Mathieu Palombino is poised to open Motorino Williamsburg in the next week, marking a return to the borough after the building housing his original location was condemned. He's happy to be back, and his menu features a few surprises, both old and new. Check out the slideshow to take a look.
'Williamsburg' on Serious Eats
Catching up on some pizza news post-holidays, I came across some photos that Eater posted of the forthcoming Williamsburg Motorino location receiving an oven-sized special delivery.
Adam Kuban and I first encountered Williamsburg Pizza pizzaiolo Nino Coniglio at his first owned and occupied place, Pizzeria del Corso. Since then, he has gone from being on the cusp of great to producing some top-five-in-NYC quality pies at the new Williamsburg Pizza.
Opened just over a year ago, Best Pizza has fast become one of our favorite pizzerias in New York, and yeah, it's mostly because they serve some of the tastiest by-the-slice stuff around. Since opening the shop, the menu has expanded ever-so-slightly to include sandwiches and a single salad. But man, oh man what good sandwiches those are. Check out everything they've got on the menu.
With drunk pizza, big, cheesy, and greasy us what you're after, and Williamsburg has more than its share of those. Anna Maria, on N 7th and Bedford is the classic, but a few blocks down, La Nonna Pizzeria Trattoria is a worthy competitor.
Horribly tragic news on Eater New York today: The Brooklyn Motorino has been closed for good by the NYC Dept. of Building.
OK. Forget for a minute that Forcella is doing some solidly legit traditional pizzas. That's all well and good and totally worth your while. But just know that the place is the only pizzeria I know of in NYC that's doing a deep-fried "montagnara" pizza.
There are quite a few good pizza options near the Bedford L stop. For whole pies, you've got the excellent Fornino, which serves up a host of neo-neapolitan style wood-fired options. For slices, you've got four options, all within a one to two block radius.
In my college days I once (or twice) made a nacho pizza. I was not high. At least not on drugs — maybe on the giddy anticipation of the pie-brid taking shape in my mind, the glorious possibility of combining two great tastes into a gestalt of outrageous texture and flavor. That was years ago, and I don't really remember whether that pizza was successful (I might not have been high but I was probably drunk.) I've threatened to re-create that pizza in these pages,* and now I have a template: The Quesadilla slice at Vinnie's Pizza in Williamsburg.
I made like Brutus and took a stab at the Caesar (Chicken Caesar, to be exact.) And, friends, Romans, and Countrymen, I am here to praise it. The pizza is loaded with warm—yet unwilted—romaine lettuce on a sturdy flatbread crust. Resting upon the lettuce are tender strips of marinated chicken breast and a shimmering drizzle of Caesar dressing.
The pies at Fornino in Williamsburg come out of a wood burning oven, but they are by no means Neapolitan. Somewhere at the intersection between a traditional coal-fired New York pie and a true Neapolitan, they've got a crisp crust and a deep brown, charred underbelly. Bright tomato sauce and house made fior de latte scream freshness, while an impressive list of topping variations offers something for everyone.
[Photographs: Adam Kuban] Best Pizza 33 Havemeyer Street, Brooklyn NY 11211 (North 7th/North 8th streets; map); 718-599-2210; best.piz.za.com Getting there: Closest train station is Bedford Avenue L train Pizza style: Somewhere between New York–style and Neapolitan-American Oven type: Wood-fired oven cooks the pizza, with reheats done in a small gas-fired oven The skinny: Backed by the folks behind Brooklyn Star and Roberta's, Best Pizza makes use of an old bakery oven to make some really great wood-fired pizzas that defy easy categorization Notes: Best Pizza has recently started delivering its pizzas; I know where I'm calling next time I'm...
The plain slice at Anna Maria is OK. It's decently balanced — not too saucy, not too cheesy, not too bready. It's not overly sweet on the sauce nor does the sauce have that much flavor. It's just the sort of middle-of-the-road pizza that seems to serve its purpose admirably -- feeding late-night revelers on their way to or from the bars.
San Marco 577 Lorimer St Brooklyn, NY 11211; 718-387-4861 Pizza Style: New York–style Oven Type: Gas The Skinny: This circa-1969 old-school pizzeria serves up a timeless New York slice that might be softer and less crisp than many pies but nonetheless achieves a wonderful synergy. Good Sicilian and grandma slices as well, and don't miss the espresso either Price: Regular or Sicilian slice $2.50; espresso, $1.60 Before yesterday I had not set foot in San Marco Pizzeria since the last century. I used to live just up the street from the little neighborhood spot, it was my pizza equivalent...
The Motorinos 319 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11211 (at Devoe; map); 718-599-8899; motorinopizza.com349 East 12th Street, New York NY 10003 (near First Ave.; map); 212-777-2644 If your sweetheart is a pizza lover (like mine), be aware that both Motorino locations are doing special heart-shape Valentine's pizzas on Sunday. All pizzas on the menu will be available à la cardiac, and there will be a special porcini mushroom pie as well. Oh, and they're taking reservations at both locations for the evening. So get on that while you can — both the Brooklyn and Manhattan Motorinos had slots available when...
I'm back in Williamsburg on Tuesday nights once again for league bowling. I'm between games now as I write this, blogging my between-games pizza dinner. Vinnie's Pizza in Williamsburg always has some wacko special each night. Tonight's was the Hawaii 5-0 slice. Ham, pineapple, and fresh (supposedly) oregano. Not great but not horrible. Crust is OK. All crisp, no chew — likely the result of sitting for a while and then getting the reheat. I toyed with the idea of eating the Vinnie's special slice each Tuesday and blabbing about it here, but I don't know if that would...