The first time I saw Zero Otto Nove on Arthur Ave. in The Bronx (aka the REAL Little Italy), I recognized the name from having passed it in Flatiron. I also knew there was another location in Westchester. I thought that meant it was a chain and, therefore, less legit than the other Arthur Avenue spots. Now that I’ve been (to the Flatiron location for a friend’s birthday), I would not classify it as a chain. I would say it’s one of the better Italian meals on that strip, so good that they opened two other locations.
I’m a little sad I didn’t try a pizza. Our table was right in front of the pizza oven and it smelled amazing. I’ll be honest, I didn’t get the pizza because I was with mostly girls I didn’t know and didn’t want to feel awkward scarfing a whole pizza by myself with my hands. That sort of girly embarrassment is normal, but I surprised myself by getting a healthy meal over both that pizza AND pasta (my typical choice).
I ordered a very tasty salmon dish that came with a side of brussels sprouts, spinach, and sauteed onions. I was impressed with the portion size and how they got a great, sweet flavor out of those red onions. My healthy, sensible choice was rewarded with a fish dish that was not only super good for me but very tasty. It IS possible to go to an Italian restaurant and not be rolled out of there!
Another dish I’ll have to go back for is the pasta in tin foil. It’s one they’re known for and is made with mushrooms, tomatoes, and parmesan. The steam heat from the foil packaging meant the veggies released lots of delicious juices that mixed with the parm to create a creamy sauce without all the cream. Several girls in our group ordered it and loved it.
Meals range in price from about $25-$30 (yes, even the pasta is in the $25 range). That’s not necessarily cheap for trattoria-style Italian, but it is very well done. The menu at the Bronx location is different and cheaper AND that’s the original so you know it’s still going to be tasty…might be worth a field trip!