Having lived in New York City for 5 years, we've learned to appreciate a few truths: There's no shortage of great pizza in NYC and that on any given day, we can randomly make some new friends. Yesterday, we were fortunate enough to experience both of these facts.
We headed out to Motorino's newer location (East Village) to try out their noteworthy Neapolitan pizzas.
We sat down by the windows and immediately order a couple of cool drinks (Limonata $3, Ommegang Witte $7). While perusing the menu, the two guys seated next to us offered us half of their pizza. We soon started chatting and learned that brothers Jamie and Steve were restaurateurs from St. Louis. They were only in town for 2 days and were packing in about 20 various acclaimed NYC restaurants while they were here (hence, they did not want to fill up on a whole pizza). We exchanged contact information - after all, from their ambitious list, we knew we'd want their advice for a future foodie tour of St. Louis (Danny Meyer's hometown and culinary inspiration).
We happily tried out their Brussels Sprout ($15) pizza with smoked pancetta, mozzarella, garlic, and pecorino. Despite the pancetta, the pizza was light and tasty. The outer crust was puffy and made for very good bread to sop up the garlicky olive oil. The brussels sprouts themselves were separated into delicate leaves and didn't have that bitter taste we remembered as kids. This was one of the tastiest gifts we've ever been given!
The wood-burning pizza oven was huge and we loved the huge globs of mozzarella cheese that was placed on the pizzas.
Soppressata Piccante ($16): The red tomato sauce was so good! We could easily taste the garlic and oregano in the sauce (and loved soaking our crusts in it!). The meat was spicy enough to lend a subtle kick and the mozzarella was melted to perfection.
These pizzas made the trip out to the East Village worthwhile. The space is tight - so if it's busy, you can also get your pizzas to go (options include "a libretto" or the entire pie folded like a burrito for easy eating on the go)
Motorino is located at 349 E 12th St (btwn 1st and 2nd Aves) in NYC.