Telephone (21) 2208 8899
Metrô Saens Peña
A good Italian in Zona Norte isn’t so easy to find, which makes Villa Otto (formerly Saltimboca) on Tijuca’s very own little gastro-strip of Rua Uruguai a pleasant exception to the rule. The wine humidifier is packed to the gills with largely South American options (Chileans being the most widely represented) starting at R$36, but the real house speciality is the homemade pasta. Shut away in a flour-filled room the pasta chef turns out tray after tray of hand-spun creations with aplomb.
The bread basket and dips makes for an acceptable couvert, but make a bee-line for the pasta and you shouldn’t be disappointed. The Torteloni Dell Bosco (R$32) is filled with creamy cheese and served in a rich basil sauce, and the difference between that and the non-fresh penne with filé mignon is a marked one, so order with care. Seafood is also well-represented, with the Polipo alla Zuchero (R$44) particularly noteworthy, consisting of two fat-yet-tender octopus tentacles in a white wine and garlic sauce.