Thursday 9 December 2010

Otto: Deliciously different gluten free pizza

Well I am beginning to feel the tide is changing, can you feel it too? First are we blessed with the awesome gluten free Hell Pizza chain, and now the fabulous Otto Pizza too!

Otto Pizza is a funky, smartly furnished yet laid back pizzeria in Notting Hill. They exclusively serve cornmeal crust pizzas - something they discovered whilst on a road trip in the States. And although their usual recipe is a non-gf combination base, they have now made a gluten free version just for us!

It's not like your typical pizza, nor is it trying to be - you can taste the cornmeal in the crust, which is the intention, and it is delicious. You get an almost sourdough taste to it. It's quite dense, and when loaded with the tons of very high quality (and often homemade) ingredients it's almost like a topless pie. A true pizza pie I guess you could say. I had a pizza loving non-gluten-free friend (side note - what are we calling these people, in the sense of "muggles"? Wheat eaters? NGF's? You let me know please) try it and he thought it was superb, a definite thumbs up.

I went for the pepperoni; mozzarella and fontina cheeses, pepperoni, mushrooms and tomato, to be more precise. The quality of the ingredients really does make all the difference. They were excellent -fresh and very high quality (I hate to say anything bad about Cotto's as so many of you have a fondness for it, in the sense of it being a gluten free oasis in a bleak wheat filled desert, but the ingredients are very low quality and I didn't enjoy the pizza there at all for that reason, and wouldn't go back unless there was nowhere else to go. I wouldn't go if I was non-gf, I'm not going to go there now just cause I am. Please though, no pitchforks!).

The range at Otto is great also - I can't wait to go back to try the homemade (and gf) fennel sausage pizza with caramelized onions and marinated green peppers. How good does that sound? Or indeed the Pesto and Ricotta. There are several vegetarian options, and even a vegan Cashew and "Cheese" option, for anyone insane or unfortunate enough to be both gluten free and vegan.

The online menu hasn't yet got the gluten free base option on it - it's steep at £12 for the gf half-pizza ( they only do gf pizza by the half). That would be my only complaint. However, the ingredients are top notch, and it's so filling that you could feasibly split that between two. Or be greedy and take some home for later as I did.

So well done to Otto, and it's conveniently located, being more central than Hell pizza. Both are great - Hell for a more traditional pizza, and Otto for something deliciously different, but still gooesy cheesey tomatoey pizza-y goodness.

And, pssst, keep it quiet but I've heard on the grapevine some Bella Itallia restaurants are starting to gluten free pizza also. I'll check it out and be sure to let you know.

Gluten Free Knowledge: ★★★★★
Gluten Free Range: ★★★★★
Taste: ★★★★
Atmosphere: ★★★★

Verdict: Different but delicious pizza pies


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