You know how much I used to love the Atomica pizza at Pizzeria Paradiso before it started tasting generic. You know that, right? And you also know that Pizzeria Paradiso is not dead to me, but in a coma. It will remain in a coma, but I am briefly resurrecting it as a topic for this piece because I had pizza the other day that tasted exactly as the Atomica used to taste and as it should taste. (For previous coverage on this issue, click HERE.)
On Wednesday evening while I was in New York City for a cloud computing conference, I met up with our family friend, Roberto, at Motorino Pizza in the East Village. Eric has known Roberto since he was born; I have known him since his Bar Mitzvah. Roberto is now a writer for the Food Network and Cooking Channel, and just interviewed Flavor Flav about...recipes?! Yes. That's right.
The restaurant filled up quickly. We talked the entire time, pausing from time to time to quietly appreciate the food.
I started with the Fire Roasted Red Peppers in olive oil, parsley, capers, and olives. There were yellow and orange peppers, too. I can't resist bell peppers, especially the roasted variety. They could have been roasted a minute or two more, but I was content.
I asked our waiter for the spiciest pizza and he recommended the Soppressata Piccante, with mozzarella, spicy soppressata, garlic, and oregano. I only have two words when I eat something this fabulous:
1. Jesus, and
This is what the Atomica should be. Really. I'm serious. But compared to what Motorino served up, Pizzeria Paradiso's Atomica tastes plastic.
The Soppressata Piccante was a thin-curst pizza, probably made for two people, but it was so delicious and spicy and delicious, I could not stop. I asked that it be made extra spicy, but still added more pepper flakes, as one does when one is of Indian origin. The dough and the ingredients tasted fresh, and the salt level was pure delight to my Indian-based heart. Oy. I should really watch that. Note to self.
Motorino East Village is a small space and you know how irritated I get when I'm in a room with bad acoustics, but the conversation and pizza were so good, it didn't matter. The upshot of our conversation was that The Picture of Dorian Gray was badly developed, especially the end. I suggested Oscar Wilde may have been in a rush to meet a publishing deadline. Thoughts?
Motorino East Village
349 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10003