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Sam Sifton to Star His First Pizzeria, Motorino

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Tomorrow, Sam Sifton will file his first pizza review, by checking in on both Brooklyn and East Village locations of relative (year and a half old) newcomer and fave of Rachael Ray, Motorino. It comes 14 months after Pete Wells' initial Dining Brief.

THE PLAYBOOK: For reference, the Brundog did not shy away from the pizza joint in his tenure, awarding two stars to Franny's in Brooklyn one to Jim Lahey's Co. (a designation Lahey was not happy with). So highlighting something so solidly in the Under territory has precedent. And, as longtime cheerleaders for the Motorino brand, we must make note that the pizza here is generally excellent. There are misses here and there on off nights, a heavy hand with the cheese occasionally, but make no mistake—these are damn good pies. And yet, aside from a couple of salads, specials, and a solid roasted mortadella, there isn't much else on the menu. Can a pie alone ever earn more than one star? Even if it is, as Sifton says himself, the "best pizza in New York"? Maybe not.

SIFT HAPPENS: If Sift Happens and the great Siftonator wants to make a point that there are no restrictions to stargazing as long as the food is good—and perhaps if he tries the brunch pizza—he'll give her a two. Otherwise, she'll get a onespot rave.

THE LINE: Goose Egg: 400 - 1; One Star: 2 - 1; Two Stars: 3 - 1; Three Stars: 1,000 - 1; Four Stars: N/A. [Motorino Reviewed, NYT; after ~ 8 PM]

UPDATE: And it's up! A rave of a onespot.

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510 Columbus Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10024 (917) 675-7581 Visit Website

Motorino East Village

349 East 12th St., New York, NY

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