Author Topic: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip  (Read 5372 times)

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Offline TXCraig1

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Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« on: November 30, 2011, 06:46:03 PM »
I had to make a last minute in-and-out of NYC, but it did provide an opportunity to check out Keste and Motorino. I went to Keste for dinner last night (first two pics). My phone ran out of batteries, so I only got a couple shots. I did a little better at Motorino today at lunch. I only included the last picture below because seeing me in a suit is rather unusual (and some folks might want to see the oven… :-D)

Very different pies at these places. Both crusts were good, flavorful and relatively tender. The Keste pie baked in about 70 seconds or so. The Motorino pies were 2:45 and 3:00 respectively. As you would expect, the Motorino Margherita, crust and sauce, was a little (lot) dryer than the Keste – though the cheese was a little wetter. The Keste dough appeared to be more fermented (but not to the extent I’ve seen in some pics), but I’d say the Motorino crust had a little more flavor. They are a different style, and I would not necessarily say one is better than the other, but they are enough different that I’d bet most folks who have had both have a definite favorite one way or the other.

Keste’s sauce was a little bitter for my taste. I’d have added a little sugar. Motorino’s was a little sweeter. I also preferred Motorino’s cheese (both were buffalo). The Brussels sprouts pie was very wet. Surprisingly wet. Toppings-sliding-off-the-end-of-the-pizza wet. Between the cheese and sprouts, there was a lot of water on top of the pie. Nevertheless, it was an excellent pie – one of my all-time favorites. I would never have guessed it, but pancetta is better than applewood smoked bacon (what I have been using) on this pie – a lot better - wow, did I really just write that? Better than applewood smoked bacon - words I never thought I write or say. They also use a lot more sprouts than I have, and it is better that way.

I only tried the Margherita at Keste as I was not all that hungry. I’m headed back to NY in a couple weeks and will try some of their other pies then. There are a lot of them on the menu that sound very very good.

The Motorino Margherita was better than the last UPN Margherita I ate there before Anthony moved to SF. They had a lunch special where a pie and a salad was $12. Of course, I ordered two specials. Both my Motorino pies today cost me about the same as one pie from UPN. I told them to keep the salads. I figured the Brussels sprouts counted.
   
The staff was great at both. Very friendly and a lot of fun to talk to. I didn’t go to either at peak time.

From the Jet Blue lounge at JFK,

CL
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 07:47:08 PM by TXCraig1 »
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Quick NYC Trip (Keste and Motorino)
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 06:46:59 PM »
The rest of the pics:
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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Offline Mmmph

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Re: Quick NYC Trip (Keste and Motorino)
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 06:56:38 PM »
I would devour that sprouts pizza.
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 07:53:29 PM »
Everyone should try the pie - even if you don't like Brussels sprouts. It's that good.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2011, 08:04:07 PM »
Craig,

How about a comparison between the Keste and Motorino Margherita and your best effort out of the Acunto--(personal bias aside of course) ;D?

Safe travels getting home...at least JFK is heck of a lot better than trying to get out of LaGuardia on time.

Adam

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2011, 08:54:47 PM »
looking good Craig and nice write up.  245-3m pie?  are they using caputo? Was the crust particularly tough?

I bet they are not cooking above 750-775F.

Offline JConk007

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2011, 10:04:39 PM »
Craig
 Very proffessional in the suit! yes a far cry from the wood chopping, rifle swingin, fisherman!
I am guessin it pays the bills. I have been known  to wear a suit also on occasion when required. Honestly now more comfortable in a Caputo apron  :) Ok so next time you come around give me a shout out and I'll meet you at any of the NYC great how about Paulie G's its only 30 min for me!
anyway pizza...
 I just spoke to Zaman and he also just at Motorino he can review but he did mention Motorino admitted the quality of the dough ( they do use caputo) and final product is much different when the oven is rippin on the weekends rather than Tuesday doing a 2:45 NYish bake? (or in a garage) this is the same oven or the mobile version Acunto?
Keste is allway consistent , as are your pizas, and glad you didnt get the blown dough some speak of. I was at Amano tuesday myself and had a great margherita ok 2 fer ! I allways check the dough there  and it was the best it has ever looked, so maybe they both make on monday? No refridge at Keste right?  
thanks for the review I am gonna try the brussel sprout asap ! with pancceta
John
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 10:08:49 PM by JConk007 »
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Online Tscarborough

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2011, 10:07:32 PM »
Brussel sprouts will never grace a pie at my house, but I would say that your pizzas look better than any of those (and that doesn't mean those look bad, yours just look better.

Offline flyboy4ual

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2011, 10:44:01 PM »
Jet Blue?  Did I read that right?  :o

Great job. Those 2 places are on my bucket list.

Scott D. 
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Offline norma427

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2011, 11:14:33 PM »
Craig,

Great write-up and reviews of Keste’s and Motorino’s pies.  Your business attire sure is different, but you look very professional.  ;D  Great pictures also!

Wish I knew you were in NY today.  I also was in NY most of the day today.  I also got to try out some new pizzas, but not the ones you did.

Norma

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2011, 09:21:43 AM »
They are a different style, and I would not necessarily say one is better than the other, but they are enough different that I’d bet most folks who have had both have a definite favorite one way or the other.

I think you pegged it right there. Well said.

Almost like Keste is the feminine to Motorino's masculine interpretation of Neapolitan-style pizza (Keste is more traditional, Motorino is more Americanized is what many cognescenti would suggest, correctly so).

Craig, the 2:45-3:00 bake time is high for Motorino EV -- I wonder if it is because of lunch or Mathieu has changed things a bit? Motorino is typically a longer bake than many Neapolitan spots, with bakes often right around the 2:00 mark, but of the eight stop-watched times I have written down from various visits to Motorino EV, the longest bake time is 2:11. Interesting.

Glad you tried the BSP pizza at Motorino. There is no small amount of hardcore pizza enthusiasts who put that pizza on the very short list of the best pizzas in NYC...that pie and the Anise & Anephew pie at Paulie Gee's seem to tickle the sweet spot with many pizza peeps. Although I think the Pizza Del Papa at Keste is pretty bazilly as well.

Good shot of you in front of that oven.....somehow I have never gotten over the re-tiling of that oven. Please don't take this the wrong way, but the suit doesn't suit you. You look sharp in it, but not comfortable in it. I prefer the pictures of you out in nature cutting wood and with your kids holding hog heads on sticks!  :)

I'm finishing up that thing I owe you today. --K
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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2011, 09:50:19 AM »
Everyone should try the pie - even if you don't like Brussels sprouts. It's that good.
Sounds like yours was better than mine, even though they look the same. It was very bitter and all the burnt tips of the BS were off putting. When you go back you have to stop by Eataly, one because it's a giant Italian grocery store and two RossoPomodoro.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2011, 09:59:13 AM »

Craig, the 2:45-3:00 bake time is high for Motorino EV -- I wonder if it is because of lunch or Mathieu has changed things a bit? Motorino is typically a longer bake than many Neapolitan spots, with bakes often right around the 2:00 mark, but of the eight stop-watched times I have written down from various visits to Motorino EV, the longest bake time is 2:11. Interesting.

I counted out the first one in my head, and I was so surprised that I thought I must have been counting too fast, so on the second, I used the stopwatch on my phone.

Quote
Please don't take this the wrong way, but the suit doesn't suit you. You look sharp in it, but not comfortable in it. I prefer the pictures of you out in nature cutting wood and with your kids holding hog heads on sticks!  :)

No, I didn't take it the wrong way. I take it as a complement!

CL
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2011, 10:00:26 AM »
Craig,

Great write-up and reviews of Keste’s and Motorino’s pies.  Your business attire sure is different, but you look very professional.  ;D  Great pictures also!

Wish I knew you were in NY today.  I also was in NY most of the day today.  I also got to try out some new pizzas, but not the ones you did.

Norma

Darn. I wish I would have known that. I would love to eat a pie with you and talk pizza in person!

CL
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2011, 10:01:56 AM »
Jet Blue?  Did I read that right?  :o

Great job. Those 2 places are on my bucket list.

Scott D. 
UAL Pilot   ;D

Sorry Scott, but last time I checked, UAL didn't fly into HOU. I live a long way from IAH, so I avoid it whenever possible.

CL
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2011, 10:12:45 AM »
Very proffessional in the suit! yes a far cry from the wood chopping, rifle swingin, fisherman!
I am guessin it pays the bills.

Yes (but I'm a khaki and golf shirt kind of guy on most days), or I'd be doing something like you're doing.

Quote
I have been known to wear a suit also on occasion when required. Honestly now more comfortable in a Caputo apron  :) Ok so next time you come around give me a shout out and I'll meet you at any of the NYC great how about Paulie G's its only 30 min for me! anyway pizza...I just spoke to Zaman and he also just at Motorino he can review but he did mention Motorino admitted the quality of the dough (they do use caputo) and final product is much different when the oven is rippin on the weekends rather than Tuesday doing a 2:45 NYish bake?

I'll be back with the family for a few days from 12/17-12/22 (we get to ring the bell on the NYSE on the 19th - should be interesting - have to put on a suit again I guess  :-D). I will definitely visit Paulie G's on that trip. Maybe we can find a time that works. Will probably eat at Motorino again during a more busy time as well.

CL
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2011, 10:29:54 AM »
looking good Craig and nice write up.  245-3m pie?  are they using caputo? Was the crust particularly tough?

I bet they are not cooking above 750-775F.

No, it wasn't that tough. The pie reminded me of the ones I used to bake in my grill. It was a good pie. It will be interesting to see when I go back in a couple weeks if the pies are quicker and, if so, better.

I agree that the oven couldn't have been any hotter than 750F or so. At 875F+ in my oven, brussels sprouts get burned to a crsip if you blink at the wrong time. These were not burned - rather nicely charred as I like them, but I think the extended bake time drove a lot of water out of them and made the pie too wet. Flavorwise, the more cooked flavor of the sprouts was nice, I liked it a little better than the more raw flavor I get in 60-70 seconds or so.   

I was there well after the lunch crowd, so there is no reason the oven should not have been at full temp unless they let it come down after lunch. It had a fire going in it when I walked in the door, and they fed it several times while I was there.

CL
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2011, 10:33:01 AM »
How about a comparison between the Keste and Motorino Margherita and your best effort out of the Acunto--(personal bias aside of course) ;D?

Stylewise, my pies are right inbetween these two. The flavor of my sauce and crust is closer to Motorino, but the bake and softness and moistness is more like Keste.

CL
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2011, 10:33:37 AM »
I would say that your pizzas look better than any of those (and that doesn't mean those look bad, yours just look better.

Thank you!
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Offline norma427

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2011, 10:42:29 AM »
Darn. I wish I would have known that. I would love to eat a pie with you and talk pizza in person!

CL

Craig,

I would also love to share a pie with you, and talk pizza in person, if someday we ever are in the same city.

Norma
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 10:25:49 PM by norma427 »

Offline JConk007

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2011, 09:37:19 PM »
I am Kaki and golf shirt every day as well!  Successful "Sales Engineer", at least thats what the card says  ;D thats how I am able to do the FlirtingWFire Gig,  so I am not sure I am following the "I'd be doing what your doin" comment?
regardless-  I would love to hook up if you ever found the time.  I would like to try the BS pie as well!
keep me posted please
John
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2011, 09:57:47 PM »
I am not sure I am following the "I'd be doing what your doin" comment?

I should have written "I'd be doing what you're doing [meaning the pizza part of what you're doing] full time."

CL
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Offline thezaman

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2011, 08:38:30 PM »
 Craig, nice report. what was your impression of what the two pizzerias did compared to your pizzas?were you surprised that your home pies were close, or did you leave with the goal of getting yours closer to either of them. i think keste would be considered delicate in their methods. it sounds better than feminine :-D
 i wish i would have timed my last visit i think it was faster than that.
 one of the most memorable pizzas i have had was from motorino east village the first day he was opened after his purchase from upn. he did a upn tribute pizza of olive oil, cut cherry tomatoes,garlic,mozzarella,basil,romano cheese, thyme, finished with sea salt.it was a killer pizza!!!
 

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2011, 09:27:52 AM »
I don't know that I would characterize Keste as "feminine," but it was a young lady who made my pie.

CL
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Offline communist

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Re: Keste and Motorino - Quick NYC Trip
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2012, 07:39:50 PM »
After Broadway with Mary Poppins, my family of six walked down to Keste Pizza yesterday.  It was around six and the place was busy, but we got seated right away.  I asked for Roberto, but our waiter told us he had just left.  Our waiter was courteous, and we placed our order quickly.  Half of my family had never tasted Neopolitan, the other half, including me, tasted it for the first time at Pupatella's in D.C. and were thrilled.  Our four pies were delivered right away, and they looked and tasted great.  Our margherita was puffy, light, and the mozarella tasted so creamy!  I loved it. It was not watery.  My 12 year old daughter thought her slice had too much char - I looked it over and disagreed.  I ate the remainder of her slice and loved it.  We took a risk with the Pizza del Papa with butternut squash cream, imported smoked mozzarella, artichoke, and red and yellow peppers - it was fantastic and quickly disappeared.  Next was the Quattro Formaggi, with fresh buffalo mozzarella, gran cru, caciocavallo, parm-reggiano, basil and olive oil.  Another winner, great tasting, but not as interesting as the Pizza del Papa.  Our fourth pie was the Capricciosa with tomatoes, artichoke, mushroom, imported cooked ham, fresh mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil.  My two girls chose this as their favorite.  The crust on all pies was excellent, with puffy rims and thin centers.  I thought the char was perfect.  This place has world class pizza.  It seems Neopolitan pies are ideal for creative and colorful and flavorful toppings.  Is it a superior medium for these types of toppings compared to NY pie?  Freshness seems to describe the pie.  I love a NY pie, but I am starting to talk about brick ovens .  Pics to follow (hopefully)