The chef-patron of Michelin-starred Chelsea restaurant Elystan Street - currently ranked number 24 on the UK's Top 100 Restaurants List - and former chef-patron at two Michelin-starred The Square in Mayfair is leading the launch with Elystan Street general manager David Chevalier heading up the operations team.
OTTO, which takes its name from the Italian word for eight, will offer a seasonally changing menu of eight dishes, the elements of which have been sourced from suppliers to Howard’s restaurants Elystan Street, Kitchen W8 and Church Road that he co owns with business partner Rebecca Mascarenhas.
Dishes on the launch menu will include ravioli with sprouting broccoli, nettles, ricotta and herbs; gnocchetti with smashed sausage, fennel, white wine and garlic; rigatoni with slow cooked aged beef, field mushrooms and red wine; short cut bucatini with a spring vegetable and almond Bolognese; and ravioli of Jersey Royals, English peas, aged pecorino and mint.
Every pasta order will also include an amount of pasta water to be added to each sauce when preparing the dishes.
There will also be a selection of snacks available, such as olives; roasted sweet and spicy nuts; focaccia with rosemary and garlic drizzle; a plate of Coppa di Parma; burrata with extra virgin olive oil and a chilli and olive crumble; and one dessert items – an espresso brownie. Prices will start from £8 for a single portion main, £3.50 for a snack and £6 for a starter
“Pasta has been on every menu I have created for my restaurants for the past 35 years,” says Howard. “Two of the dishes that I am perhaps best known for are the lasagne of crab at The Square and the strozzapreti of truffles at Elystan Street.
“Pasta’s capacity to deliver pleasure is without rival and when you’re in the business of giving pleasure, that’s makes for a pretty useful tool.”
OTTO will enable Howard to create food at a more accessible price than at restaurants such as The Square and Elystan Street. “The nice thing about pasta is that it allows me to be able to enter an arena which is accessible to all budgets, and that’s new territory for me,” he says.
The business will be based out of a kitchen in south west London with the pasta available in London initially – starting with most of west and south west London and expanding over time throughout the rest of the capital. Deliveries will be carried out by a fleet of vespas with all packaging used being recyclable. Delivery will be charged for a single portion main order, but above two main portions it will be free, with the cut off for ordering being midday the day before delivery.