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Pizza worth traveling for: NYC's Motorino

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Real Neapolitan pizza at Motorino in NYC (photo: Steve Dolinsky)

See that cornicione, the edge of the pizza in the photo above? ‚ That’s what’s missing from Chicago’s “Neapolitan” pizzas. ‚ I’m in New York for a couple of days, and had heard so much about Motorino here, in the East Village, that I corralled a good friend who lives here - and has already been several times - to take me there. ‚ That edge is crucial: slightly blistered, a little bit puffy, and serving as a sturdy moat to the vibrant tomato sauce and splotches of fresh mozzarella within. ‚ When you bite into it, there is a substantial chew, with the slightest amount of salt in the background. ‚ When you look inside that dough, you see holes - lots of them - showing that this dough has character, and an active yeast, that has given it substance, and a bit of heft. ‚ Someone in the kitchen has obviously tinkered with the proper ratio of moisture in the dough, and they’ve also let it “proof” or rise, for just the right amount of time. ‚ It’s a given that the heat source is wood, and the oven is brick. ‚ Notice also that despite the fresh mozz and substantial sauce amount, (and healthy drizzle of olive oil) there is NO pool of liquid/water in the middle of the pie. ‚ We also tried a pie topped with aged prosciutto di Parma, and as full as I was from eating clams at fried oysters just an hour before at Choptank, I devoured my share.

Prosciutto, basil, pecorino & mozzarella...mmmmm (photo: Steve Dolinsky)

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