Otway is the successor to Tilda All Day, a brunchy cafe at the corner of Fulton and St. James in Clinton Hill that was highly regarded. Tilda was co-owned by Chef Claire Welle and backers Samantha Safer and Daniel Nusbaum. The two women got into a dispute with Nusbaum, the place closed, reopened in a different form without him or Welle, closed again, and now has become this new venture with Welle back in the kitchen backed by Safer. FWIW, the kitchen is staffed entirely by women. But the big news is Chef Welle, who had her highest previous kitchen position at Mas(Farmhouse) but had also worked at Gwynnett St., Picholine, and Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. She is, on the basis of one dinner, an excellent chef, producing straightforward but imaginative New American food with clear, forthright flavors, very compelling.
The menu is small but appealing. I started with the fried tripe, and that's just what it is: a bowl of cleanly fried tripe sticks, with a nice tart dipping sauce. Then the squab with mincemeat and a root vegetable tart: also just what it says it is, and delicious. Burnt nut pudding for dessert.
This is a neighborhood place. Not necessarily worth a journey. But you'd be nuts not to consider trying it if you're in the neighborhood.