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help me choose! - Motorino, Keste, Lucali

s
sourgirl Aug 24, 2010 08:30 AM

Next week a group of friends and I will be reuniting over pizza. The above three have all gotten favorable press, but we just can't decide. No preference (obviously) between BK and Manhattan. Any other suggestions? We'd like to have a sit-down dinner.

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

  1. coasts Aug 27, 2010 04:57 AM

    how you got from pizza to Turkish Kitchen is beyond me. they are two extremes, with pizza being fairly inexpensive and casual and Turkish Kitchen being a bit more expensive and formal. if you want to keep costs down and still have a relaxing meal, try Otto. it's not as good as Keste or Motorino for pizza, but their other dishes are quite good and cheap. the pizza is ok to share as an appetizer

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    Turkish Kitchen
    386 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: coasts
      s
      sourgirl Aug 27, 2010 06:18 AM

      I haven't been to Turkish Kitchen in a while and have been wanting to go lately and would like to bring a friend who's never been. So, it's the obvious second. I'll keep Otto in mind for another time, thanks.

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      Turkish Kitchen
      386 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

    2. s
      sourgirl Aug 26, 2010 06:44 PM

      Oh, well. I guess we'll just bag it and go to Turkish Kitchen and save the pizza for a 2 person weekend lunch. But still, can't decide between the three! Weekend lunch will be a much more casual affair, though we won't want to wait more than 30-40 minutes, but please, someone just direct me to the best pizza!

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      Turkish Kitchen
      386 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

      2 Replies
      1. re: sourgirl
        k
        kathryn Aug 26, 2010 08:24 PM

        Depends on your preference for crispier (I've heard complaints that Lucali is too crispy) versus softer (Keste is softer and more Naples-ish, some complain it's too doughy and heavy) and how charred (Motorino is pretty charred and more crispy than Keste but also gets soft in the center).

        1. re: kathryn
          s
          sourgirl Aug 27, 2010 06:17 AM

          Motorino is sounding good right now. I prefer pizza on the charred side but not tooo crispy. Guess I'll find out soon.

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

      2. b
        Blumie Aug 25, 2010 09:09 AM

        I vote for Co. over Motorino and Keste. (I have not been to Lucali.)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Blumie
          k
          kathryn Aug 25, 2010 09:17 AM

          For a party of 4-5 people on a Friday night, they'd have the same problem, though: a really long wait to be seated.

          1. re: Blumie
            b
            bowmgbo Aug 27, 2010 06:48 AM

            I too vote for Co. over Motorino and Keste.

            The pizza at Motorino and Keste is too gloppy for my taste.

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            Co.
            230 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

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

          2. s
            sourgirl Aug 24, 2010 02:05 PM

            Thanks for the tips. We will be four, possibly five, in our party, meeting on a friday night for dinner, which is unfortunately the only night we can all meet. Would it be wiser to sack the pizza option and head somewhere else? I've been dreaming about turkish kitchen as well lately...

            2 Replies
            1. re: sourgirl
              r
              RGR Aug 24, 2010 03:18 PM

              Turkish Kitchen is a longtime favorite of ours. They accept reservations if you prefer not to have a long wait for pizza.

              Turkish Kitchen photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157623174784865/

              and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157623793210061/

              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

              1. re: sourgirl
                k
                kathryn Aug 25, 2010 08:37 AM

                If you can get a 6th to join you, Motorino Brooklyn will take a reservation.

                If you still want to do pizza, Arturo's might work better. Perhaps Olio, the new spot on Greenwich, which looks really big and has sidewalk seating (I've not been yet).

              2. n
                nyctripper Aug 24, 2010 12:56 PM

                Based on recs from here, we went to Keste and loved it. On a Saturday night, we waited about 40 minutes, but there's great activity on Bleeker and they brought out samples for those of us in line. Because the oven is so hot, the pizza comes out really quickly, but we never felt rushed. Great gelato close by for dessert.

                1. courtney.hami Aug 24, 2010 10:10 AM

                  Boyfriend and I went to Lucali for dinner last night-- or at least we planned to... it's closed while the owners are on vacation from Aug 23rd (I know, great timing) to sometime in early sept. I didn't read the sign closely-- but that might help narrow your choices

                  1. r
                    Rich D. Aug 24, 2010 08:44 AM

                    How big is your group and what night of the week will this take place on? I've only eaten at Keste', which was excellent. We were a party of 3 and had a 10 minute wait at 8 o'clock on a Friday night. From what I understand we got a bit lucky... Keste' is on the small side, but our party of 3 fit comofrtably. Any larger than 4 or 5 and you may have difficulty. Also, something to consider because you plan on using this meal as a reunion, once you order the pizza comes out EXTREMELY quickly, maybe 4 or 5 minutes later. Definitely not a place to dawdle for hours...

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Rich D.
                      k
                      kathryn Aug 24, 2010 08:50 AM

                      > Definitely not a place to dawdle for hours...

                      Surprisingly I've been to Motorino on the late side and they let me and my friend sit for a while since they were't terribly busy around 10pm on a school night.

                      But I've been to Keste on the weekend nights and it's a madhouse for dinner. But at least you can go grab at drink somewhere (Blind Tiger, Perilla, etc.) or walk up and down Bleecker to kill the time.

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                      Perilla
                      9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

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

                      1. re: kathryn
                        r
                        RGR Aug 24, 2010 09:47 AM

                        Keste a madhouse on weekends? Well, you couldn't tell that when we were there for lunch a couple of Sundays ago. I was surprised that at 1:30 p.m., there were plenty of tables available. .

                        Keste photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157624745521502/

                        Btw, across the street at John's, there was a line out the door.

                        As for Motorino in the EV, we were there late afternoon midweek, and it was pretty much empty.

                        Motorino photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157623999255016/

                        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                        1. re: RGR
                          u
                          uwsister Aug 25, 2010 01:31 PM

                          Like kathryn wrote above, I think Keste is a LOT busier at dinner than lunch on Saturdays. Every time we went for a weekend dinner, we were quoted 40 minutes or more for wait. We never ended up eating there since there are so many other options around. Guess we'll have to try for lunch if we can get up early enough one of these days.

                          I had lunch at Motorino a few weeks ago on a weekday and I was the only person there!

                    2. k
                      kathryn Aug 24, 2010 08:32 AM

                      How long are you willing to wait in line to sit down? Also, for all of these, I'm not sure if you're going to have that relaxing of a dinner due to the crowds.

                      Motorino has two locations, BTW and the Brooklyn one is larger.

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

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: kathryn
                        s
                        sourgirl Aug 24, 2010 08:35 AM

                        Do any of those places take reservations? Max 45 minutes, I think.

                        1. re: sourgirl
                          k
                          kathryn Aug 24, 2010 08:43 AM

                          How large is your group? I wouldn't do more than 4 people at Motorino EV, Keste, or Lucali.

                          Lucali doesn't take reservations (unless you're Jay-Z apparently) and neither does Keste. Neither have a lot of seating to begin with.

                          Apparently Lucali will also start turning people away if the list gets too long (like after 8pm). Not sure about Keste. BUT Lucali is only open Wed-Mon from 6pm-10pm whereas Keste and Motorino are both open daily and also open for lunch.

                          Motorino takes reservations at the Brooklyn restaurant Monday through Thursday for parties of 6 or larger only. Reservations are not taken at the East Village restaurant (it's not big). Their site does encourage you to call ahead to have your name put on the list. And Motorino is open later than the other two.

                          I'd recommend doing lunch on a weekday if possible at Keste or Motorino. If it has to be dinner, go earlier rather than later (like 6pm). Day of the week will also influence how crowded it is. Monday 6pm is probably going to be easier than Saturday 8pm, you know?

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

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