Good pizza in Edmonton sure is a hard thing to find. The only place that pops into my mind is Tony’s Pizza Palace (sorry not sorry Famosa, Lovepizza, insert any other crappy chain restaurant). Well, my Italian bud L was craving pizza so he suggested we try out Ragazzi Bistro Italiano. Originally beginning as Pizza Boys, they changed their name to the Italian equivalent of boys and the rest is history. Family run and off the beaten track, it sounded like we would be in good hands for our Wednesday evening dinner.
You’ll find Ragazzi east of the main strip of Whyte. I’ve never spotted their storefront myself even though I’ve driven by many times. Their restaurant blends in with the rest of their tiny strip mall compatriots. I think what deterred me from going sooner was that their website has no menu prices up. Seriously, hate that.
The inside is interesting. You see the bar and kitchen the moment you walk in. We were pleasantly greeted by both our waitress and one of the chefs who was busy making a pizza but stopped to say hello. Nice touch. A stone arch splits the restaurant into half (original in the front, old in the back with a few more comfy booths). The place already had a few occupied tables when we arrived around 6:15pm but the front half was completely full by the time we left.
The menu is split into appetizers, pizza, pasta and grill. Wanted to try their famous Soprano bread but seeing as there were only two of us, we opted to go big with two 16″ inch pizzas instead. Maybe next time as several tables ordered it!
17 pizzas to choose from. Way too many choices and sadly, I asked the waitress after our meal and they don’t let you do half flavours. Bummer. Three sizes to choose from (12″, 14″ and 16″) and price ranges from $14.00 to 29.00. Prices are on the higher spectrum but this is pretty much on par with Tony’s.
Not sure about their pastas – saw a large group of old grannies order a couple different dishes and they looked pretty ordinary. Sometimes you have to stick with what a restaurant does best and here, it’s their thin crust pizza.
Davide’s inferno ($25.00 for 16″)
Marinated tomatoes, Italian sausage, casalingo salami, mixed blend of cheese and spices. FYI – this one has a four spice level rating. FOUR spice. No big deal right? Well, that’s what we thought because normally these things aren’t accurate. Well, you’ve been warned – we both took our first bites and were greeted with a delicious wave of hot chili flakes and spices. Oh and these pizzas come out straight from the oven – maybe wait a minute or two before you start devouring them. I may have slightly burned the top of my mouth – totally worth it. Flavours were great with the variety of meats, sweet tomatoes and spice level. Get it.
Pizza con spinaci ($25.00 for 16″)
Spinach, black olives, a blend of Parmesan, mozzarella and feta cheese. Our only complaint was that the centre turned out a bit soggy. The rest was good as you could taste each ingredient on it’s own accord. First time for me having spinach on a pizza – I think I like arugula more so as spinach doesn’t have much flavour while arugula has that slight punch of anise. L liked how they used a subtle, neutral tomato sauce to keep things classic.
Can’t eat pizza without talking about the crust. On point baby.
Simple, homemade and unpretentious fare. Stick with the pizzas and you can’t go wrong. Maybe there is hope for pizza in town after all…
Ragazzi Bistro Italiano
8110 – 82 Avenue