Eater Boston sent out some exciting pizza news over the wire yesterday. Mario Batali is gearing up to add a new pizzeria to his roster of restaurants, which he named as "Babbopizzeria!" on his Twitter feed—making this his first Boston area restaurant. This morning, the Boston Herald confirmed that the 6,5000 sq foot pizzeria will be in Boston's Seaport District at 320 Summer Street. And nothing makes a big name restaurant opening more exciting than a dash of drama. To wit (via Eater):
...an Eater tipster had heard that the new restaurant would be an extension of Batali's OTTO brand, so the Babbo name might just be a way of avoiding going head to head with Boston's existing, unrelated OTTO Pizza, the chain out of Portland, Maine. Batali's no stranger to the local brand, calling them "d bags and thieves" and "#scumsuckingleeches" on Twitter back in February, when he found out about their similar name and logo.
The Boston/Portland OTTO responded, claiming "no disrespect" but noting that it's a good thing they didn't choose a name like "Ray's" because "we'd probably have 50 or 60 New York pizza shop owners hammering us on Twitter instead of just one."
Well this certainly explains why Batali was so heated over the whole Otto Portland branding issue. (We reviewed the Cambridge Otto outpost on Slice back in 2011, in case you're curious about our take on their pies.) Looks like the big man must've already had his eye on getting a piece of the Boston pie. If, as purported, Babbo Pizzeria is an extension of the Batali OTTO brand, then the signature griddle/broiler style pies will be a welcome addition to the Boston pizza mix. Even if the branding is a bit muddied, the pies will certainly be distinct.