I Ate About $125 Worth Of This $500 Pizza

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.
Last night, I ate roughly $125 worth of a $500 pizza. Why, you may ask? Because today is National Margarita Day, and in honor of the holiday Patrón made a cocktail-pizza-pun-baby with NYC's Bodega Negra. (And also, because #yolo.) The name of the pie is "The Platinum Margarita Margherita Pizza" — and it costs $500 precisely because it is made from very expensively-infused ingredients (e.g. two shots of Gran Patrón Platinum at $200 a bottle and Patrón Burdeos at $500 a bottle). But more on that to come.

My excessive Tuesday evening began with a trip to the Downtown Dream Hotel, a place that I had previously yet to frequent (pictured left). And as I laid eyes on the Matrix-y porthole facade, I welcomed the feeling that this was going to be an experience. The restaurant itself is on the first floor, and I was led to my table through a dark door and down into an even darker lounge space. And because the kitchen had just opened, I was quite literally the only one there (aside from a quiet bartender). So I waited for my $500 pizza to be made the only way I knew how — when I'm alone in a nearly lightless nautical-disco room bumping with hiphop tunes — by drinking a $19 margarita and Snapchatting.
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Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.
Once the pie arrived, I was sufficiently hungry and a bit buzzed (so, really ready to dig in). The first thing I noticed? The size. With eight slender slices, the pie was smaller in circumference than I'd imagined it would be for half a grand — but it was stacked in the toppings department: Patron-infused créme fraîche, avocado, fresh mango, poached lobster, Osetra caviar, black truffles, AND a sprinkling of platinum flakes.

My major concern going into the actual consumption was how the hell I was going to get an actual slice into my mouth. The center of the pie was fused together with an avocado rose that had been filled with caviar, so understandably unnerving to dismantle. After deliberating with myself, I went at it the old knife and fork route. It was only after the fact, when chatting with Chef Michael Armstrong, I was alerted to the fact that the classic "NYC pizza fold" would have worked just as well. All eating methods aside, I managed to successfully stuff down two slices — and those two slices were unexpectedly flavorful. The mango was sweet, the avocado was limey, the caviar was smooth and salty, the black truffles and créme fraîche were creamy, the lobster tasted like lobster, and I did detect an afterthought of very expensive tequila shots.
Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.
Since I was only able to commit to approximately $125 of the $500 pie, the servers graciously wrapped my remaining $375 in a to-go box which I toted with pride onto the A,C,E Subway Line (I later fed/gifted it to my unsuspecting roommates). All in all, the "The Platinum Margarita Margherita Pizza" was less like a pizza and more like an open-faced quesadilla that had been dressed to the MF nines. But, it was good. $500 good? I don't know if that question really has an answer — aren't all price tags on restaurant food debatable to some degree at the end of the day?

But as Chef Michael expressed, Bodega Negra and Patrón's goal were to create something special, extravagant, high end, and expensive in honor of National Margarita Day — and in that, they definitely succeeded. That being said, the pizza was given to me FOC (as part of a media tasting) and I will not be shelling out 5-hundo on anything (let alone an open-faced quesadilla) anytime soon.

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