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Best of the "nouveau" pizza places- Keste, Co., Motorino, etc.?


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Best of the "nouveau" pizza places- Keste, Co., Motorino, etc.?

steakrules85 | Feb 22, 2010 09:33 AM

The best pizza threads have definitely been discussed ad-naseum on the board. Everyone has their own opinion. I usually tend to try a bunch of the same type of restaurant in a row to get a handle on which is the best. Obviously, I have been to just about every top steakhouse in the city to get a handle on who truly is the best. Right now, I am currently embarking on an Italian "kick" which had "kicked off" with my latest meal at Convivo (review is posted). Another culinary journey I would like to embark on includes pizza.

I have lived in NYC my entire life (albeit it a rather short one) and have never tried Lombardi's, Grimaldi's, Totonno's, John's, etc. Why you ask? Well, I do like pizza. But I can't honestly say I love it. And being 100 percent Italian, I eat it at home every Friday night homemade by mom who does a pretty darn good job. There are just other things that appeal to me more...namely steak, sit-down Italian, French, American, you get the point. I am more of a sit-down, 3-4 course meal kind of dude rather than grab a pie and dig in. Because those are a lot harder to get for me than a pizza. But every once in awhile I do get that deep craving for a great pizza. Of all the "classics" the only one I have been to is Di Fara's, which to this day I declare as the best pizza I have ever eaten. I see the latest reviews of Lombardi's saying that is is a tourist trap and has seriously gone down hill. Nonetheless, I still would love to sample it for myself because everyone has their own opinion and often I find that you are missing out if you just go off of someone else's suggestion. First I would like to sample some of the "nouveau" places that have opened up and seem to be all the rage these days.

But that brings me to my question... for you pizza lovers and afficionados I turn to you and ask which is the best of the new pizzerias that have opened like wildfire in Manhattan. Is it Keste, Co., Motorino, or something else? I plan on trying all eventually for a fair comparison but wanted to open this up for debate so I can decide where to go first. NYMag ranked the 20 top pizzas and this is what they said about these....

Regarding Keste from NYMag- Never in this town have oozy blobs of melted buffalo mozzarella and brightly flavored San Marzano tomatoes frolicked in such ecstatic harmony.

Regarding Co.- It’s supple and a bit bready, in a good way, and sturdy enough for inspired combos like the Ham and Cheese (a caraway-seeded mélange of Pecorino, Gruyère, and buffalo mozzarella draped with prosciutto), or our current favorite, the Stracciatella, a hot and cold, sweet and salty, raw and cooked union of chunky tomato, creamy cheese, and peppery Greenmarket arugula.

Motorino- His tomatoes are bright, his buffalo mozzarella sweet, and his Margherita DOC a thing of beauty. The crust exhibits a range of appealing textures, from crisp and chewy to light and airy.

Now if those descriptions don't make your mouth water then I do not know what does. So which would it be out of these? Will any stand up to Di Fara's? Or was Di Fara's such a revelation because I have not tried the other "vaunted" pizzerias in our city? I know the styles are different, they are using different ovens and preparations. Either way I am excited about my latest adventure and cannot wait to get it under way.

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