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Daily Slice: Motorino's Cherrystone Clam Pizza, East Village, NYC

October! National Pizza Month! This month we'll be bringing you Daily Slice, quick snapshots of slices and pies all of us at the Serious Eats empire have been enjoying lately. The Mgmt.

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[Photograph: Sarah Wu/Motorino Facebook]

Given how much we love Motorino around these parts, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the pizzeria would eventually appear in Daily Slice. Yes, it's a whole pie — composed of four slices. And, despite this feature's name, we never meant it to adhere slavishly to the slice-only format. Especially if that would keep us from mentioning this killer pizza.

If you've followed along on this site for any amount of time, you likely know that I love the brussels sprout–and-pancetta pizza at Motorino. (It even made my "Eight Great Pizzas of 2009" list.) But the cherrystone clam pizza ($17) might even be better.

It's a white pizza (no tomato sauce) topped with mozzarella, garlic, parsley butter, and amazingly flavorful cherrystone clams. The clams are served shucked, thankfully*, and complement the whole shebang rather than overpower as a dominant note as they can on some clam pies.

For those worried about a lack of sauce, the compound parsley butter melted atop the pizza lends moisture to the pie, with rivulets of the stuff dripping off onto the plate. No worries, there: Just use the renowned puffy Motorino end crust to sop it up. It's one of the tastiest "dipping sauce" for "pizza bones" I've ever encountered.

Note that this pizza is only served at the East Village Motorino, not at the Brooklyn one.

* I am not a fan of clam pies that come to table with shells cooked onto the pizza. In fact, it is annoying and even detrimental to a clam pie. You have to pick off the shells, often removing hunks of cheese with them, and in the worst of cases, little shell bits sometimes remain hidden in the pie, giving a surprise tooth-hurtin' bite.

Motorino East Village

349 East 12th Street, New York NY 10003 (near First Avenue; map)
212-777-2644; motorinopizza.com

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