Thursday, February 2, 2012
Otto Tomotto's, Victor
There are a number of restaurants around town that offer pizza, but that aren't the kind of places you go to to get a pizza to go. Those tend to take me longer to get to, since I can't just get one at lunchtime or on the way home. But I do try to get to them when I can.
One such place is Otto Tommoto's in Victor. When I first heard about it, I assumed it was a chain restaurant. Something about the cutesy name, I guess. But it's not. It's an independent Italian restaurant, in a strip plaza on Rt. 96, a little east of Victor.
I had dinner there recently with my wife. Pizzas were listed as an appetizer, so I got one as such, although I could've easily made it my entree. With a pasta entree, another shared appetizer that my wife ordered, and a salad (which also proved to be superfluous, given the greens on my pizza), I had way too much food, and ended up taking some of the pizza home.
Otto's has five grilled pizzas on the menu - the original (basically a red-sauce pizza with four cheeses), a mushroom pizza, a "Tuscan Grill" pizza with olives, veggies, herbs and truffle oil, a clam pie, and a zucchini-crusted pie with veggie toppings.
Ordinarily I'd go for the most basic option, but the zucchini-crusted pie was the winner of Otto's 2011 Wooden Spoon Scholarship competition, submitted by Michael Piccone of the Finger Lakes Technical Career Center. Every purchase of this pizza adds another dollar to next year's scholarship fund. And it sounded pretty good, with a grilled pizza crust infused with shredded zucchini, and topped with sun-dried tomato pesto, Kalamata olives, Roma tomatoes (which are somewhat annoyingly, to me, spelled "tomottos" throughout the menu), Feta cheese and roasted peppers. So that's what I got.
The crust was soft, and reminiscent of pita bread. But it was enjoyable - I have nothing against pita bread - and had some added flavor imparted by the grilling, which was evident from the marks underneath. I didn't particularly notice any presence of the zucchini "infused" into the crust, but that's kind of how it is with zuccini. I mean, zucchini bread doesn't sound that great to me, but it's OK because it doesn't really taste like zucchini. Zucchini just seems to blend into dough without adding a lot of flavor or texture. It did leave me wondering, though, what Otto's regular, non-zucchini-infused crust is like.
With all the toppings on this pizza, it was a pretty "busy" pie, but the toppings worked well together, even if the total effect wasn't quite as flavorful as I'd expected. It was almost like a salad atop a grilled flatbread, but I enjoyed it well enough.
And I did like the restaurant in general. I should mention that our other appetizer, "Otto chips" (bottom photo) were downright addictive. These were homemade potato chips topped with roasted red peppers, scallions, Alfredo sauce, bacon, olives and Asiago cheese. As the menu says, they're essentially "Italian nachos." Not exactly diet food, but delicious.
And I must also mention that the service was good. It was good throughout our meal, but what stood out was that at the end of our meal, our server asked if my wife's entree was all right, since she left a lot of it on the plate. When my wife said that she wasn't thrilled with it, our server took it back to the kitchen, and emerged to say that it had been taken off our bill. That's good service, and I appreciated that.
This is one of those places I'd go back to, but probably not for the pizza. I am kind of curious about their regular pizza crust, but there are other things on the menu I'd like to try, and overall I was well pleased with the restaurant. This pizza was so different from conventional pizza - and it was pretty accurately described on the menu - that I don't think it would be fair to rate it. I will say that it's not a bad option, but there are other items on the menu that I'd probably opt for next time.
Otto Tomotto's, 300 Phoenix Mills Plaza, Route 96, Victor, NY
Tel.: 585-742-2070Hours: Tue. - Thu. 11:30 - 9 p.m., Fri. 11:30 - 10 p.m., Sat. 4 - 10 p.m., Sun. noon - 8 p.m.