We've enjoyed Motorino's pizza twice, once as take-out and once dining in, and we think it's the real deal. First impressions matter, and before I had even walked in the door, I noticed an employee in the alley behind the place splitting wood for the oven. Who splits wood in Brooklyn? Motorino, that's who. The place was already crowded at 6:00 p.m. but we scored a nice table near the front and popped open a bottle of cab that we brought with us (sadly, it's not BYOB any more). The roasted beet salad appetizer was delicious, with mint, chives, parsley, and ricotta, while a selection of cured meats, including the sublime beef bresaola, was quickly picked at, pulled apart, and savored.
In general, the pizza was yummy, but we definitely liked certain pies better than others. As a matter of course, we had to try the standard Margherita (pictured), and while it was competent, it didn't seem to add that much to a tomato focaccia one might purchase at an Italian bakery. The pies with meat, however, were transcendent. The Salame, for example, wowed with ample soppressatta, fior di latte (cow's milk mozzarella), and parmigiano, while the Pugliese added sausage, fresh chili, and garlic to a base of mozzarella-and-creme burrata. Divine.
In a neighborhood where new restaurants have opened at a fevered pace for ten years now, the latest recession is beginning to take its toll on the weaker competitors. From our experiences as well as the lines that form outside its front door, I think Motorino is a survivor.
[Photo: Victor Ozols]
· Motorino [Official Site]
· New Haven's Pepe Pizzeria: Giving NY Pizza Some Serious Competition Since 1925 [Jaunted]
· Pizza Coverage [Jaunted]