Motorino Pizza East Village
Motorino East Village. The concept alone was enough to start New York City’s foodies salivating in anticipation. But what does it say about this town that one of the most eagerly awaited restaurant openings of the season is… a pizza place? Two things:
- New York is the best place to live on the planet.
- Motorino East Village, like its Brooklyn counterpart, takes the Neopolitan-style pizza pie and elevates it to a meal that’s truly sublime.
We went a few days after Motorino’s opening (and we went early, around 5:30, because you know there’s going to be a line here well into the night) and can assure all of you pizza-lovers out there that Motorino restaurant not only meets, but actually exceeds, expectation.
Motorino Pizza’s Secret
A little back story. For many years no “Best Pizza in NYC” list was complete without mention of Una Pizza Napoletana, on East 12th Street. There, the notoriously cranky and undeniably brilliant pizzaiolo Anthony Mangieri created masterpieces of cheese, tomato and olive oil every day until his hand-pulled dough ran out. The secret, besides love? The wood-fired oven, built by hand, tile by tile. Then in July, without warning, Mangieri closed down his place and headed to San Francisco.
Motorino East Village Review
Enter, to the relief of all, Motorino’s Mathieu Palombino, and his own brand of pizza-making genius. Palombino purchased Mangieri’s spot, oven and all, and brought exceptional pizza back to the East Village. We know it’s easy to call every new deservedly-hyped pie in town the new Best Pizza in New York City (see Co.Pizza in Chelsea, see Keste Pizza & Vino, to name two recent examples), but Motorino East Village, if not Number One, is certainly right up there.
Unlike its predecessor, Motorino East Village offers a half-dozen starters, and we definitely picked a winner in the Fire Roasted Mortadella, two thick slabs of the savory, slightly spicy sausage, oil oozing from the charred, wonderfully crispy skin. For the main event, Pizze, we had a couple of pies, both extraordinary. The basic Margherita was a delight: the sweet acidic bite of the fresh tomato sauce; the creamy, salty heaven of the Mozzarella di Bufala; the aromatic, just-snipped basil; the chewy and cunchy crust, all were in perfect pizza harmony. Even better, though, was the Brussels Sprout pie, with all of the above plus smoky pancetta, sharp pecorino, garlic (though we ordered ours without) and beautiful, bitter piles of charred Brussels Sprout leaves. This was exceptional and, even though we’re eager to try the rest of the Motorino’s menu, will be difficult not to order again.
Motorino East Village details
Motorino East Village is located on 12th Street between Second and First Avenues, and is open on Sundays through Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m., and on Friday and Saturday nights until 1:00 a.m.