Monday, November 16, 2009

Motorino 2.0

About a year ago, I recommended the then-new Williamsburg pizza joint Motorino. ("Get your Motorino running...").

I must not have been the only person to recommend this place, because they did well enough that they opened a second branch in the old Una Pizza Napoletana spot on East 12th Street.

The schlubette and I went to check the new version out this weekend... The verdict?

Stick to the Williamsburg spot.

It's not that the pizza is discernibly different. In fact, the pizza that we had (which had Brussels sprouts and panchetta) was outrageously good.

But the atmosphere is much more oppressive than the Brooklyn original.

We were shoved into a tiny table in the corner. (It's an extremely cramped space.) Once the table next to ours was occupied, we had no hope of getting out, unless we were going to leave. When the busboys came to clear plates away, they had to reach over our neighbors' table to pick things up and set things down.

Although the whole restaurant was loud (to the point where conversation was really difficult) we were seated behind a table of four rowdy people whose laughter jolted me out of my seat more than once.

And while the waitstaff seemed overwhelmed, they were also extremely pushy. We had not been seated for more than five minutes when we were thrice asked for our order. Which is, I suppose, better than not being able to get a waiter at all, but the persistence made me feel really unwelcomed.

With one bite left of our octopus appetizer, a busboy appeared to take the appetizer away and put down our pizza. (If you do go, skip the octopus. Both schlubette and I agreed it was a lot more rubbery than it should have been.)

We were in and out of the restaurant in 30 minutes. It felt like 30 minutes too long.