The best new pizzas in NYC: Motorino
TONY eats through the city's newest pies.
Wed Jun 3 2009
RECOMMENDED: Complete New York pizza guide
319 Graham Ave between Ainslie and Devoe Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-8899)
Pie-maker Mathieu Palombino is a born-and-bred Belgian, yet his pizza pantry hits every Neapolitan note. His imported flour is of the doppio zero variety, while the tomatoes he uses are San Marzano, canned at the peak of ripeness. His cheese of choice is either tangy buffalo mozzarella or fior di latte, which is house-made at Motorino each morning. Then there’s the oven, a bell-shaped, ceramic-floored colossus that’s fed a combination of cherry, oak, birch and hickory woods and fired up to 900 degrees—each pie requires about one minute inside.
That fancy flour produces a bubbly crust so swollen that it risks engulfing the toppings. But the sauce more than holds its own: The DOP tomatoes come across bright and tart, an ideal foil to the dose of grassy olive oil and hit of musty pecorino that anoints each pie just before it’s served. Stick to one of the Margheritas to get the most out of the tangy buffalo mozzarella or the milder fior di latte. Motorino strays from the classics with seasonally inspired pies, including a version topped with brussels sprouts and speck—a tasty option, but you’ll have trouble detecting the formaggio’s subtle charms.