Otto's is a very special bijou French bistro in a rather grey road (Grays Inn rd) in London. The exterior has a beguiling front and the interior is charming/ kitsch and ever so slightly reminiscent of Fawlty Towers (in a good way). One of the main draws here is the ' Canard a la Presse', which is basically a duck flown over from France, gallantly presented to the table raw, then sizzled in front of you. This is followed by an exuberant display of the workings of a shiny silver presse crushing the carcass and good stuff to produce tasty duck juices. The end result is a very attractive plate of duck with rich ducky jus. Unfortunately i tried to preorder this 2 weeks before, but another large table beat us to it i.e. book well in advance. Ah well, another reason to go again. The food was proper fancy French food with delicious, belly-busting, artery-clogging tendencies. My starter of langoustine ravioli had perfect al-dente pasta, succulent morsels of langoustine and a rich seafood bisque. The highlight was the beef with a huge chunk of caramelised fois gras (so big, i thought it was another slab of beef) accompanied by the deepest, richest heavenly jus you will ever taste. I had fantasised about the crepes suzette, which unfortunately was not on the menu. I just love the pomp and ceremony of this dish. The service was charming, not too intrusive and welcoming. There are few places in London like this, truly enchanting.
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Posted: Fri Aug 3 2012
Paying homage to the Belle Époque, Otto’s quest is to be London’s new destination restaurant for wine lovers. Otto’s Wine list is not just any restaurant wine list; it is priced at trade price plus a low fixed margin and gives you the opportunity to try fine wines at a fraction of the cost normally found in restaurants and perhaps more excitingly to tempt you to upgrade on quality as the finer the wine the more you will save. Classic French Cuisine to complement our fine wines.
Average User Rating
4.8 / 5
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In category of 'hidden gem'. Cannot believe this place has been open for 18 months and was nor full this Friday lunchtime. Took a foodie Francophile friend for her birthday, + partners. mine is highly hard-to-please Sicilian, good cook, who only ever wants Chinese, Japanese or Turkish lamb chops but was crazily enthusiastic for this and wants to go back asap. I had tete de veau (with fried egg, girolles, calf's tongue and wonderful mayonnaise, boyfriend had raviolo of nagoustine in fantastic bisque, and - because I found it so hard to choose between this and foie gras cooked in sauternes and rhubarb as starter - just heated through foie gras on top of potatoes darphin (perfect, difficult to cook) as side dish to prefectly prepred steak tartare, prepared at table. Birthday girl (ageda 70) had the best grouse she has ever had, husband on pork chop which looked average but he said best ever, boyfriend on least interesting Provencal John Dory, finishing with the best profiteroles we have ever had. kistchy, comfy dining room, attentive but not annoying service, this place is great.. really really happy to have eaten here. Old school French food (you canorder in advance duck presse) but better than I ever seem to find in Paris. Wine list is really great (we had classic choices, Chabli, St Emilion and Sauternes) as the mark up is small and possible to experiment.
Had dinner there last night. Simply delicious and as I said to one of the waiters, if that were to have been my last meal on earth, I would have died a very happy man.
Otto is the most eccentric, charming and honest person you could ever meet that makes the restaurant what it is. Just very special. Must see and eat.
We have eaten there twice now. Excellent food. Complimentary wine list. Great service. Otto and Ellen are charming attentive hosts. Warm atmosphere. Would highly recommend