A Voce and Otto Enoteca Pizzeria

June 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

Saturday I met with not one, but two, good friends from Georgetown. I started uptown, where Melissa and I had lunch at A Voce, Missy Robbins’ relatively new Italian restaurant that has spectacular views of Columbus Circle. We began with their delicious and fresh focaccia bread and something new – a creamy goat cheese with spices, tons of olive oil, and fresh herbs. I could’ve eaten that for an entire meal actually.

Our main courses were the pappardelle with rabbit sausage and fennel and sagne all’amatriciana with bacon, onions, etc. Although my pasta was a bit hard to eat since it came in long thick sheets, it was so rich and full of flavor that I didn’t really mind. The rabbit sausage was tender and spicy, and even though there wasn’t an actual sauce, the fennel and onions imparted great savoriness and well-roundedness to the dish. We didn’t order dessert, but later, the waiter came over with a small plate of doughy fritters sprinkled with powdered sugar and drizzled with floral honey, a nice (and free) end to the meal.

Afterwards, we walked around the beautiful Time Warner building, only to find that the Samsung store had set up giant television screens and chairs for people to watch the USA vs. Ghana World Cup match that afternoon. So we spent the next two hours digesting our food and agonizing as the US team failed to convert on their shots on goal.

At around 5, I headed downtown to Washington Square Park, where I met Amy for dinner at OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria, Mario Batali’s casual eatery. It was already packed by the time we got there, but luckily since we’d made reservations, we didn’t have to deal with the crowds.

We started off with one of the special salads, with cucumber, watermelon, and sharp sheep’s cheese. I’d always been curious about savory salads with watermelon, but this was surprisingly good. The sweetness was balanced by the acidity of the balsamic vinegar and the cut of the red onions. We shared a prosciutto arugula pizza (my favorite) and a plate of the bucatini, which came tossed with guanciale (kind of like Italian bacon), onions, and other yummy goodness.

But the definite highlight of the meal was the olive oil coppetta. Olive oil gelato topped with large flakes of sea salt (weird, I know, but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it), passionfruit granita (essentially Italian ice) basil syrup, fresh strawberries, and lime curd. Salty, sweet, tart…it was one of the most harmonious desserts I’ve ever had. And now everytime I go back to OTTO, I’m going to have to get it.

A Voce at Columbus Circle
10 Columbus Circle, 3rd floor, NYC
212.823.2523
www.avocerestaurant.com

OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria
1 5th Avenue, NYC
212.995.9559
http://ottopizzeria.com/

 

 

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