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Pizza at Motorino

Motorino Margherita: Is it deliberate, the puddle of sauce (which makes the middle of the pie so soggy)? Went there last Wednesday for the first time. I was quite disappointed. Also, the beet salad was boring, too many beets, no subtly, not enough other stuff going on.

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  1. I've also had a pretty bad experience there. I went for lunch and, not only did they not have the lunch special advertised on their website and the pizza prices were $3 more than their online menu, the pizza also was ridiculously soggy in the middle. The edges of the crust did taste good, and the sauce was nice, but when you pull out one slice not everything should fall back into the box as it did.

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    Motorino
    349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

    3 Replies
    1. re: jgelfand01

      The menus for the Brooklyn and Manhattan locations are a bit different. Prices are $2-3 higher at the Manhattan outpost because they exclusively use mozzarella di bufala (which is a $3 supplement on the Brooklyn menu). The lunch prix fixe deal is only listed on the Brooklyn menu, not on the Manhattan one.

      Anyway, as boccalupo said, Neapolitan pizza tends to be wet towards the middle. That's part of the style.

      1. re: jgelfand01

        Pull out a slice?
        Slice and Neo pies do not go together.
        This would be a problem.
        I am not vouching for Motorino, I have not been, just saying.
        I never really understand this complaint for any style but that is something else.

        1. re: jgelfand01

          The box? I wouldn't expect these pizzas to travel well.

          Bufalla makes for a traditionally wet/greasy pizza.If I see it as a premium add on, I opt to skip it for that very reason.

          I instantly regretted ordering my pizza when it arrived looking greasy, and sloppy thin, because I hate eating pizza with a fork - but I was completely won over with the flavor and managed to only resort to the fork for one slice. It was delicious with perfect flavors. Service will still doom this place.

          EV location has the lunch specials. Ask if they don't give it to you. It's $12 instead of $10 in Brooklyn. As pointed out, everything is pricier at this location.

        2. i am so happy to hear you didn't love motorino either. i didn't think it was anything special. the pizza was soggy. tasted good but i ended up with a pile of crust/dough on my plate. way overhyped in my opinion. haven't been to the brooklyn location so perhpas it is better???

          3 Replies
          1. re: mch

            I think the pizza at both locations is very similar. So if you don't like one location, you probably wouldn't like the other.

            1. re: boccalupo

              but i love the EV location and found my one trip to the wburg store to be underwhelming. its fine but nothing special, and a definite step down from the one in the city, imo.

            2. re: mch

              I'm with you. What's the big deal? Ate at the BK location. Nothing was bad and I wasn't expecting much since the neopolitan pizza hype machine is in full swing. I was first taken to Luzzo by some Itlanians and they loved it, but I was also underwhelmed. I do like roberta's.

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              Luzzo's
              211 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

            3. Deliberate. Yes. This is the Naples style. Keste is usually even more "wet" in my experience.

              NY Style crusts tend to be crispier and less puffy areoun the edges (John's of Bleecker, Totonno's of Coney Island, Lucali are examples of this).

              Co. and Luzzo, although both influenced by the Naples style, have kind of their own thing going and make a crust that is crispier. Luzzo's being a bit thinner and Co. a bit thicker if I recall. Some other places do a style influenced by a Roman style round. Paper thin and crispy. Gruppo comes to mind.

              The Naples style is not for everyone. And we are fortunate in NYC to have many high quality pizza places making pizza in a wide variety of styles. So it would be hard not to find a good pizza in a style that you appreciate.

              1. Have only eaten in Brooklyn which I cant recommend any higher.
                Brunch on the weekend is ten bucks and 3 more if you want a bloody mary instead of a virgin mary.
                Their egg pizza could be my choice for my last breakfast on earth.
                Not to be believed or missed.
                The regular pie is just fine.
                A truly great place with lovely professional staff.
                Be there or be sicilian(sicilian, sorry couldnt resist the pun)

                1. Went to the Brooklyn location this weekend and I have to say this is my favorite pizza in the city and I have been to them all. I loved both Co. and Keste, but this won hands down.

                  We were on a bit of an eating adventure so split just 1 pie - Filetti. It was completely fantastic. Both light and rich at the same time. Crust was wonderful. Upon gazing at the table next to us, I was afraid it would be too bready - the outside edge gets quite puffy. But, it was super light and wonderful for dipping in the delicious olive oil on the plate. I usually end up leaving half the outer crust on the plate (including at Keste and Co.) because I get too full.

                  We are going to try the East Village location on Sunday to see how the preparation compares. I cannot wait to try the brussel sprout. Sprouts are one of my most favorite things and Id love to try this preparation before moving out of winter for food!

                  And yes - the very center of the pie is wet - this is not meant to be eaten like a NYC slice. But, it's not a giant puddle either. If you give the pie a minute to set up when they bring it to the table, it helps.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: piegirl74

                    PIEGIRL74
                    Good on you lady glad you enjoyed
                    my wife and daughter love their egg pizza and salad with a poached egg for brunch
                    also the bloody mary
                    forza pizza

                  2. OK, this place was bound to dissapoint considering the hype. Overall, I would say its "not bad". The crust is very good in a sort of Naan style bread way though its hard to even compare to the classic styles of Totonno's Coney Island and company.

                    The brussels sprouts are unique and very good but not spectacular. The mushroom/sausage and margerhita were both decent. Overall, nice place, good pizza. Would be fine as a neighborhood joint but is definitely not a destination pizza place here in NYC.

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                    Motorino
                    349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: cocoman

                      Motorino is an excellent redition of a style. A destination for those who appreciate it. As is Totonno's a destination for those who appreciate that style.

                      Totally different styles.

                      I confess to going out of my way to both places.

                      1. re: boccalupo

                        Did what's-his-name (the guy who used to have the pizzeria in the 12th Street store Motorino is now in) have a puddle in the middle of his pies?

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                        Motorino
                        349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                        1. re: bowmgbo

                          Anthony Mangieri. Una Pizza Napoletana.

                          Puddle? Yes, probably. Especially on the standard (crushed tomatoes and bufala) margherita.

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                          Una Pizza Napoletana
                          349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                          1. re: bowmgbo

                            Puddle? No. Never experienced a puddle in Anthony's pies.

                            1. re: bowmgbo

                              I never have really seen a puddle in any Neo pie. If you are so without willpower that you have to devour it the second it comes out of a really hot oven, yes, it is molten. Personally, I let it cool a bit, at least. You cannot taste anything in food that is scalding, anyway. Do as piegirl74 suggested and give it a minute. I am always surprised that people do not.

                              1. re: bowmgbo

                                i love motorino but i always found une pizza napoletana completely overrated and overpriced. $20 per pizza was crazy expensive for not such a great pie.

                                1. re: jon

                                  Yeah, I don't miss the pizza nazi.

                              2. re: boccalupo

                                Yeah, I agree. Motorino does one of the best Neapolitan-style pizzas in the city (the only real competition in this category, as far as I know, is Keste), which makes it a definite destination for people who love Italian pizza. Other kinds of pizza are great too, and if that's what you prefer then there's no need to get yourself to Motorino. But, conversely: if you have a serious craving for a Neapolitan pie, no other style is likely to fill the bill, and in that case, Motorino is worth a trip from anywhere. Except maybe Italy.

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                                Motorino
                                349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                              3. re: cocoman

                                >The crust is very good in a sort of Naan style bread way though its hard to even compare to the classic styles of Totonno's Coney Island and company.

                                But it's a completely different style from Tottonno's and others -- kind of apples and oranges, hard to compare.

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                                Totonno's
                                1544 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                              4. I'm one of those who prefer a good NY crust (like Toby's Public House in Brooklyn) to a true puffy Neapolitan, but I went to Motorino for the first time last night, and the surprise winner was the Coloratura di Alici, which some might not even think of as a bona fide pizza since the only thing baked is the crust. Then it's topped with cubes of fresh mozzarella, alici (they say "anchovies" on the menu, but alici are less salty, and pretty much the same as Spanish boquerones), cherry tomatoes, parsley, and wonderfully fragrant olive oil, all cold. It caught me by surprise, and was far superior to the cremini & sausage pie.

                                http://petercherches.blogspot.com

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                                Motorino
                                349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Peter Cherches

                                  Thanks for the tip, Peter. Im going on Sunday and this sounds like a great option.