You know things are bad when once very popular, former Mario Batali, Joe and Lidia
Bastianich restaurants close. This is the case with Otto Enoteca, created by Mario Batali and
partner Joe Bastianich back in 2003, another victim of Covid 19 Pandemic of 2020. It's a sad day for me, someone who loves Italian Wine and Italian Wine Bars, as to begin with, there are not that many in
New York, and now we've lost another. I know what it's like. I myself created with my partner
America's 1st ever Venetian Wine (Bacaro) Bar Cichetti way back in 1998, right around the time that Joe Bastianich joined forces with rising celebrity chef Mario Batali and opened Babbo. This is were they started growing their restaurant empire. They followed Babbo with Lupa Osteria, specializing in Roman Cusisine and Italian Wine. Today Lupa is the only former Bastianich / Batali restaurants operating at this very moment
(Novemeber 2020). Babbo has not opened and there is rabid speculation that Del Posto will not survive the Pandemic and in all likelihood will shutter it's doors permanently. Eataly remains opened.
Yes I will miss Otto. Joe and Mario set it up quite nicely, especially the bar, which though the prices were quite a bit more than most wine bars in Italy, I really liked the place. My cousin Joe and I went there on numerous occasions and had some good times there. We'd order some nice wine and have a few antipasti plates, and maybe a pasta or two.
Anyway, as the smoke has cleared with the whole ting with Mario, and him leaving B&B Hospitality.
One would have to say Mr. Batali got out just in time. He was paid off for his share in the company which has now lost a great deal of its former total value. Who knew we were going to have a Pandemic that would change the whole world, killing people, and destroying many businesses in its wake. Otto is a victim of the Pandemic and has closed for good. Babbo has been closed and has not re-opened yet, though we suspect it will re-open one day, and most likely will not fall victim. Del Posto is another story, most feel that it will end up closing for good, though we could be wrong on this thinking. Lupa is a great restaurant and we are happy to see them open, and hopefully for a long time to go. We just got a new President, Joe Biden. We are all hoping and praying and wishing this horrible nightmare of the Covid 19 Pandemic would just go away (as Donald Trump said it would) and die. All everyone wants is to get back to normal. Well as normal as can be? We know many things will change for good, but we all want to go back to work full time and have things go the way they were going before this horrible Pandemic hit, "can we please?"