Otto Pizzeria, Jewellery Quarter

Since moving to Brum last year I haven’t come across any really great pizza places. Granted, with such a huge choice of bars, restaurants & cafes on my doorstep I haven’t been deprived of a good meal, but sometimes only pizza will do!

Step forward JQ favourite The Eight Foot Grocer, who have converted next door into a wood fired pizza restaurant named Otto, Italian for eight (see what they did there?). AND IT’S LESS THAN 100 METRES FROM MY FLAT!!! They opened last weekend so we headed there on Sunday evening to see if my pizza dreams really had come true.

Inside the decoration is simple and laid back with lots of exposed brickwork and Birmingham inspired artwork – perfect for a casual pizza place. The all important wood fired pizza oven takes pride of place at the back of the room.

I was really pleased to see bottled beer from my favourite Jewellery Quarter brewery, Rock & Roll Brewhouse, on offer alongside their draft beer, spirits & vino.

The menu is short and sweet with an emphasis on quality ingredients and flavours. To start we shared the Charcuterie Board which is served with flatbread and combines cured meats, sundried tomatoes, roasted vegetables and olives. Everything on the board tasted fresh and delicious and the presentation was really pretty. If I was going to be super picky, I’d say that the olives could have had a bit more flavour and I would have liked to have a bit more of the meat on the board but overall we really enjoyed it.

There are six pizzas on the menu plus two seasonal specials. On our visit there was a pumpkin, pine nut and honey special on which I was very tempted by. The pizza only takes 90 seconds to cook in 500 degree heat and it comes out piping hot with a beautifully crisp but soft crust – absolutely perfect!

He chose the Hunter’s salami, seared pepper & olives topping. This mirrored lots of the flavours from the charcuterie board and was really tasty. However it was beaten by my ‘Nduja (spicy pork salami) pizza which was outstanding. The simple tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil base really let the gorgeous ‘Nduja take centre stage whilst complementing it perfectly. The chef told us it was his favourite and I can 100% see why!

The prices range from £6 to £9.50 which is pretty good. I think they also do takeaway and I would definitely order this rather than a Dominoes in future – cheaper, more delicious and closer to my flat!

The service was a tiny bit slow but to be fair a) it was their opening weekend b) there was a huge group eating at the same time as us and c) I was feeling hangry so time was going slowly! The staff were all lovely and friendly and I really liked that the pizza chefs came and chatted to us at the end.

Otto has definitely solved my pizza dilemma and I now feel utterly spoilt having such great pizza within metres of my flat. You guys really ‘otto’ check this place out!

Otto can be found at 14 Caroline Street, B3 1UG. TWITTER

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