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Motorino or Keste?

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My daughter has just been accepted to NYU and we are flying up for a reception the weekend of April 9-11. I've read on here so much about both Motorino and Keste and would love some feedback. Also, do either take reservations? Thanks for helping us out!!

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

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  1. AFAIK, neither one of them take reservations, but you can get on line 2 hours before Keste opens up to perhaps grab a table '-)

    It's easier to get a table at Motorino later in the evening.

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

    1. My preference is Motorino. Williamsburg branch is much bigger and only like a 10 minute ride on the L train from the East Village branch. I'd say Motorino works better as an all around restaurant and I prefer their speciality topping pies over Keste.

      Keste's Italian ownership, pizza chef and much of the service staff give it a bit different flair. And I will say that most of my Italian friends prefer Keste's pizza over Motorino.

      Generally neither Keste nor Motorino takes reservations, but I think if you are large group (6 or more)you might call and see if they can work with you a bit.

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      Keste Pizza & Vino
      271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: boccalupo

        I like Motorino better. I think the owner's of Keste think their pizza is better than it really is. I think Keste is OK pizza, just OK. Co. pizza is way better,Motorino is better, Tre Sorelles is better, IMHO of course

      2. I quite enjoy both, but for me Keste is the better of the two. That being said, I don't think you would be disappointed with either -- and in fact, why not try both and see for yourself?

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        Keste Pizza & Vino
        271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        1. Im with a2 - hit both!!

          They have totally different vibes, but both are great and fun to try. My preference is the BK location of Motorino (they have more pies and use different cheese than the E. Village branch). But, we were just at the E. Village location on Sunday. Arrived when they opened at 11 am and were the first ones there.

          Keste is tiny but lots of italian energy which was also fun. I wouldnt wait in line, though.

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

          1. I've only tried Keste but wow was that good! I actually considered going the next afternoon for lunch and I don't usually like to repeat meals. Enjoy.
            JeremyEG
            homecooklocavore.wordpress.com

            1. Both are good, but if I had to pick one I would choose Motorino. Particularly the white pizza with brussels sprouts and pancetta. My favorite pizza ever.

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

              1 Reply
              1. re: fm1963

                Are you a fan of brussel spouts? I am not crazy about them but everyone keeps mentioning his pizza. Of course I love pancetta!

              2. I think they're both great. Motorino has improved since opening. Motorino has a wonderful $12 lunch special on weekdays, when it's not to crowded. It's the only time I eat there - hard to justify expensive pizza on a musician's income when I can get it during the day for $12 with a salad or dessert.

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

                1. I've eaten at both, and I've gotta say... Keste. I've also been to Naples twice and to me Keste matches the pizza there the best. Also, I like the charm of the place - the adorable chatty Italian waiters, well-lit but cozy space (it's small/narrow) - more inviting to me than Motorino.
                  I've gotten there after work (7pm-ish) on a weekday and only had to wait a few minutes. Try going earlier in the night to avoid a long wait.

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                  Keste Pizza & Vino
                  271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

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

                  1. Our visit was this past weekend and we went to Keste on Saturday night. We had to wait about 20 minutes, but there was great people watching and they brought out pizza samples while we stood there. The 3 of us loved our pizzas (rey, maraghrita, and the special) and my wife was pleasantly surprised by the house wine. Thanks for much for your help on this. We thought it was some of the best pizza we've had. But I gotta ask, why the long line at John's across the street?

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                    Keste Pizza & Vino
                    271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: nyctripper

                      Joe's? I think you mean John's of Bleecker? And John's has been around way longer, been written up in all the guidebooks, has celebrities on the walls, and is NY style pie, not Naples style...

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                      John's Pizzeria
                      278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                      1. re: kathryn

                        thanks... i edited above

                      2. re: nyctripper

                        I'm with you. I loved Keste. I want to go back right now! Glad you enjoyed and congrats to your daughter!
                        JeremyEG
                        homecooklocavore.wordpress.com

                        1. re: nyctripper

                          For the same reason there are lines at Grimaldis and Lombardis, and its not due to the pizza. They've been around a long time and written up in most guide books/been seen in travel shows.

                          1. re: ESNY

                            What about for lunch at Keste? Is there a long wait then? We are planning to go on Monday and are on a somewhat tight schedule. Should we not plan to go if that's the case or is lunch quieter? Thanks!

                            1. re: brownie

                              KESTE- HANDS DOWN
                              PIZZA<ATMOSPHERE<LOCATION AND SERVICE

                              1. re: brownie

                                I am planning to go to Keste for lunch on a Sunday.

                          2. Which one would be considered more family friendly {mom, dad and well-behaved/non-picky eater 6 yr. old}? We'd love some great pizza when we come up in December.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: KateMW

                              Keste feels a little more relaxed to me. I was there on a Saturday afternoon a while back and it feels quite family friendly. Plus, the big oven is right there, and that might capture a 6-year-old's attention for a few seconds. :-)

                              1. re: KateMW

                                Both would be good picks and pretty family friendly. Regardless, I'd go for lunch or early dinner, both Keste and Motorino are much more relaxed.

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

                                1. re: KateMW

                                  I stopped in at Motorino this past saturday afternoon and getting a table was easy - it's definitely family friendly unless there are long waits which are best avoided by picking daytime/afternoon timings. my only knock on the place is that the seats could be more comfortable (well, that and their pizza doesnt count as health food) but it is my favorite pie in nyc.

                                2. Another vote for keste, love it there

                                  1. Tried Motorino, loved the crust, amazing stuff. Thanks for the rec will have to try Keste next time we're in town.