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help me choose! - Motorino, Keste, Lucali

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

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  1. 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

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

      1. re: sourgirl

        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

    2. 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.

        > 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

          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...

          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...

          http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

          1. re: RGR

            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. 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. 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. 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

              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...

              and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

              1. re: sourgirl

                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).