I know, I know, Motorino has been written about - a lot. As a matter of fact, the NY Times has even declared it the best pizza in NYC, which I find hilarious, unless the Times has tried about a thousand different pizzerias. On any given day, if you're lucky, it might be the best pizza in NYC. But there are quite a few variables with pizza which make that pronouncement a little hard to agree with.
Let's just say that it's damn good pizza, and leave it at that. Excellent crust, high quality toppings applied correctly, a searingly hot oven - that's what leads to damn good pizza. The other day at lunch, I met a couple of fine friends (which always makes lunch better, though it would have been even better with Significant Eater in attendance), and we all shared in the experience. I had been a couple of times, but they hadn't. Jude even wrote about it on her blog, Aroma Cucina. Her frame of reference is way different than mine; she and her husband Jeff live in Italy for over half the year and get to try pizza in all sorts of wonderful, tiny towns...and probably some big cities as well.
Motorino has a deal at lunch; you get a choice of either a salad and a pizza, or a pizza and dessert, both for $12. Considering that most of the pizze are over $12 to start with and well, you do the math. It's a full sized pie as well - so you're not gonna leave hungry. And usually, you're not gonna have to wait, which is not always the case at dinner, though I'd rather wait for this pie than for Lombardi's any day of the week.
The pie I had was the brussels sprouts with smoked pancetta, which I at first thought was speck, since pancetta is usually not smoked. Prosciutto of course is not smoked, but speck is and it's sorta like prosciutto - hey, are you confused yet? Any way, a perusal of the menu alleges smoked pancetta, so I'll go with that. Mozzarella and pecorino are the cheeses, and put it all together it spells delicious.
Now, just to my prove point about pizza and the variables on any given day, here are two pictures of the brussels sprouts pizza - the first one was taken last October, right when Motorino in Manhattan opened (their first pizzeria is in Brooklyn). And the second was taken just last week at the lunch I described above. See what I mean...
Crust #2 is puffier around the edges and not quite as well done - most likely due to the oven having lost a fair amount of its heat - it was late, they were busy, and they'd probably already baked around 40 or 50 pies.
Now, this is not your father's pizza - or your mother's for that matter. But it's damn good, and is probably one of the top 5 pies in the city - maybe even the best - well, on any given day. Go, it's worth the trip.
349 East 12th Street
Open Sunday-Thurs 11AM-12AM
Friday and Saturday 11AM-1A