Co., via Slice for some time now. They opened last Friday and the early reports have been quite good. So Blondie hatched a plan. Hit up both Motorino and Co. One night, two pizza joints? Lawman and I were up for the challenge...
Given all the buzz that Co. has been getting we figured it would be best to start there. We had thought that Co would be open at 4pm, but alas, when Blondie arrived they were closed and said they weren't opening until 5pm. So we did a little shopping and came back closer to 5. A line had already formed, but all things considered it wasn't terrible. At least this wasn't Milkbar.
The first folks started filing in at 5:12pm and we were among the first seated. We quickly selected the Margherita Pie and the Ham and Cheese. The wait for the pizza wasn't too long, but there are definitely some kinks to be worked out. Between the waiters and the kitchen I think there was some sort of breakdown in communication in terms of what the table numbers were. As a result the waiter kept bringing us pizzas...that weren't ours. We turned down three pizzas while waiting for our own. I know. I know. What were we thinking?
When our pizzas did arrive they were quite good...
The ham and cheese was our hands down favorite. Often times when prosciutto makes an appearance on pizza you lose the melt in your mouth goodness of the meat because all the moisture disappears from the cooking. At Co. they put the prosciutto on right at the end.
Now that's what I'm talking about. And I'm always pro-gruyère. The crust was light and chewy. And the addition of caraway seeds was a nice bonus.
The Margherita Pie didn't kill me. Blondie was more of a fan than I was. Don't get me wrong, it was good--better than a lot of places--but I'm from New Haven. Pizza is serious business to me.
I hold it to a high standard and frankly the sauce was a little flat. It just tasted like crushed tomato to me. I like my sauce with a little tang.
Overall good pizza and definitely a welcome addition to the nabe. I wouldn't make a return visit for the Margherita, but I'd love to come back and try some of their other pies. Their special pie with brussels sprouts, béchamel, cantal, buffalo mozzarella, shaved chestnuts, and smoked bacon sounds kind of awesome.
Speaking of brussels sprouts, we did end up having them on pizza...at a little place called Motorino in Williamsburg. Now Blondie's been trying to get to Motorino since it first opened, but for one reason or another her desire for their Neapolitan pie has been denied. This time the L train's service interruptions threatened to spoil our fun. I could spend 3 paragraphs telling you what happened, but it's the L train. It took 1 hour to get from 8th Ave in Manhattan to Graham Ave in Brooklyn. Use your imagination.
When we arrived at Motorino there was a 45 minute wait for a table. But hark! Three seats were available at the bar. Bring on the pie.
We clearly had to try the Margherita DOC. And for good measure we ordered the Seasonal Artichoke Pie, I mean, it's seasonal. How could we not? And after seeing brussels sprouts also made the pizza topping cut here as well, it seemed a sign that we needed some brussels in our lives or at least our bellies.
The pies came out fairly quickly and I have to say that Motorino lives up to the praise. The crust for all three pizzas, while a bit denser than Co.'s, was pleasantly chewy.
Their Margherita was tops for me and Lawman--top pie at Motorino and top pie of the night.
Now this is a sauce I can get behind. Bright, fresh, tomato-y. Delicious. Just the right balance of sauce and cheese for a Margherita pie.
The brussel sprouts pizza was a close second for us and Blondie's top pie pick. The brussel sprouts themselves didn't overwhelm and the speck worked well with the parm and fior di latte. I liked the texture of the little charred brussel sprout leaves. This is definitely something I'm going to try at home.
Blondie and Lawman were also big fans of the Artichoke pie. I have to say I found the smoked pancetta a bit salty and distracting from an otherwise excellent pie.
I don't often get out to Williamsburg. Would you ride the G train if you didn't have to? Really? But I can confidentally say Motorino is worth the trip. In the Co. vs. Motorino head-to-head, Motorino wins!
230 Ninth Avenue
at West 24th Street
New York NY 10001
319 Graham Avenue
at Devoe Street
Brooklyn NY 11211