Battista's Calzone Company specializes, as its name suggests, in calzone. Only calzone, and at that, only four varieties. The Classico features mozzarella, Genoa salami, cappicolo, onions, and red and green peppers. Spicy Italian showcases spicy Italian sausage, peppers and spices, all of which are sauteed in olive oil. Mama Mia encases juicy meatballs and mozzarella, and Vegetariano houses red and green peppers, onions, olives and mushrooms. I was privileged to try samples of all four flavours last week and am hard pressed to pick a favourite; all are delicious for different reasons. The Spicy Italian's spice mixture is clever and nuanced. Instead of a blast of heat, the spice mixture starts out mild and builds in a crescendo of herbs and heat. The meatballs in Mama Mia are large, lean and beefy. The recipe originates from Battista's mother. The Classico is reminiscent of a panino, except it is hot and features voluptuous homemade tomato sauce.
Rows of canned tomatoes are stacked artistically in various spots around the dining room, which boasts large windows and an assortment of tables and chairs. The building itself was once an auto garage, which Battista divided in two. The other half is presently Safron's Caribbean Cuisine and, although I have yet to visit there, the steady stream of patrons bustling down the narrow pathway bespeaks Safron's popularity.
Battista's Calzone Company is a relative newcomer on Edmonton's culinary scene, and is part of a growing restaurant presence on 118 ave. Battista demonstrates that simplicity is beauty. Instead of creating a voluminous array of edibles, he focuses on a tempting and finely crafted quartet of tomato and cheese-stuffed delicacies. I look forward to many return visits. Look for my profile of Battista's in an upcoming issue of Vue Weekly.