Friday, April 24, 2009
Motorino Pizza - Neopolitan Indulgence
Motorino Pizza - 319 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11211
L Train to Graham Avenue
Last night was another Williamsburg adventure--this time with Meg--as we explored Neopolitan pizza at the much-talked-about Motorino Pizza. I've heard so much about this place that my expectations were sky high and I'm happy to report that they were met all the way.
Modern, comfortable and trendy, Motorino is all of these things. I was expecting huge crowds based on its popularity but since we came in before 7pm, we had top pick for a table. We chose one in the center of the medium-ish dining room, in front of the large, rustic brick oven. I like that the oven is on display, an appropriate centerpiece for Motorino's "main-event" dish--pizza. Overall, the decor is simple, earthy and classic--you'll see marble table tops, simple chairs, a little bit of greenery at each table and beautiful lemons displayed at the bar, adding color.
There were so many pizza options and everything looked so delicious, that we had a hard time deciding. We went with a veggie starter, a tasting of cheese, a pizza and two desserts--we just couldn't resist.
Roasted Beet Salad - Both Meg and I love beets so this dish spoke to us. I was surprised at how generous the portion was and I absolutely loved the shaved ricotta salata cheese on top. It gave the sweet beets a salty bite and a hint of creaminess. Lovely fragrance and zest from fresh herbs such as parsley and mint also enhanced this simple salad.
Humboldt Fog Cheese - This is truly a "must" in my book and I'll certainly order it again. Presented beautifully on a rustic "Motorino" cheese board, it was paired with sweet figs, pistachios and honey. The cheese itself was a creamy goat's milk variety, which spread easily on bread and had a luxurious taste with a tang at the end. The inside felt like a traditional goat's cheese but the farther from the center you got, it looked and tasted like brie. YUM!
Soppresatta Piccante Pizza - Fluffy and gorgeous with a lot of char marks, I was really into this pie. The toppings were hearty with just the right amount of kick that tickled the back of the throat. The soppresatta had some heat to it too and it mixed in nicely with the melted cheese. My only complaint was that they burnt the pizza crust a bit--I know that char is part of Motorino's charm but we got too much of it and Meg agreed. I looked over at my neighbors' pie to compare and theirs didn't have black spots, only brown ones.
Bomboloni with Vanilla Custard and Rhubarb - This was a special of the day and naturally, we couldn't turn down homemade donuts with sugar and a rich filling. Because they were homemade, they were super light and not greasy at all. The rhubarb filling was my favorite, slightly sour but also sweet while the vanilla custard was luxurious, dotted with fresh vanilla bean seeds.
Hazelnut Gelatto - A perfect accompaniment to the donuts, this gelatto was everything that it should be, smooth, creamy and fresh. I liked that it was embellished with fresh mint--just another detail that made it more special.
Service and Cost:
Our waitress was helpful and nice. She was knowledgeable about cheese, which proved important when we made our selection. Dishes came out in good time and I liked that the apps came fast and then we waited a little for the entree--it was good to space out the two courses. Overall, no complaints in this department.
Costs are very wallet friendly. For an appetizer, a cheese plate, one pizza, two desserts and two alcoholic drinks we paid $26 each including tax and tip. Buon affare!