Portland pizza fans will be happy to know there’s a new OTTO Pizza expansion. Located right next door to its 576 Congress Street slice hub, the 40-seat OTTO is in the former Wild Burrito storefront and provides the much-needed seating space for the popular pizza parlor’s high volume. In addition to more seats, the new OTTO location also features an expanded wine list, additional taps of delicious craft brews, as well as OTTO’s signature salads and desserts.
Some of the Dispatch crew decided to check out the new digs on our lunch break. We’re happy to report it was a delightful lunch indeed.
Obviously, we started with drinks. Not one to turn down a lunch time beer, I went with my staple, the always delicious Allagash White. I was happy to see it came without a lemon. Not a fan of the lemon. Cortney and Katy are white wine gals, so pinot grigio it was.
Since Cortney and Katy are still kind of Portland newbs (both recent Boston transplants), and I live on the West End, none of us had ever had any of OTTO’s signature salads featured at the East End location. We went ahead and ordered two salads, choosing the Mozzarella & Tomato, which came with croutons, oregano, lemon vinaigrette, and basil ($7) and the Romaine & Fennel, adorned with green apple, red onion, and buttermilk dressing ($7). Both were nice, though I could have used a little more dressing on the Romaine and Fennel. A sucker for mozzerella, I have no complaints about that one. Except greedy glutton that I am, maybe next time I won’t split it.
Obviously we didn’t go to OTTO just to eat salads. We each ordered a slice. I got the Mashed Potato, Bacon, and Scallion. Katy got the Baby Spinach, Chicken, and Asiago. And Cortney munched on the OTTO Four Cheese. Nothing new on the slice front; they were all delicious, per usual. But it was nice to enjoy the restaurant atmosphere for a change while devouring one of my favorite Portland pizzas. Our server was friendly and informative. Again, we were on our lunch break so we also appreciated the fast service. We were in and out in a little over 30 minutes… and we may have lingered just a little bit.
I’ve spent many a night in line at OTTO, gasping bites into my mouth on a slightly inebriated walk home. I’ve also been known to harass the bartender a time or two for a craft beer and a slice at their sister shop Enzo. While both are lovely spots, I generally hit both up when I’m in more of a lone wolf dining mood as they’re not really ideal for a group setting—there isn’t much sitting room to speak of. The 574 location not only has plenty of seats as previously mentioned, but also boasts a beautiful bar and a cozy environment with low lighting and minimalist decor that’s undoubtedly inviting and quintessentially Portland.
The new OTTO space definitely gets the Dispatch Stamp of Approval. And we recommend you head down there with some friends for a few drinks, maybe too many slices, and some good conversation. Furthermore, the Congress Street location offers fantastic people watching.
Hours: 11:30am to 11pm Thursday through Sunday and 11:30am to 12am Friday and Saturday.