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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: hcbk0702

                UPN is missed.

                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.

                  1. Definitely go and compare for yourself. I've really liked the pizza at Keste; Motorino actually underwhelmed me by comparison, but on only one visit so far.

                    It's been a while since I've been to either, though. I loved the Pizza del Papa at Keste, but I'm now seeing on their menu that they've added red and yellow peppers to it. I suppose I could ask them to leave those out, though. Am I correct that they didn't use to include them, or had I had them hold them before, too? Anyone remember?

                    1. Motorino was a more balanced pie. The crust was chewy and crunchy. Tomato sauce was fresh tasting. The crust wasIs a bit too burnt. We had several types including the basic Magherita. All good. The service was slow and the people were not that nice. A bit too cool Williamsburg for me and my daughter's friends.
                      We took a big group a couple of weeks a go to Keste. The pizzas were amazingly delicious and agree burrata was a nice treat. We also loved the magheita here, very fresh. The service was friendlier and more welcoming than Motorino. At Keste they came outside with samples for all of us waiting on line. Patricia, who sat us could not have been nicer. But the pizza at Keste, overal was soggy....sadly. The salad options were wonderful, very fresh a d a great way to balance the meal.

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

                      1. I wanted to report that I went to Motorino two weeks in a row. Both times the pizza was excellent (as were the first courses -- roasted beets with soft poached egg and roasted brussel sprouts with pancetta and pecorino). The crust, sauce and toppings are seasoned expertly. The service was equally wonderful, especially the second time, when we dined with our children and son's girlfriend.

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

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Nancy S.

                          How did it compare foodwise to Keste in your opinion?

                        2. Keste is superior in my opinion. The menu is also more diverse, so it should have something to fit any tastes.

                          I agree with the comments that Keste leans towards the sweeter side. I also agree with the comment about Motorino's airy pizza being wetter in the center, which I didn't mind the first time, but on subsequent visits it seemed more like a flaw.

                          Keste is the louder of the two, so I couldn't tell you what kind of music they played, but both rooms are fairly uncomfortable. I found Keste's service to be much more personable, knowledgeable, and quicker without rushing the experience. Motorino always felt like sloppy service to me, wish food service rushed, like they wanted to turn over the table, then they don't drop off the check and you can't get a waiters attention.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: sugartoof

                            agreed. i just had the soppressata pizza at Motorino. It was good, but the center was wetter than my first visit I thought. It also feels like a flaw to me.

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

                            1. re: daffyduck

                              Keste's pizzas are wet, too, though.

                              As far as pizza goes, it's so hard to turn out the same pies exactly the same, every single time. I'm more forgiving to pizzerias than other restaurants.

                              1. re: kathryn

                                i've only been to Keste and Motorino twice each time, but my last visit to Motorino I wasn't able to pick up the slices with one hand without it dropping because the middle was too heavy =[.

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

                          2. ended up at Motorino in Williamsburg and now have a definitive favorite.

                            Keste wins, hands down! There's just a sweetness to their crust that Motorino doesn't have. We found the Motorino dough to be almost flavorless and left a good majority of it.