I found myself having a mini taste test of downtown pizza this weekend. I tried Motorino Saturday before a matinee at Classic Stage Co. Hadn't been there since it was Una Pizza Napoletana. The clam pizza was terrific. High scores on the crust for both taste and texture. The char was just right. My only qualm was over the use of chopped clams, I much prefer the bellies used on Franny's clam pie. That said, a squeeze of lemon made the whole pie sing. Outstanding.
Tried 900 Degrees on Sunday evening. Granted, Pride was winding down and the entire neighborhood was swamped, as was the restaurant. The pizzalolo/owner from San Fran was in the house, although he left his position making pizzas as soon as we sat down. We ordered two Margheritas and a side of meatballs. Not sure about the "we only make 73 Margheritas a day" claim, the waiter shrugged it off when asked. The pizza was good not great. Nice crust, tasty sauce, the cheese was decent, fresh basil helped. It paled in comparison to my Motorino experience the day before. The meatballs were also good, not great. Overall - disappointing after hearing the raves from San Fran.
Keste remains my West Village favorite, and I'm looking forward to returning to Motorino.
349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003
29 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014