Otto's in York: Taste comfort foods, classic cocktails from the '20s
Hours and Information
What: Otto's Kitchen and Cocktails
Where: 19 N. George St., York
Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Brunch is served from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, starting Sept. 19.
Price range: $5-$12 for signature and classic cocktails, $2-6 for drafts, $9-$11.50 for wine, $8-$14 for sandwiches, $11-$26 for entrees, $8 for desserts
More information: Visit www.ottosyork.com or call 717-747-1922.
A casual, modern American atmosphere is what you see when you walk into Otto's Kitchen & Cocktails, a new restaurant in downtown York.
And chicken and waffles, cornbread dumplings and a whole menu of craft cocktails are just a few of the things you can taste.
Otto's, a restaurant focused on comfort foods and classic cocktails, will open its doors to the public on Friday, following a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5 p.m.
Its brick walls and multicolored wood bar and floors, repurposed from two barns in Hanover, will invite customers into the homey space, where they'll embark on a journey back to the 1920s.
The idea behind Otto's goes back to 1928, the year Otto Rohwedder invented the automatic bread slicer.
"That revolutionized American comfort food," owner Rob Burrito said in an interview Thursday. Burrito also owns Roburrito's burrito restaurants in York, Dallastown and Lancaster. "We're taking that as inspiration for the kitchen."
Sarah Acconcia, named best chef in Baltimore by City Paper in 2014, collaborated with Burrito on a menu, offering modern twists on familiar American comfort foods.
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The menu, which changes seasonally, features items such as a turkey and sundried tomato panini for lunch and fish and chips with a guacamole, cucumber, red onion and cilantro salad for dinner.
"The way they cooked (in 1928) was someone had time to prepare a meal all day long," Burrito said. "We take the mindset of how they used everything locally and made everything from scratch and we do that for you so you don't have to do it yourself."
1928 was also a time when craft cocktails were in their prime, Burrito said. He and bar manager Erika Joyner said they wanted to capture that time period and introduce York to the "creativity and flair" of the '20s.
"Our classic (cocktails) are the real deal, the way they were made back in the 1920s," Burrito said.
Some examples include the Vieux Carre, Manhattan and Old Fashioned.
Joyner, who was named one of Diageo's top 20 bartenders in America in 2012, also came up with a list of seven signature cocktails, such as the Traveller's Tale, a tequila and mezcal-based cocktail with muddled red pepper, mint syrup, pineapple juice, lemon and Campari.
All of the cocktails are made with housemade ingredients, Joyner said.
"Nothing comes out of a can," she added. "Nothing comes frozen. Every day, we juice our juices fresh."
Joyner said she can also make cocktails not listed on the menu.
"We can give you a Long Island Iced Tea or a White Russian, but we'd rather you try some really awesome craft cocktails," she said.
The bar menu also includes 10 East Coast draft beers; a list of red, white and sparkling wines; and three craft mocktails (cocktails with no alcohol).
"The idea (of celebrating the '20s) captures a lot of the things about this place and a lot of what we were going for — American comfort food, a time when craft cocktails were in their prime and a great time in America," Burrito said.
"It matches the casual atmosphere we were looking for. It's somewhere we would want to go after work."