetti Alla Carbonara and one of the pasta specials, which contained radicchio, pancetta and gorgonzola. My friend and I ended up sharing, so I was able to have the best of both worlds.

The pasta special was pretty good. The radicchio (leafy purple-ish vegetable with a slightly bitter taste) was a bit wilted but I liked the pancetta. The gorgonzola was overpowering though. Overall, this dish was a bit too rich for me.


I liked the Spaghetti Alla Carbonara better, which had pancetta, scallions, black pepper, and egg. The pasta was cooked al dente, there was just enough black pepper (and salt), the pancetta added a lot of delicious flavor, but I couldn’t really discern the taste of egg and the consistency was a little gummy.


Then, of course I had to get dessert! I’ve had the Olive Oil Coppetta before and it is incredibly delicious, but wanted to try something different so went for the Parfait Carotina, which is described as “carrot & cashew cake, cardamom orange caramel, ricotta crema, cashew brittle, carrot orange marmelatta, cardamom orange gelato.” It was completely different from what I was expecting… There were grated carrots on top of the cake and the gelato didn’t have a strong flavor of either cardamom or orange, though I did like the cashew brittle. The flavors were ultimately not pleasant enough for me enjoy, so I switched my order to the Black & White, which did not disappoint.


The Black & White was truly delectable. It was a beautiful concoction of milk chocolate chip gelato + chocolate sauce (the Black), crème fraiche gelato (the White), and hazelnut croccante, topped with caramel crema and a crispy waffle wedge. While the caramel crema had a delightful light flavor of caramel, it was too much to eat just by itself. However, when combined with the rest of the dessert, it added an extra layer of deliciousness. The crème fraiche was light, fresh, divine and the milk chocolate (with actual bits of pure chocolate) was rich, creamy, wonderful, while the sugary crispy hazelnut brittle added a satisfying sweet crunch.


It is a testament to the quality of this restaurant that I’ve come back to dine here several times. Also, the service is quite good and the prices are affordable.

Otto Enoteca Pizzeria
1 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY

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Foodie Weekend

Friday night, I had the opportunity to try Aurora, Italian restaurant for my friend’s birthday dinner. Aurora is a little spot in Soho, hidden away from the bright lights but quite the happening place. We were seated at a lovely corner table. It was cozy and romantic- Lights were dimmed a little bit too much, making it hard to read the menu.

I chose the le Pappardelle al Vitello, which was “homemade wide cut spinach flavored pasta with Vermont veal ragù & gremolata.” It was simply delicious. The pasta was top notch; the sauce tasty accompanied with the gremolata which is a combination of lemon zest, garlic, parsley, and olive oil was light and delightful and the veal was tender and savory. It was so tasty that I ate it all up, and even scraped the plate with bread to get the last of the flavor.

The dessert of chocolate terrine (cake) was quite rich and very chocolate-y with almond gelato and an amaretto stick on top sprinkled powdered sugar, a circle of caramel, pistachios and almonds. This concoction was unique and worked beautifully. I especially enjoyed chocolate with the lighter not as heavy flavor of the almond gelato.

Also Friday night, I got to check out a hilarious musical improv show with another friend and after that went to see Argo, which I didn’t really know about but am so glad my friend convinced me to see it. Based on true events, it showed the incredible covert operation to rescue 6 Americans from the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. This movie was suspenseful, intense, and deeply moving. One of the best this year.

Saturday I spent the morning volunteering at the Food Network NYC Food & Wine Festival, helping out at the Grand Tasting with replenishing wine glasses for the guests. I got to see part of Paula Dean’s cooking demonstration! Before leaving, I had the chance to experience it for myself. I started at the Delta lounge, hanging out on one of the Business Class airplane seats which was actually quite comfortable. I continued on, grabbing delicious small bite samples along the way- Artisan sandwiches and crackers, BBQ, pasta, mac and cheese, potato pancakes, meatballs, and more. I also was given olive oil galore, a multitude of snacks- chips, granola bars, dessert bars and even the official goody bag.

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