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I'm a fan of Motorino and Wondering Whether I should Compare Keste

I love Motorino. I love the pizza, and I love the space (and the playlist). I'm curious as to how Keste compares, in terms of sauce, cheese and dough. Many thanks.

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

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  1. There are many threads comparing the two. I've been to both and prefer Keste. That said, I'd be happy at Motorino any day.

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: coasts

      Thanks for responding. I do admit that I was being a bit lazy and not re-reading all of the old threads.

    2. Keste's playlist was REALLY cheesy last time I was there. Radio hits of the 80s and 90s. I think the space is only OK, it's so narrow that coats have to go on the opposite wall for some tables. Keste has a denser dough than Motorino (it's still fluffy but there aren't as many big air holes if that makes sense) and slightly wetter, too.

      That said, I think I've come around to admitting that Keste has a better tomato sauce than Motorino. My hunch is that Motorino's sauce is optimized for pies like the spicy soppressata whereas it doesn't do so great on the Margherita.

      Keste also have the burrata option on weekends until they run out, which is nice. The resulting pie can be a bit heavy -- probably best to share with 3 others. The menu is longer than Motorino and has more variety so it's possible I haven't found the "OMG THIS PIZZA IS GREAT" one for me on Keste's menu just yet. We've only gone as a 2-top, and obviously you can try more and share with a 4-top or 6-top. Service was very nice, but a little distracted at times.

      However, I can eat nearly an entire Motorino pie without feeling really stuffed and weighed down. I can eat far less of a Keste pie before feeling like I'm going to burst. I like Keste more now than I used to because I realized that we were just ordering too many of the white / no tomato sauce pies in one sitting, and feeling totally stuffed afterwards. I think now that we've switched to trying more of the tomato based ones, I like it more.

      But Motorino is still my favorite because of the spicy soppressata, the Brussels sprouts, the prosciutto, and crimini mushroom pies.

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

      5 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        Thanks Katherine. This was an excellent reply, as usual. I'm curious, though, about your comparison of the tomato sauces. I am a fan of the Margherita-style pie. I have been liking Motorino's sauce because of its simplicity. I am wondering how in fact Keste's compares.

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

        1. re: Nancy S.

          Motorino's sauce sometimes seems too bright and acidic, whereas Keste's is more mellow, and my husband thinks it's sweeter (I don't agree that it's sweet, perhaps more fruity?).

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

          1. re: kathryn

            Interesting, since I usually prefer a "sweeter" or "fruitier" sauce. I will have to compare, but tomorrow I think it will be Motorino once again, especially since we are planning on having a drink at Vandaag first.

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

            Vandaag
            103 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

        2. re: kathryn

          I also wanted to add that the comment regarding the amount of cheese is most helpful. I tend to prefer minimal cheese, so this comparison is exactly what I was hoping to learn.

          1. re: kathryn

            i actually enjoy the music at keste...lots of hardcore house music and euro/italian house...lots of disco too...its a funny topic of conversation whenever im there.

            i love keste's pizzas and the service. i go there often and everyone is friendly no matter how crazy the crowds are.

            it's a chewy crust but done well. i prefer their pizzas with tomato sauce though. the pizza keste is a favorite.

          2. I like Motorino more but the truffle spread pie (Pizza Del Ri, I think it's called) is my favorite pie in the city.

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

            2 Replies
            1. re: daffyduck

              the pie at Keste is called Pizza Del Re- fresh mozzarella, mushroom, prosciutto di parma, truffle spread, extra virgin olive oil

              1. re: daffyduck

                Agreed...i liked Motorino when i tried it but Pizza Del Ri is by far my fave napolean pizza

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

            2. In general, Keste seems to hew closer to Neapolitan orthodoxy. Compared to Motorino, the center of the pie is wetter, the tomato sauce (IMO) is more balanced, and the crust has a touch less char.

              I think Keste's Regina Margherita is better than Motorino's margherita, though I don't know if I have an overall favorite between the two. I liked Una Pizza Napoletana best of all.

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

              3 Replies
                1. re: steve h.

                  indeed. although, i'm glad i only had it once. i look back on it as if it were a dream.

                2. re: hcbk0702

                  Agree, Keste has the better margherita.

                3. Regina Margherita at Keste any day. Best pizza in town IMO.