Searching for Authenticity: Mario Batali

Nov 09, 2016 437

I'm waiting for Mario Batali at the bar at Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria—the more family friendly and casual of his restaurants. The bartender, Dennis, a bearded man with a shaved head and reading glasses, is accommodating without being effusive as he serves me a caffe macchiato.

It's two p.m. on a Monday; the restaurant is quiet and the wait staff is busy cleaning in preparation for the dinner rush. Batali arrives wearing salmon cargo shorts, an orange-and-white striped button-down shirt, and his trademark orange crocs.

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