By the time we made it to Brooklyn, emerged from the depths of the subway, and found our way to Motorino, the wait was an hour long. Visiting what had just been deemed “the city’s best pizza” by the NYTimes betrayed our impressionability… and our willingness to wait an hour for good pizza.
After prodding the host far too many times, we were fit into a small corner at the bar. We sat down even before signs of the previous diner could be cleared.
The glow from the wood-fire oven was the focul point of the restaurant, and we were grateful to be inside, out of the cold, and ordering drinks from our very friendly bartender/waitress. With a huge crowd and constant requests for her attention, our waitress could have been rundown and unpleasant, but she remained attentive and patient.
The pizzas looked small, so James and I decided to order two. First, we tested the basics. To be deserving of “the best pizza in the city,” the Margherita pizza would have to be superb. It was. Especially the slightly sweet sauce.
The crust was paper-thin except for the inflated outer rim. Actually, my only complaint is that the crust may have been too thin. It was hard to pick up a slice of pizza with out loosing half of the toppings to your plate or open lap.
Our second pizza was even better. No sauce, just cheese with cherry tomatoes. This was on the seasonal menu, so I have forgotten the name and the type of cheese. Salty and wonderful. James insisted that it tasted just like ice cream. My palate did not detect ice cream, but maybe the idea of ice cream? Right.
Is this the best pizza in the city? Well, it is the best fancy, or to use the new catchword “artisanal,” pizza that we have ever had. But pizza is an experience. It’s $1 per slice at two in the morning while wandering the east village. It’s a rainy afternoon on the couch with a movie. It’s cold leftovers straight from the fridge. And so on. If I want a fancy pizza I’ll go to Motorino, but if I want all of the implications of a slice of pizza, the corner hole-in-the-wall shop will do.