Motorino in the East Village?
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.
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.
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!
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.....
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.