Pizza is and has for a long time been serious business in this town, and while New Yorkers are often prepared to throw down over the supremacy of a slice, the truth is, a lot of it isn’t that good. Fortunately, some restaurants have abandoned corny dough-tossing antics and turned instead to the great Neapolitan pie, which, among other specifications, must be sized for an individual and cooked in a wood-fired oven. Motorino, passes the litmus test: Its “DOC” version of the Margherita—the classic combination of tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil—comes straight from the dining room’s glowing oven, with melted islands of buffalo-milk mozzarella on a thin layer of sweet sauce. The crust meets two critical standards: A properly blistered char and a wonderful elasticity that is so often missing from lesser examples. For bolder palates, the Pugliese features pleasantly bitter broccoli rabe and the no-joke punch of fiery chili peppers. While the pizza is the draw, supporting dishes are also worth a detour: Pickled octopus offers chilled, meaty tentacles served with fingerling potatoes and a bright dressing of capers, lemon juice, olive oil and parsley.
349 E 12th St
|Cross street:||between First and Second Aves|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu 11am–midnight; Fri, Sat 1pm–1am; Sun 11am–midnight|
|Transport:||Subway: L to First Ave|
|Price:||Average pizza: $15. AmEx, MC , V|