Photos and Words by Taylor Mazzuoccola
One of the best things about being a BU student, in my opinion, is that a good meal is never far away or hard to find. Boston is undoubtedly a city abundant in great restaurants, but as a New Yorker, of course, my standards in Italian food and in particular, pizza, are set very high. I have been pleased to find that located conveniently – maybe too conveniently – to West Campus is a most unique pizzeria. Walking down Comm Ave, you can’t help but notice the brightly lit letters “OTTO” over the vastly windowed shop. Their enticing exterior reflects their pizzas. Since my first Otto experience, I’ve tasted about 11 of their slices… Yes, eleven.
Upon entering, you are confronted with about six different intriguing pizza varieties to choose from. Personally, it’s always impossible to decide I can never choose just one. The slices are big. Or, you can order a couple pies and share them amongst your friends.
Their signature pie is the mashed potato, bacon, and scallion. It may sound bizarre, but hear me out: the bacon is not so overpowering as to make you feel like you’re eating something so overindulgent; instead, it provides a smoky essence throughout. The mashed potato part is a light layer of red skinned potato chunks, and the scallion does not go unnoticed; it enhances the slice by contributing a fresh flavor. Now let’s talk about the crust. It’s crispy but not thin; it has a light olive oil taste and keeps the toppings in tact perfectly.
Some other specialties worth a try include: the butternut squash, ricotta, and cranberry; tortellini; sausage and white bean; summer squash and spinach; pulled pork and mango… Not to mention their intriguing weekend specials that draw me in so frequently. The mini fridge of side salads and unique sodas (I’m partial to spendthrift seltzers…) make the perfect accompaniment to their pizzas.
Otto’s ambience is also noteworthy; it’s cool, eclectic. Dim lighting and wooden and industrial furnishings fill the dining room and turn a quick bite into something a bit more special. Despite the plastic utensils and the paper plate, I love Otto's completely modern concept. The quirks of this place are what make it so great. In New York, tradition reigns– but Otto’s unconventional slices have broadened my horizons and forever altered my pizza perspective.