It’s Friday and the whole family is ready for some R&R. What better way to kick off the weekend than with a steaming hot pie? Whether you’re searching for a new go-to pizza joint or just looking to hit the latest hip family-friendly spot, you’ve got to give PizzaMoto’s eatery in Red Hook a try. Super fresh tomato sauce. Creative toppings. A perfectly charred, bubbly crust. Sold? Read on, there’s more.
Wait, Haven’t I Heard of PizzaMoto?
Most likely. PizzaMoto has been serving Neapolitan pizzas for eight years and has developed an impressive following. You may have spotted their mobile operation at Brooklyn Flea or Smorgasburg. Now, after years of looking for the perfect spot, they’ve opened their first permanent home on the border of Red Hook and Carroll Gardens.
photo: PizzaMoto via Instagram
A Place with a Past
The restaurant is housed in an old bakery building, which was built in the mid-1800s by John Grace, an Irish immigrant. The spot has also been home to a Prussian cigar maker, an Italian pasta and sub purveyor and an American coal-fired pizza baker. The building’s main attraction? A turn-of-the-century coal oven that has been restored and retrofitted to burn wood. The decor is as interesting as the building’s past. The owners designed and executed everything from the beefy soapstone bar to the crazy cool pinball wall art. They even welded their own bar stools out of desks discarded from a nearby Red Hook Public School.
What’s to Eat?
Some of the best Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza this city has to offer. While the menu is still a work in progress, some of the current highlights include a pie featuring winter green-pistachio pesto, olives, ricotta and fresh mozzarella; a pie topped with bacon fat, rosemary, salt and black pepper, and the restaurant’s aptly-named Eggs in Hell pizza, which includes tomato, bacon, chili, soft cooked egg and mozzarella. A safe (yet equally delicious) order for young, picky eaters is the tomato, buffalo mozzarella, olive oil and pecorino.
Not a pizza lover? Or just off gluten or dairy? PizzaMoto also offers small and large plates defined by a New American palate with Italian and French influences. Don’t leave without trying the fried broccoli with yuzu-kosho lemon curd; the whole fish and meatball tartare and toast are also good choices. And if you’re in need of a beverage, the bartender will gladly serve you wine, beer or one of their tasty signature cocktails.
photo: Michelle Cohen
Why Kids Love It
The establishment boasts stroller parking, plenty of high chairs and a warm, relaxed atmosphere. Service is quick. Plus, the friendly kitchen and wait staff will put you at ease (even if a meltdown is imminent). Young foodies and want-to-be cooks can watch pizza being made in the open kitchen — they may even get handed something yummy to smell or taste. (Our little one spent the evening studying a piece of cilantro.) The one downside? If you’re not a Red Hook denizen, you’ll need to cross the Gowanus Expressway to get there. Take note: The best route to take is Garnet Street, where you’ll find a traffic light and crosswalk.
Ready to check it out? The restaurant is open Tuesdays through Sundays, starting at 5:30. They are also expected to add a weekend brunch as well as delivery later this fall or winter.
338 Hamilton Ave.
Have you visited PizzaMoto? What did you think? Tell us in the comments below!
—Michelle McIvor Cohen