The lockdown rules were pretty clear-cut: you either make sourdough, learn a new language, or become incredibly ripped.
Well Phil Howard, the rebel he is, decided that he was going to make fresh pasta.
His mail-order concept was named Otto – that’s Italian for ‘eight’ – in honour of the fact that it’s A) Italian and B) has eight menu items, and apparently it delivered in more ways than one. So, now that everyone’s started sitting down in actual restaurants once again, he’s decided to create an actual restaurant that you can sit down in.
For anyone who doesn’t have a mini-bio of Phil Howard spring immediately to mind upon the mention of his name, he’s one of those elder statesmen chefs from the same generation that blessed us with Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, and Michel Roux Jr. And despite the fact that he’s won as many Michelin Stars as his contemporaries (two at The Square, one at Elystan Street, one at Kitchen W8) with a few exceptions he’s mostly shunned the limelight and the TV studio – he might otherwise be a household name.
He’s parking Otto in an old Paperchase shop down in Piccadilly, which will presumably need a couple of minor upgrades, like tables, chairs, and the installation of a kitchen. At the helm of that kitchen will be one Louis Korovilas, a fresh pasta specialist whose recent work includes standouts Noci and Bancone. And frankly, if you could choose anyone to steer a ship like this, his name would probably be at the top of the shortlist.
The menu will have a rotating collection of eight pastas on it ant any time. Expect the likes of pliant gnocchetti with smashed sausage, white wine, fennel & chilli; some silky pappardelle with slow-cooked shin of beef, plus oxtail & red wine; and jet black squid ink spaghetti with sardines & sweet peppers. They’ve all been read tested by his delivery concept, and they’re all promising to be reasonably priced; dishes will top out at just £13.
Looks like this place is going to deliver, too.
NOTE: Otto is set to open in November. We’ll be back then with the full scoop. In the meantime, you can find out more at their website right here.
Otto | 198-200 Piccadilly, W1J 9EZ
Planning on staying in the neighbourhood? Take a look at our collection on the Best Bars in Mayfair…