349 E 12th St
(between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
I’m always on the search for the best pizza in town because it is on my list of favorite foods and New York just has so many “best pizza in town” kinds of places. Bread and tomatoes are some of my most favorite things in the world so you can imagine why pizza would be on that list. Having tried to make pizza many times myself, I know how little they cost to make and how easy it is once you have the right pizza dough recipe (ingredients and timing, both very important!). But between the thickness and consistency of the crust, the the sauce, and the ingredients, the world of pizza is actually pretty damn large. Like people, they come in all shapes and sizes and can vary greatly based on where they come from.
After a long day of volleyball and boardgames, we ordered in so we could… continue playing boardgames. Motorino is the last East Village “best” that I had not tried so we ordered from there. Pictured above is the Brussels Sprouts ($16) pizza with fior di latte (aka. mozzarella made from cow milk, and not buffalo), garlic, pecorino, and smoked pancetta. Brussels sprouts tasted FRESH, not the frozen kind out of a bag. Smoked pancetta was super tasty and crisp along the edges. Cheese was very mediocre and lacked a little flavor. Their crust is pretty thin and becomes very soggy pretty quickly (it might be better to order in at the restaurant for their pizza). The edge of the crust was sort of puffy but lacked the chewiness of Luzzo’s crust. BUT, this pizza was much, much better than L’asso EV’s brussels sprouts pizza.
The Cremini Mushrooms ($17) pizza with fior di latte, sweet sausage, garlic, thyme, pecorino, and gaeta olives was probably my favorite. These cremini mushrooms seriously whoop white button mushrooms hardcore. They are packed with so much more flavor and have less of a rubbery texture. Sweet sausage, garlic, and olives were a winning combo as well. So much savory flavor packed into each bite. My only complaint is that there was way too much cheese. The entire pizza was covered with a thick slab of semi-bland cheese. You could barely taste the crust.
Prosciutto de Parma ($18) with fior di latte, olive oil, fresh oregano, and pecorino. For a prosciutto pizza, I thought it was a bit boring. I love the combination of prosciutto and arugula so felt that this pizza was just missing some substance. Decent quality prosciutto over bland cheese. I may be a bit harsh since this was G.B.’s favorite.
Finally, the Margherita ($15) with tomato sauce, mozzarella bufala, and basil. Normally, this combo is usually my favorite because of the whole bread and tomato factor. Sadly, the bread was too limp for my taste and the tomato sauce was a bit boring. It lacked the sweetness of a good tomato and was spread on too thinly.
Motorino’s pizza has interesting toppings that are crippled by its mediocre crust. Crust is puffy, sure, and the bottom has a nice char, but overall lacks the chewiness that I love about Luzzo’s pizza. Yelp gives it a 3.5/5 rating and I think it’s spot on.