Timothy Hollingsworth has quietly opened Otium in Downtown's Bunker Hill next to the Broad Museum after a very long build out process that took nearly a year to build up. Right now it's just lunch offerings at the stand-alone building, which has a stunning interior look and striking exterior facade. Opening hours run 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday to Friday, with weekend brunch slated for commencement in the very near future.
Let's start with what we know:
1. The name comes from the Latin word that emphasizes a time and pace for leisurely activities. One assumes they'll actually have a great time inside Otium. And why not? Great food, modern vibe, quaffable drinks. It's all part of the equation here.
2. The look and feel of the interior, which is designed by Studio UNTLD and House of Honey, with architecture from Osvaldo Maiozzi, uses a ton of natural materials and handcrafted appointments. It's a veritable feast for design geeks, but the inspiration really comes from the whole refined Mediterranean feel of the 100-year old olive trees that were planted around the restaurant. It gives the restaurant not only a rarefied sense of place upon Bunker Hill, but also a feeling of permanence when restaurants seem like they sprouted out of nowhere.
3. Get hungry, because Hollingsworth has a wide menu of new American classics tinted with seasonal ingredients. Kale and quinoa salad? Check. Bucatini with egg? Check. Tri-tip with kimchi fried rice? How could that be bad? Despite the chef's fine dining pedigree, everything's meant to be familiar but elevated, which means anyone from museum goers to office workers to local residents will find something they like.
4. Bill Chait is the primary partner here, so expect a quickly developing standard of 18% service charge at Otium. The service charge is also applied at Chait's newer spots like The Rose and Catch & Release.
5. Nearly every part of the restaurant was built and crafted by local artisans. Ceramics come from Irving Place Studio, tiles by Heath Ceramics, aprons from Hedley & Bennett, woodwork by District Mills, and chairs by Chris Earl.
6. The main dining room might have one of the best views it town, with a cantilevered perch that offers clean, uninhibited views of Downtown.
7. That mural, called Isolated Elements, is a large-scale photograph printed by artist Damien Hirst. It definitely ties Otium's placement next to the Broad Museum, emphasizing design and art as much as the food hitting the tables.