After 8 years of serving bubbly, char-kissed pizza out of their home-made welded steel arch mobile wood fired ovens, PizzaMoto first brick and mortar home is now open!
Having looked for years for the perfect place to put down roots for their business, co-owners Dave Sclarow (executive chef) and Anna Viertel (general manager) found a turn of the century coal oven hidden behind a wall in a dark storefront at 338 Hamilton Ave, Brooklyn.
Viertel went digging and found that John Grace, an Irish immigrant to the neighborhood that sits on the border between Red Hook and Carroll Gardens, built a bakery on the premises as early as the mid-1800s. After passing to a Prussian cigar maker, an Italian pasta and sub purveyor, an American coal-fired pizza baker, and dwarfed by the shadow of the newly erected BQE, the oven lay dormant in the back of a Pappa John’s operation for decades.
Once they unearthed the oven, Sclarow restored the masonry and original cast iron details, retrofitting it to burn wood instead of coal. Sclarow, Viertel, and sous chef Joe Bliffen built a restaurant around this piece of New York history, executing all of the design, masonry, welding, plumbing, and finishing carpentry themselves – they even welded their own bar stools out of desks discarded from a nearby Red Hook Public School.
The restaurant will feature ‘Moto’s signature Neapolitan style pizza as well as a full menu of small and large plates defined by a New American palate with international influences – all designed to showcase the reborn oven at the center of their work. The food will speak to Sclarow, Viertel, and Bliffen’s cultural backgrounds, memories, and travels, as well as Sclarow’s extensive experience in some of New York’s finest kitchens including Tabla, 71 Clinton Fresh, Esca, and Franny’s.