If you weren’t aware already, I’m obsessed with food. I love to cook food, although my food blog looks otherwise. I love to visit small and unassuming restaurants. Cafe Moto, under the JMZ Train on Broadway is one of those restaurants.
Last weekend we visited for the fifth time and were surprised when the host informed us of the hour wait. We squeezed our way through the small restaurant and found a niche near the bar. Looking at our phones for the time we discovered that we’d arrived around 9PM-Prime NYC dinner Time. Previously, we’d been sat right away but this time there was a two piece guitar duo strumming away to Frenchifide versions of American songs-the theme song to the Flinstones among them. Cafe Moto was bustling with pretty people in groups of 4 or more our coupled up at the bar.
It only took us about twenty minutes to get a table. We took our bottle of wine and sat down to look at the menu. Glancing over the small list of selections you could easily think you’re in a French Restaurant-the Dijon Chicken is our favorite and we get it every time. Then you glance over at the Panini section and you’d assume that maybe Cafe Moto is Italian, then you’d notice the selection of Spanish inspired dishes and be completely baffled.
That night we settled on the Chicken and the Pork Ribs, both of which were outstanding. When you visit Cafe Moto you must always save room for the Warm Date Cake with Toffee Glaze and fresh made whipped cream-it’s beyond heaven on a plate.
The most fascinating thing about my recent trip to Cafe Moto is the way that it works. While we waited for our table and then while enjoying our dinner I observed that there were three cooks in the kitchen, one server, one bar tender and a gentleman who was a jack of all trades called Ralph. When I asked him about the restaurant he informed me that it’s been open for eight years and the same 6 people have been there from the beginning. I was amazed that there were indeed only 6 people under the roof that pumped out such amazing and consistent French/Italian/Spanish food.
Moto has only a dozen or so tables and another dozen or so stools at the bar. It boasts a thorough wine list and a small, but precise menu. They only take cash at Moto and if you have to wait, it’ll be well worth it. It’s one of those gems of Brooklyn that I sometimes forget about because it’s off the beaten path. When I remember it, visit it, and enjoy the atmosphere, wine and food all of my senses come rushing back in a whirl of taste on the plate.