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“Motorino Opens in old Una Pizza Napoletana Space”
The East Village’s dear, departed Una Pizza Napoletana produced my favorite pizza by a mile. It was expensive, sure, but I could eat that filetti pizza with cherry tomatoes every night of the week. When I heard it was closing, I went through the typical stages of grief (denial, anger, excessive pizza binging), but I got hopeful hearing that the storied Acunto wood-burning oven (handcrafted in Naples) was being handed over to Mathieu Palombino of Brooklyn’s Motorino who just opened his second location in the old Una Pizza space. From what I hear Motorino is worthy of similar devotion.
Palombino’s signature charred-crust will adorn seven classic and an array of seasonal pizzas. Smoked and lightly aged scamorza cheese from Puglia, butternut squash, pancetta and fresh sage celebrates fall. The Filetti, honoring Una Pizza’s specialty, replaces the basil with fresh thyme and comes dotted with cherry tomatoes and bufala mozzarella imported from Campagne. Sopressata from Emily’s in Brooklyn crowns the Spicy Sopressata pizza along with tomato, chili, and bufala mozzarella. The classic Marinara, Margherita and Bianca pies from the original location are also available.
There are appetizers (like Sullivan Street Bakery’s toasted bread with pecorino, oregano and olive oil or roasted mortadella with mustard) and desserts (like tiramisu or soft-serve ice cream in rotating seasonal flavors).
BLT Restaurant Group alum Fred Dexheimer put together the affordable wine list focusing on both Italian and domestic wines (by the glass, half-bottle or bottle). Palombino spiffed up the space a bit, retiling the oven and painting sections of the wall in vertical green stripes. Besides eating in, you can get pizza to go either in a box or libretto style, a Neapolitan way of folding the12-inch pie in paper for easy street eating. I’ll definitely go to pay my respects.
Motorino is located at 349 East 12th Street (212-777-2644).
—Susan Kane Walkush
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