Upper Crust Pizzas, From $60 to $12,000
Uncle Paul's Pizza is near New York's Grand Central Station, but chef Dino Redzic has a claim on Madison Avenue as well: Sure, you can get a slice with pepperoni, mushroom, sausage or even bacon, but why stop there? You can also get Dino's Duck Confit Pizza with caramelized onions, Uncle Paul's Pizza with Maine lobster and grilled corn, or Natasha's Caviar Pizza with creme fraiche, Osetra or even Sevruga. The caviar pizza has the traditional garnishes, and this is one that won't break the bank; the lowest-priced one is about $60.
Nino's Bellissima on New York's Upper East Side has given the pizza a royal makeover with a 12-inch thin-crust pizza that is one for the record books. Topped with Petrossian caviar, lobster tail, creme fraiche and chives, this extravagant pizza sell for $1,000. Owner Nino Selimaj says the refined ingredients on this high-end pizza make it worth the price. In fact, it costs the restaurant $720 just to make one of these masterpieces! ( To order this pizza, you must call at least 24 hours ahead.)
And, if you think that's expensive, check out some other pricey pies around the world.
At Domenico Crolla in Glasgow, Scotland, the pizza named after British agent James Bond certainly lives up to its title. At $4,200 a pop, the luxurious pie known as Pizza Royale 007 is topped with champagne-soaked caviar and lobster marinated in 100-year-old cognac. The finishing touch on this famous pie is a sprinkle of 24-carat edible gold dust.
Arguably the most expensive pizza in the world, the 8-inch "Louis XIII" at Renato Viola in Salerno, Italy, takes about 72 hours to make and is topped with buffalo mozzarella, three types of caviar, lobster and, for the finishing touch, is dusted with hand-picked grains of pink Australian sea salt. The steep $12,000 does include in-home service: Three Italian chefs come to your home (well, Italian villa) and make the pie in-house for your pleasure.
If you're looking for something a little more light on the pocketbook. how about a fried pizza? For an authentic fried Neapolitan, look no further than Don Antonio by Starita in New York City. After all, the restaurant -- by Roberto Caporuscio of Keste Pizza & Vino in New York City and Antonio Starita, third-generation owner of one of Naples' oldest and most revered pizzerias, Pizzeria Starita a Materdei -- offers approximately 50 pizzas ranging from traditional to creative, white to red, specialty to gluten-free. Starita's specialty, the Montanara Starita, begins with a lightly fried pizza dough (spending only about a minute in hot oil) that's topped with a signature tomato sauce (don't ask; they won't tell) and imported smoked buffalo mozzarella, then finished in a wood-burning oven. Starita created the technique more than a decade ago.