Friday, January 21, 2011
Pizza is staple in American cuisine especially in New York City. In the last few years, chef's took pizza as a traditional comfort food and reinvented it in a more upscale approach. Chef's not only added unconventional ingredients, but started cooking the pizza differently. Chef Mathieu Palombino of Motorino was one of the chefs that took this approach.
Motorino is located in both the East Village and Williamsburg (Brooklyn). After hearing and reading great things about the pizzaria turned restaurant, I had to check it out. The Brooklyn location offers reservations; however, we went to the East Village Motorino. They wouldn't seat our party untill all guest were there, so my friend Caitlin and I made a quick stop at Momofuku Ssam Bar for some pork buns and wine. I could get into how delicious the pork buns were, but thats another post for another time. (If interested-check out past post of Momofuku)
We finished up at Momofuku and headed back to Motorino to meet our friend Christa to complete our party of 3. Fortunately, there was no wait so we sat down at a four-top near the window. I chatted up our server while the ladies were in the bathroom. She seemed pretty knowledgeable on both the food and wine while also being pretty friendly. But we didn't go there for good service, we went for good pizza.
I was a bit turned off with Motorino's wine service. Not that the wine wasn't good, but it was served in little water glasses--the kind you find in diners. I like the idea behind it, if they're going for the rustic Italian feel; but when I pay $47 for a bottle--I'd like a normal wine glass. I know this is a common complaint of mine, but I think its important to have a glass that allows you to enjoy the wine to its full capacity. I understand that wine glasses break easy, but thats the price you have to. The wine itself was OK. It was a 2009 Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) from Alto Adige, Italy.
We each got a different type of pie, which allowed me to sample each. Christa got the margherita (14) while caitlin went with the spicy Soppressata Piccante ($16). I took a slightly different route by going with the Stracciatella ($17). I don't normally go for white pizza, but I decided to switch it up. I was going to try the Brussel Sprout and Pancetta pizza, but I wasn't too sure if I wanted brussel sprouts on my pizza!
The Margherita is basic pie of tomato, mozzarella, and basil. Although very simple, very good. The Soppressata Piccante pizza was a nice twist on the normal pepperoni version found in every pizzeria. The soppressata gave the pizza a nice spiciness which was well balanced with the mozzarella, garlic, and oregano. The Stracciatella is a white pizza with the cheese baked into the crust. The Stracciatella is topped with basil, olive oil, and sea salt. The three pizza were all very different, but I liked all of them. The pizzas were cooked perfect allowing the crust to be nicely charred without behing burnt. Motorino's wood-burning brick oven matched with great ingredients is definitely something to check out atleast one. I don't know if I'd go back to Motorino, but I definitely enjoyed my experience. Its a nice place, but I will stick to my $2.75 slices. Next stop Keith McNally's Pulinos!
Soppressata Piccante (Below)