Lauren and I arrived to Noodle Bar for the Fergus Henderson dinner at 7:15pm. We put our names on the list, only to learn that the estimated wait time was two hours.
Utterly dejected, we removed our names from the waitlist, and walked out, eyeing the plates of food on Zach’s table. We drowned our sorrows in a few lovely cocktails at PDT. An hour and three drinks later, we slid off our seats, into the streets, and right over to my favourite casual weeknight restaurant in the city: Otto.
The restaurant was unusually quiet, even for a Monday night. But it was a good thing, as far as I was concerned for that evening – I’ve never been a fan of crowds or noise. We started with the salad one must always order when dining at Otto with Lauren, the Escarole & Sunchoke.
Then shared the roasted autumn vegetables (carrots, squash) in balsamic…
…and a little dish of Salsify and Blood Orange.
(sorry for the terrible photos – I clearly was not paying attention)
The gentleman in the next seat over shared a few cheeses with us, and it was then I realized that I’ve never ordered the cheese plate at Otto. It’s understandable though – to pass up on Otto’s gelato for cheese is crazy talk! Next time, we will simply have to get both.
Post-salads and vegetables, we split the Pizza Romana (tomato mozzarella, anchovy, capers, and chiles). And between bites of this and that, coupled with Prosecco, I was introduced to a rather enjoyable combination of Prosecco and Campari – another first for me. Frank wasn’t at the bar, and dinner at Otto is never the same without him, but John was quite nice and taught us a few things about dessert wines.
When I eat alone here, my meal is as follows: two glasses of something nice, a seasonal vegetable, pasta (usually the carbonara), and then gelato. I enjoy dining alone, but if you find the right company…that of one who prefers to eat well and plentiful, then the meal has potential to be significantly more memorable.
Such was the case last night when we were trying to settle upon dessert.
“Olive Oil Copetta. Must. Yes.”
“Oh, but wait, what about the Pumpkin Copetta? We need that too!”
“Nonono, look down the menu – they brought back the Gianduja Chocolate!”
“Should we get that?”
“Which one? Both?”
And so, with great joy, we ended the meal with not one, or two, but three desserts.
The Olive Oil Copetta is a classic on the gelato menu – toppings change with the season. Currently on the menu: fennel brittle, fresh pomegranates, and blood oranges. As always, finished with Maldon and a dabble of olive oil.
The warm Gianduja Chocolate, shortbread square on the side…
…and the Pumpkin Copetta, composed of pumpkin gelato (made from Cheese Pumpkins), with almond crumble, cherries, buttered pecans, and mascarpone crema. It is a shame I cannot have this for breakfast every morning :)
113 St. Marks Place
New York, NY 10009
1 Fifth Avenue
NY, NY 10003