Thursday, August 4, 2011
Motorino Pizza, New York, New York
So on my recent visit to New York City I made a list of things I wanted to see and do and most of them started with EAT___________. (Eat a bagel. Eat Gelato. Eat Cheesecake. Eat street vendor food. The list goes on and on.) At the top of the list was eat real New York pizza. After some Internet research, I found Motorino. (Why not Lombardi's or somewhere else? I dunno. All the reviews I read about Motorino were pretty much great and I just felt...drawn.) Yes, it was a tough choice because there were SO many to choose from, not at all like my little hometown where my options end with Inn and Hut. I wanted to settle this issue before the trip, because I didn't want to haphazardly walk into any old pizza joint in New York and have a bad experience.
That would be tragic.
So Motorino it was. And we took the subway to get there, then had to walk a little ways. (Walking seems to be the thing in New York, no?) It was not at all like I expected. In fact, we walked right by it and had to turn around. It was really small in there. Very casual. We went in the middle of the day between lunch and dinner, so it was not crowded at all.
Richard got a root beer to start with, and right then and there I knew we weren't in Buckatunna anymore because none of our root beer bottles have a picture of Jesus serving beverages on the front. (Seriously, at first glance I thought it was Jesus and I thought the name was "Virgin" like the Virgin Mary, and up until the end of the meal when I really looked at the bottle I thought he was drinking Catholic root beer. Is there such a thing as Catholic root beer?)
fior di latte (it's mozzarella-- yeah, I had to Google it), garlic, thyme, pecorino and olives. At least I think that's what he got. I swore I would remember but now the details are a little foggy. Whatever it was, it made us both very happy to be alive.
I got the the pizza margherita with mozzarella di bufala (another type of mozzarella) because I felt a simple, classic pizza would be best to really gauge if I had made the right restaurant choice. I would have liked a little bit of fresh basil, not just basil that had been baked on top, but really, that's just me being picky. This pizza was excellent. The tomato sauce was very mild to me, but mild in a good way, not in an unflavorful way.
The real star of the show was the crust. The crispy, chewy, air pocket-filled, perfectly charred crust. One pizza would have fed both of us, but I'm glad I got one of my own. After reading a lot of reviews, some people claimed theirs had a slightly soggy middle, but I didn't notice that in either of our pizzas. I personally don't think a slightly gooey, cheesy, soggy middle would have been all that bad anyway.
I was kicking myself for not trying their octopus salad, or another salad made of fennel that wasn't on the main menu, but where would I have put it? Also, the brussel sprout and pancetta pizza sounded very intriguing, as well as their Pizza al' Uovo. Menu here. If I only had more time there. We did share tiramisu for dessert. Not overly sweet and the perfect ending to the meal.
If I lived in New York, I could totally see this being a favorite hangout for me.