To enjoy Harry's Bishops Corner's specialty seafood pizza, you'll need a Grant. As in, Ulysses S.
The 12-inch pie is loaded with lobster and scallops: the meat from 2 smaller lobster tails and 5 ounces of sea scallops, to be exact. Owner Kevin Plaut said he was inspired by vacations to the Maine coast, and that he'd always envisioned what a lobster pizza might taste like.
The premium ingredients come at a price, though: The small pizza rings up at $50.
For context, that's nearly five times the price of Harry's 12-inch plain mozzarella pie ($10.25) and nearly twice the price of the famed white clam pizza at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana ($26.95 for an 18-inch large pie.)
This isn't the state's most expensive pie, however. There is some precedent. Roseland Apizza's indulgent Ponsinella, a medium-sized pizza topped with lobster, shrimp and scallops, has a current market price of $64.75, according to employees at the Derby restaurant. In 2010, Roseland's John Lucarelli told The Courant the special was "worth it...there's about 22 shrimp on there."
But can even a $50 pizza be worth the expense? Consider the average price of lobster rolls in Hartford County seafood restaurants. At J's Crab Shack on Park Street, a lobster roll with four ounces of meat and sides of fries and coleslaw rings in at $12.95. Over the line in West Hartford at HB Seafood, a similarly-sized lobster roll with 4 ounces of hand-picked meat is $18.95, but that comes with fries, coleslaw, salad and two other side dishes, says owner Matt Malahan. City Fish Market in Wethersfield charges $19.99 for its hot and cold lobster rolls, but that's for six and a half ounces of lobster meat, said an employee by phone.
At Max Restaurant Group's Max's Oyster Bar, the hot buttered lobster roll with 4 ounces of meat is $21, with fries and slaw, said executive chef Scott Miller. A one-pound steamed lobster is $19 at lunch, $21 at dinner, with a choice of side. And a lunch order of Stonington scallops (six ounces' weight) is priced at $18; at dinner, the entree is priced at $29, with 8 ounces of scallops.
Bill Bomster, owner of Stonington Seafood Harvesters, says he's selling his scallops at about $14 a pound on average, with 10 to 20 pieces in an order. Larger-sized U12 or U10 scallops (with less than 10 to 12 scallops per pound) would be priced higher at $15 or $16 a pound, he said.
Harry's does execute the pizza quite well. It's a thin-crust white pie with mozzarella, and the chunks of seafood are placed raw onto the crust to avoid overcooking. (No rubbery shellfish here.) Kernels of native roasted corn provide fresh sweetness, and grilled Roma tomatoes add a touch of acidity. It's finished with a drizzle of clarified butter and a scattering of bread crumbs and chopped chives. Each component, meant to evoke the flavor of a classic summer lobster bake, blends nicely.
But is the lobster and scallop pizza worth 50 clams? Not necessarily. If you're a seafood lover, you may find more value in multiple lobster rolls.
The special pizza is available through the middle of September; Harry's Bishops Corner asks for orders 24 hours in advance to ensure the freshest ingredients.
Harry's is at 732 N. Main St. in West Hartford. 860-236-0400, harrysbc.com.