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Motorino in the East Village?

h
hungrycomposer Sep 15, 2009 06:17 PM

Anyone been yet? They opened last night, and tonight when I walked by there was a big crowd, even bigger than I've seen for Una Pizza... Apparently they're not open for lunch yet. The menu looks good, and quite a bit cheaper than UPN.

  1. k
    KTinNYC Sep 15, 2009 06:30 PM

    I voted next door at around 6 and there were no more then 6 people in Motorino West. The game plan should be going early.

    2 Replies
    1. re: KTinNYC
      h
      hungrycomposer Sep 15, 2009 07:29 PM

      That's funny, I walked by after I voted too (8:55). Maybe it was full of folks who left their civic duty to the last minute.

      1. re: hungrycomposer
        k
        KTinNYC Sep 15, 2009 07:34 PM

        There were people in the back and the hostess was definitely looking for people to seat as I walked past.

    2. CalJack Sep 15, 2009 09:04 PM

      I stopped in for a pie around 9pm this evening. There was still a 15 minute wait at that point, but by 9:30 the rush had died down and approximately 1/3 of the tables sat available.

      Accompanied by my sister and her fickle tastebuds, I shared a very pleasant margherita pie ($14), preceded by their heirloom tomato salad and broccolini appetizers ($8 & $12, respectively). The tomato salad was fresh and sparingly seasoned with sage, parsley, garlic and salt; while the broccolini struck a nice balance between bitter and savory, with occasional flashes of spice from diced red chilis.
      The pie itself had an evenly blistered crust, and I enjoyed how each slice evolved from a slightly soggy center into a crisp mid-section before expanding into chewy mouthfuls at its outer reaches. The bright acidic sauce played nicely with the occasional dots of bufala mozzarella, though I would've enjoyed having a bit more cheese to work with (given its richness, I can also see how that might have been overkill).

      I wouldn't want to wait for a table during peak hours, and a couple of the two-seaters were bunched uncomfortably close together, but I'll definitely be back for more.

      1. egit Sep 16, 2009 10:06 AM

        I actually went there for takeout on Monday night, they night they opened. I figured I might be taking a risk.

        I got there at 7:30 and there were maybe 1/4 tables available. The hostess practically RAN up to me to take my order (in a good way) and was very helpful with my questions. 15 minutes later I'd paid and was walking down the street with my pies. I ordered the margherita and the stracciatelli.

        I figure it was probably the 20-30 minutes they spent in the box, so I can't criticize the texture of the crust. As CalJack said, the outer portion was nicely charred and evenly blistered. It was no longer particularly crunchy anywhere but the crust had great flavor. Of the two, I preferred the margh, but that's just my personal preference.

        I will definitely go back there for the sit-down experience, because I know it's not fair to judge the crust after it's sat in a pizza box for that long.

        The staff was very pleasant and helpful. And the entire experience consumed no more than 15 minutes of my night. Kudos for that on day one!

        1. s
          sjjn Sep 23, 2009 06:19 AM

          Went last night with my father...AMAZING. We do a lot of food things together and I have to say this was definitely the best pizza we've eaten in some time. We recently ate at Keste and left there utterly disappointed. Thanks Mathieu and Motorino for raising our spirits with your truly delicious pies. We had the Broccolini app and the tomato app that CalJack had and a Margherita and a stracchini pie. Both app were understated and excellent. I loved the mustardy bite of the broccolini, especially contrasted with the bright citrus from the Del Ongo (SP?) italian red beer I had to wash it all down.

          As for the pizzas...BRAVO. Great texture on the crust, nice blister and char...both pies were a wonderful marriage of flavors. It was nice to contrast a traditional red pie with the smooth creamy white pie.

          As for the crowd...I arrived around 6:15 with a few tables full of local families. but by 7:15 or so the place was packed with a few waiting for tables standing out on the sidewalk...

          Overall, great service...better food. I live around the block and am much happier with Motorino in that space than I ever was with UPN. My apologies to Luzzo's, who I will more than likely make fewer and fewer appearances at.....

          GO. ENJOY.

          1. h
            hungrycomposer Oct 5, 2009 03:17 PM

            Today Motorino opened for lunch, and they have a great prix fixe special: one pizza (several choices, but not the whole menu) and either a salad or softserve for $12. We got the margherita and the soppressata picante. The soppressata was spicy and delicious, the crust was charred and flavorful. The margherita was also very good, but a little less compelling, though it was my BF's fave. We were lucky enough to run into a friend who got the brussel sprouts/pancetta pizza which was also very good, but I was satisfied with one piece - I guess the cabbage family won't replace the sausage family for my favorite pizza topping. The salad was pretty good, I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but if you feel like you need to eat more than pizza, it serves its purpose. The restaurant was not crowded and the service was friendly and attentive.

            1. emilia Nov 3, 2009 06:22 AM

              Did anyone find that their crust was incredibly underdone? I don't mind a little sogginess in the middle, but the crusts of both my pies were so much like raw dough near the center of the pie that i couldn't tell the difference between the cheese and the dough in the white pie! It was still good--but the thought of eating so much raw dough turned me off a bit.

              6 Replies
              1. re: emilia
                CalJack Nov 3, 2009 07:42 AM

                That raw dough sounds disappointing, emilia. In my experience their dough does trend towards the chewier end of the artisanal pizza spectrum, but I've never experienced anything as off-putting as what you've described. I can certainly envision the charred-but-chewy balance devolving pretty quickly with even a slight lapse in cooking time or oven temperature on any given pie. I hope your experience is the exception rather than the rule, but I'm likewise interested to learn if anyone else has suffered through similarly soggy crust...

                1. re: emilia
                  s
                  summerUWS2008 Nov 3, 2009 07:57 AM

                  Is the kitchen Neopolitan? Neopolitan pizze often strike many as underdone. In Napoli, Italy, the dough is soft and steamy on top, wet from the sauce, more like a pasta dish. I personally don't like it, even in Napoli. I've seldom encountered it the US.

                  1. re: emilia
                    k
                    kathryn Nov 3, 2009 09:14 AM

                    We've been there three times already, and never had that problem. Soggy-ness but not under-done-ness. I would have mentioned something to the server (service has always been incredibly gracious to us). I hate underdone pies as well (have had that problem at Fornino in Brooklyn FWIW).

                    1. re: kathryn
                      k
                      kathryn Dec 13, 2009 06:23 PM

                      Went back again, still love it. Finding it very difficult to go wait in line at Co. aka Company or Keste when Motorino is so friendly and easy to get into.

                      They had a mozzarella di bufala and prosciutto (no tomato) special pie that was excellent!

                      1. re: kathryn
                        e
                        ESNY Dec 14, 2009 05:53 AM

                        Had that pie the other night. Very, very good. Also had the brussel sprout and smoked pancetta pizza. I loved it but my wife thought it was a little too smoky

                        1. re: ESNY
                          smokeandapancake Jan 11, 2010 10:12 AM

                          i think the key is to get there before 6:30. We sat at 6:30 (not many people there) and by 7 it was jammed. I agree that the bes they had on the menu is the special witht he proscuitto and that the brussel one IS too smoky.

                  2. e
                    elquijote Jan 17, 2010 08:20 AM

                    the pies are good but when you lift a slice to your mouth, you're likely to elbow somebody in the head

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