Motorino is one of those over-hyped pizza joints that non-native New Yorker’s think is a great New York pizza. Let me preface this review with this though: I did enjoy the food – ate every last scrap of it (I was starving). However, I felt that the crust was a little too soft. Th router edges were crispy and burnt, which was nice, but ultimately it was a floppy pizza. The sauce was weak (needed herbs or salt or something), and the cheese was sparse. My wife tried a no sauce-based pizza, with mushrooms, cheese, garlic, olives and soppressata. I found myself liking that better than my margherita pie. That’s a bad sign. When you are eating a pizza for the toppings and not for the basics of the pizza pie, then you are in the territory of “go somewhere else.”
Here’s the margherita pie. It’s mostly bread – very sparse on sauce, herbs and cheese. That may be fine for some people, but we needed to order a side of sauce just to dip the bread into. Despite generally liking the flavor of the bread/crust, I though the center of the crust (under the toppings) was way too wet and soggy. Perhaps they should pop this in the oven atop a grill so that the heat can get underneath the crust a bit, and make for a more solid foundation. When I make my pizza, I use a perforated pizza pan that allows for heat to directly hit the bottom of the pie, and I elevate the pizza off the surface of the heat.
Here’s the other pie – much better, but only because it had interesting toppings:
The highlight of the meal was the appetizer, an octopus salad with capers, potatoes, red onion, lemon and parsley. The octopus was really tender and flavorful.
Luckily our deal came with a bottle of wine – we picked this one from the Montepulciano region of Italy. It was great.
349 E 12th St
New York, NY 10003