Ragazzi Bistro Italiano (Pizza Boys)
8110 Whyte Avenue
Signature Drink: Ragazzi Special Coffee ($8.25)
Signature Dish: Godfather’s Choice ($25)
Rating: *** 1/2
Dinner & drinks for 2: $55
For almost 40 years, Vince Mazzotta has been crafting traditional hand-tossed, thin-crust pizzas out of fresh ingredients. His long-time fans now visit him and his children at Ragazzi Bistro Italiano.
I settled into one of the face-lifted bistro’s pair of dining rooms, admiring the faux stone and dark wood décor. My Ragazzi Special Coffee ($8.25) warmed my insides with the licorice and hazelnut in flavours of Sambuca and Frangelico.
I started with an order of molten Bocconcini pearls ($8.50) wrapped in chewy prosciutto ham. The subtle, salty cheese was delightfully balanced by the sweet and spicy tomato sauce.
Despite the menu’s tempting pasta dishes, I was undeterred on my quest for pizza. After ordering a 16? Bronx ($27), I peeked into the kitchen to watch the smiling chef toss the “pizza volare” into the air.
Divided into eight enormous slices, the pizza was impressive. Salami and capicollo taunted my taste buds from beneath chunks of fresh tomatoes and thick-cut black olives. I barely made it through two slices of the delicious monster.
Wrapping up the meal with two creamy scoops of Pinocchio’s chocolate gelato ($4.50), I worried I would never eat again. If I do, it will be back at Ragazzi.
Chicken for lunch
Even after their heyday as reality-TV stars, the Quon family of Lingnan fame still faces dozens of patient customers every lunch hour at Chicken for Lunch. Amy Quon knows her regulars by name and heaps extra “crack chicken” for her favourites at the Scotia Place take-out spot. Order the combination and savour whatever Amy hands you.
Cora comes to town
In 1987, Cora Tsouflidou started serving healthy breakfasts out of an old shack in Montreal. Cora just opened its first Edmonton location at 2920 Calgary Trail. Her emphasis on fresh fruit and hearty servings has led to over 100 restaurants across Canada.