Short Orders

At Otto, the pizza pies stack up

By Kelly Horan
Globe Correspondent / March 9, 2011

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A newcomer is upping the pizza ante in Harvard Square. Otto owners Anthony Allen and Mike Keon, both Bay State natives, hope their airy, crisp crusted pies ($3 for a slice, $8 to $21 for a round) will receive the same rapturous huzzahs that foodies have already offered up to their two locations in Portland, Maine. One reviewer on gushes: “This pizza is not baked, it’s created, I think, by angels. . . . I almost wept.’’ Hyperbole aside, Otto is onto something. Delicate, air-pocked crusts are thin enough to thrill Neapolitan-style fans but sturdy enough to hold up to signature toppings. The current bestseller: butternut squash, ricotta, and cranberry. Another top pick: mashed potato, bacon, and scallion. Of course, you won’t find either in Naples. Margherita, tangy and bright with Stanislaus-brand tomatoes and just the right proportion of bubbling mozzarella, will delight the purist in you. The lack of seating may not. Shoehorned into 300 square feet, Otto has a few improvised seats. Twenty-four pizzas are available, from cheese and pepperoni to pulled pork and mango, with a rotating selection of eight pies on offer all the time. FYI: There’s no Otto in the kitchen, just a palindrome restaurant name, which inspired another Yelp reviewer to joust: “Go hang a salami OTTO, I’m a lasagna hog.’’ (Get it? Another palindrome.) Otto, 1432 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-499-3352.

(Wendy Maeda / Globe Staff)


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