I was excited to learn earlier this year that Otto Pizza, which originated in Portland, ME, would be moving into Harvard Square. I had never tried pizza from the original Otto location, but I have a strong prejudice towards anything that hails from Portland. I think it is all pretty much amazing.
The new Harvard Square outpost is tiny, with barely enough room to accommodate the hungry patrons that descend on Otto in a constant stream. There is a counter facing out onto the street with room for four people to stand and eat. The decor is clean and bright with white-tiled walls that evoke the feeling of an old-fashioned pizzeria.
Otto makes 24 different pies and any slice is $3. Varieties include mushroom and cauliflower, and white bean, sausage and herb as well as some slightly more non-traditional pies like mashed potato-bacon-scallion, pulled pork and mango, and apple-bacon-red onion.
We ordered the plain Margherita and the butternut squash, ricotta, cranberry. Both had perfectly thin but sturdy crusts that were nicely crisp. The Margherita has no sauce but instead is topped with slices of fresh tomato and a healthy sprinkling of fresh basil. The quantity of cheese was perfect, ample but not so much that it formed a thick, greasy mess. The flavor from the fresh basil is delightful and really made this pie.
I half expected the squash pizza to be sweet, but it was not at all. The dollops of creamy ricotta and earthy squash were punctuated by clusters of sweet and chewy dried cranberries. The base of mozzarella cheese provided a nice salty contrast to the rest of the toppings. The slices are generously-sized and at $3 each, there is not much holding you back from returning frequently to try the many different kinds.
1432 Mass Ave.