Glorious Pizza Lunch at Motorino, East Village

Taken place on October 5, 2009.

Motorino Interior
Exterior & Interior

Back when Motorino (the East Village location) started to serve lunch, I asked Giulia if we can meet up and try the pizza that everyone was talking about. I missed out on the opening week when dinner was served. But then again, I’d rather stick with the serene atmosphere that isn’t crushed by a ton of people who eat there after work and give the pizzeria some time to work out their kinks – service or the expensive brick oven that’s left behind from the former Una Pizza Napoletana.

Mixed salad
Mixed salad

We decided on sharing the $12 lunch prix fixe and added an extra pizza, getting some healthy greens, the mixed salad to balance out the carbs from the pizza we’re about to consume. A large pile of fresh, tender leafy greens lightly dressed in vinaigrette was quite welcoming for us.

Soppressata Picante Soppressata Picante, close up
Soppressata Picante

Then the soppressata picante pizza (part of the prix back then) arrived at our small table. When I took my first bite off my slice, the unexpected heat crept in the back of my throat, making me cough but the heat grew on me. I liked the slight char on the crust and the puffiness. The ingredients (a thin layer of tomato sauce, even blobs of flor di latte cheese, spicy soppressata, garlic and chili oil) didn’t hinder any other ingredient’s flavors and textures. Though I did remember this particular pizza was a bit soggy in the middle.

Smoked ScamorzzaSmoked Scamorzza
Smoked Scamorzza

The smoked scamorzza was topped with sweet squash (I’m presuming butternut), salty pancetta, and the herbaceous zing from the sage was a wonderful symphony of flavors in my mouth. I loved this sauce-less pizza and I ate half of it by myself. I have a preference for sweet and salty things so I was biased on this pizza.

I would definitely come back to Motorino for any casual meal, especially when I’m craving pizza. It’s not expensive (as in well under $20), if you go there for their lunch prix fixe and not order an additional food or drinks.


349 E 12th St (off 1st Avenue)
New York, NY 10003 (map)


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.

  1. Danny says:

    that lunch special is super affordable. i had the soppressata too. it’s some good stuff. it’s priced better than Co although I think Co has better ambiance.

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