The Margherita at Co.

GQ's Alan Richman offers an entertaining take on two recently opened pizzerias, Co. and Motorino. (He says Mayor Bloomberg should stimulate the city's economy by opening more pizzerias.)

On Co., Richman says:

The pizza at Co. is produced by Jim Lahey of the revered Sullivan St Bakery and answers this question: If pizza is essentially crust, and if crust is essentially bread, and if Lahey is possibly the finest bread-maker in New York, shouldn’t the pizza at Co. be superb? This is not a trick question. The pizza is, for the most part, exactly that. The only flaw is an occasional wrongheaded harmonizing of toppings, annoying but far from fatal.

Richman's take on Motorino, after the jump.

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Margherita pie at Motorino.

On Motorino:

It isn’t just the oversized outer ring that makes Motorino’s pies reminiscent of Naples. It’s also the wetness. (Okay, I have an admission: I might be the only person on earth who doesn’t consider the pizza of Naples impeccable.) Motorino’s Margherita DOC pizza—buffalo mozzarella, tomato sauce, basil—is a soggy mess.

The same pie made with the housemade fresh cow’s milk mozzarella is somewhat less mushy in the middle, but when you pick up a slice of either one, most of the toppings slide off. (Don’t tell me to use a knife and fork. That’s no fun.) But please don’t get me wrong: Both taste good, really good, although Motorino’s tomato sauce can’t compete with Co.’s.

For what it's worth, I generally agree with Richman's take on the differences in style. He's more partial to the Co. style, which is thinner, lighter, lacks the puffy cornicione of a Naples-style pie, and is not as wet and sloppy. He digs the flambé pie at Co., which I'm not a huge fan of (too heavy) and really loves the whopper at Motorino with artichokes, smoked pancetta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, onions, and oregano, which he calls "a gorgeous piece of work."

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