Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

OTOM, new sister restaurant to MOTO


Fat Guy
 Share

Recommended Posts

We received a news release today from Moto restaurant:

Joseph De Vito, Adriana Carrasco and the entire moto team are excited to announce the opening of OTOM, moto’s sister restaurant at 951 W. Fulton Market. Literally 2 doors west of moto but with a completely different agenda, OTOM is the comforting counter-point to moto’s exciting gastronomic adventure.

Visit us beginning at 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, for some of our favorites, including Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Corn & Egg Noodles, Beer-Battered Vegetable Medley with home-made Tartar Sauce, and our delicious Bing Cherry Cobbler. Reservations are accepted, and recommended for parties larger than 5. Call 312/491-5804 for more information.

........

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In timely fashion, I sampled a few courses at Otom tonight. I came away feeling very meh about the place. It has the potential to be good but as of now borders on unremarkable.

First of all, this was my first visit to the area. All I can say is wow. It's like a 21st century Meatpacking District that never quite gentrified. Surroundings aside, Otom is not an unattractive restaurant. Sure it takes advantage of some of the most overused trends in restaurant interior design, but it's certainly a step up (for those who know, there IS pun intended there) from the outside.

As wide as the cocktail list is, the menu is narrow. I believe there are six app choices and maybe seven-ish mains. These apps include such culinary modern marvels like bacon Caesar salad with black pepper, grilled cheese, sliders, and soup of the day. Mains include mac-and-cheese, chicken pot pie, apricot-glazed ribs, breaded cod, and things like that. I have no problem with comfort food, but the modern touches promised on earlier preview menus were completely absent. Besides the name and location, there is effectively nothing that links the two restaurants. Those expecting Moto-lite will be severely disappointed, and those like myself expecting American comfort food with a bit of modern technique will be duly let down.

I sampled the brasiola, arugula, and apple salad. I usually never order salad, but this was honestly the most interesting of the starters. It was fine but nothing special. Pine nuts and the thinly sliced meat gave the salad a bit of warmth and depth. I also had the mac-and-cheese, served in a cute Staub-like crock. This had andouille and fennel and was quite tasty if a bit runny. The cheese bechamel was more thin sauce than rich and creamy binder. The flavors were on, however. To finish, I had the banana split, the most creative dish of the night. Here were three caramelized pieces of banana encased in a crisp chocolate shell, topped with nuts and classic split accompaniments. One banana skewer was topped with pineapple, one with caramel, and the last with minced marashino cherry. While quite sweet, I enjoyed this dish; it's actually evocative of David Burke's cheesecake lollipop tree.

Service on the whole was extremely solicitous, sometimes to a fault. I have no problem if multiple staff members ask me how I'm doing, how I'm enjoying my food, how I enjoyed my food, if I enjoyed myself. That part was fine. The fact that the waitstaff seemed eager to fire everything at once was a bit overkill. The restaurant, not even counting the empty front bar/lounge, was not even half full, yet my salad was out in about three minutes and my mac-and-cheese placed in front of me by the same server who was at the same moment using his other hand to clear my salad bowl. The mac-and-cheese was too hot to eat anyway, so a few minutes of intermission time would not have been a problem. My dessert followed about two to three minutes after I ordered. I was almost shocked the cooks could physically assemble the dishes so quickly. I'm all about efficiency, especially as a solo diner, but this was a bit much.

For a restaurant that's been open for a week, I can see this place surviving. I do think, however, the menu, if it remains this simple, needs to be expanded. Or better yet, follow the course of the banana split dessert and infuse a bit of whimsy and creativity into classic dishes for a more unique value prop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

Hi,

Just dined at OTOM last week and, as a whole, the restaurant has improved significantly. The basic idea is still there (comfort food with a twist), but this time around, the playfulness of known ingredients morphed into a very satisfying meal. Among the standouts: the lyonnaise breakfast sald "bacon egg," curly escarole and grain mustard vinaigrette was incredible. The Bacon egg is frozen and the dressing is inside.

The King salmon ceviche with citrus bubbles and two sauces (chili and cucumber) was delicious. The Mac and cheese with the truffled white cheddar lacked a little something, but very good.

The entrees were very good indeed: The tv dinner is an all vegetarian dish that is outstanding, whimsical and very good. THe mashed potatoes were actually cauliflower with coffee gravy (out of this world.) The chicken leg was made out of beans. Fun and good.

The short rib ravioli with parsnip vanilla puree and brown butter was very good also.

Milk and cookies was a fine dessert.

However, I would recommend that before the meal starts you sample some of Mike's incredible cocktail concoctions. THis guy is in a league of his own. I had the Aviation and then his take on a white russian....Fantastic.

Great turnaround.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not having eaten here, but listening to the descriptions, I'm not really sure what makes this restaurant anything other than another version of Moto (which isn't a bad thing) with different dishes?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't eaten there either, but I was at an event catered by Otom several weeks back, and I must say, was very underwhelmed. Hopefully, as said above, they've turned things around. I'll have to go in and sample some of their cocktails, though!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, so I went last night and had dinner at the bar. Mike took tremendous care of us and made the best Sazerac I've ever tasted. The short rib ravioli absolutely blew my mind. We had a great time and look forward to going back; promise not to be the last to leave next time!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...