NYCReview

Motorino

Pizza

East Village

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerImpressing Out of TownersSerious Take-Out Operation

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There's an old saying that refers to conversational etiquette in social situations, and it goes something like this: "Never discuss religion and politics."

I think Jesus said it.

It's a useful bit of wisdom, but we'd like to add one thing, based on our own life experiences: Also never discuss New York pizza. There is hardly a better way to turn a friend into an enemy in this town than to disagree with them about who has the best slice or pie, and lord forgive you if you start that conversation without having been to DiFara.

So as you might expect, we are not here to tell you that Motorino has the best pizza in New York. We've learned our lesson by now. But we would like to tell you that Motorino is absolutely incredible, and it is by far our most frequented pizza joint in the city. It's much easier to get to than the old school favorites in Brooklyn, and it's also much easier to get a seat. And when the craving hits for Motorino's perfectly chewy, perfectly charred, puffy crust, the last thing you want to do is wait two hours for it.

That's not to say that you won't wait at Motorino - we're definitely not the only ones that have such fond feelings for this place. But you can give the host your name and phone number and head down the street for a drink until your table is ready. If that doesn't work for you, Motorino also delivers well. Find a friend who lives nearby and invite yourself over for dinner. Just remember what we said at the beginning of this review. You can eat the pizza - just don't discuss it.

Food Rundown

Meatballs

Motorino does some mean meatballs, and you should start your meal off with an order.

Fennel Salad

A tremendous little salad, with thinly sliced fennel, orange, and olives. Also a good way to get your meal rolling.

Margherita

A Motorino pizza is really all about the crust, and the margherita is a perfect example of that. This is no different than any other margherita in town, other than that the simple ingredients are sitting atop a charred, puffy, chewy cloud from heaven. So good.
Motorino image

Soppressata Piccante

Easily the best pie at Motorino, and definitely one of our favorite pies in town. The soppressata is salty and spicy, and there's a perfect balance of cheese to sauce. Just be warned - this thing brings the heat.

Cherry Stone Clam

We love clams on pizza, and this is a perfect example of how it's done right. As clam pie enthusiasts (you're sick) might expect, there's no tomato sauce on this guy. Instead it's topped with butter, parsley, and olive oil. So yeah, it's a healthy lunch. There's also lots of lemon in the mix, which cuts through all that fat and makes the clams taste even better. A must order.
Motorino image

Brussels Sprouts Pizza

Look how far the brussels sprout has come. Once the butt of every 1970's television sitcom joke, this vegetable is now not only on every restaurant menu in New York City, it's on fcking pizza. And you know what? Motorino makes it seem like it belongs there. This pie is piled high with sprout leaves, along with a whole bunch of really smoky smoked pancetta and some mozzarella. Let's be clear about something - this is not a salad sitting on top of crust. This is a hearty meal with lots of flavor, and it's a Motorino classic.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

Suggested Reading

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Kesté Pizza & Vino

As anticipated, Kesté serves up some of the best pizza in town.

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8.8

We feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t have a Paulie Gee’s in their neighborhood as an option for excellent Neapolitan pies.

Roberta’s image

Roberta’s is a pizza place in Bushwick that kick-started the new Neapolitan pie movement in NYC.

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