Fitting into the eclectic scene of Covington, Ky., is Otto’s, an intimate restaurant filled with mismatched chairs and an intriguing collection of paintings. Owner Paul Weckman and his wife, Emily, opened Otto’s when they were right out of college eight years ago. They named the place after Weckman’s father-in-law and developed a menu of Kentucky food with a French flair. Along the way, they’ve acquired a devoted clientele.

“My background is more on the French side,” Weckman says. “We do the food I grew up with in Kentucky and add classical French technique and flavors.”

Signature dishes include Benedict Otto’s, Crab Cake Hash and Cathy’s Tomato Pie. The pie, a recipe from Weckman’s mother-in-law, features farm fresh tomatoes, green onions and fresh basil in a pie shell topped with a blend of three cheeses.

Ingredients are mostly locally grown and there’s a plan in the works for an indoor garden to provide fresh vegetables through the winter.

Molly Thompson, Chef de Cuisine, started as a server but now runs the kitchen in collaboration with Weckman.

“When I sit down and write the menu, I look through cookbooks, through magazines and through menus of places I have been,” says Weckman. “I start a list of things I like to eat and go from there.”

Weckman says about half his customers are regulars who have watched the restaurant grow.

Reservations are highly recommended. The Sunday Brunch, served 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., is well worth the wait.

Otto’s, 521 Main St., Covington.
(859) 491-6678 or www.ottosonmain.com