Climb up the steps to Pizza Paradiso, and it’s like you’re ascending into pizza heaven. There’s a sun, painted right over the slot where pizzas are fed into the fire, and the curved ceiling has a patch of cloudy blue sky in its center. The restaurant, for all its fancy pizza toppings, is very no-frills, with wood chairs and tables are bare of tablecloths. Keep in mind the open hours and no reservations rule, because at meal times there can be a line out the door and down the steps.
Pizza Paradiso’s has all the usual combinations of mozzarella, tomato, and basil, but what sets this restaurant apart are some of the more innovative combinations. While non-adventurers may love the luscious four cheese pizza, you could be staring at the middle of the Bottarga pie (mullet roe—poor man’s caviar) where an egg nestles, safely surrounded by a ring of crust. The thin and crispy crust is taken very seriously here, and you can watch it being carefully stretched and kneaded by workers behind the bar. The restaurant makes its own lemonade, which is fizzy and addicting, and offers homemade gelato for dessert as well as “Tirami Su” and biscotti.