Most ‘epic’ West Island pizza?

Anthony Abbondanza
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Maintaining a tradition of serving freshly-made pizzas, Calzone has become a mainstay on the West Island restaurant scene the last 16 years.

Calzone can add another accolade to its repertoire. The Kirkland pizza joint was recently named to Eater Montreal’s ‘25 Epic Montreal Pizzas to Eat Before You Die’ list. 

“We work hard at what we do...It’s all about consistency. You get the same product whether it’s this year or the last,” said part-owner, Shayne Fuller.

Calzone is a family-owned business, run by Fuller, his father-in-law, Tony Spinelli, and Joe Sanalitro, his uncle-in-law; the trio have been dishing out some of tastiest pizzas on the West Island for the last 16 years.

Their key to success –keeping it fresh.

“We make our own dough and sauces,” said Fuller. “…We take pride in what we do.”

It’s the main reason why Ian Harrison, editor of Eater Montreal, named the West Island restaurant as the 23rd best pizza on the island of Montreal.

It’s ingredients and recipes dating back to the early 1970’s when the family operated its previous restaurant, Colosseo’s - a “local legend” in its own right.

“What they’re doing now is in the same vein,” said Harrison.

Calzone was the only West Island restaurant named. The others hailed from the central and eastern portion of the Island. D’Agostino (7470 Maurice Duplessis, Montreal), Da Bologna (5189 Charleroi, Montreal), and Restaurant Di Menna (6313 Jarry E., Montreal) rounded the top three.

Why the discrepancy in geographical superiority of Montreal East? The development of the area by Italian and Greek immigrant populations, said Harrison.

“The experience of pizza is rooted in the Italian and Greek experiences. It’s the way the Island developed…These are working class areas and they have a huge Italian population,” said Harrison.

Places like Calzone, and the rest of the list, serve old-school pizza best described by Harrison as “medium to thick crust, ringed with pillowy air pockets, a layer of sweet to savory tomato sauce, a scatter of thinly-sliced mushrooms, pepperoni and green peppers and a bed of melted cheese, golden brown and elastic” – otherwise known as ‘Montreal-style pizza.’

Oh, and you can’t forget the Brio – an underrated Italian beverage, which refreshingly compliments pizza.

The list was inspired by Pizza Week 2014 in mid-March. With a plentiful of great pizza eateries in Montreal, Harrison consulted what he called “experts in the file,” did hours of research, and met with pizza owners, ensuring the tradition of “old-school, Montreal-style pizza” was upheld.

“For me tradition is very important for food in Montreal…we have these very deep traditions when it comes to pizza,” said Harrison.

And with so many pizzerias steeped in family-run traditions, Harrison admitted to the difficulty in naming only 25 restaurants. As a result, Eater Montreal released a ‘Best of the Rest’ list.

Gigi’s in Pointe Claire (302 Lakeshore) was named tenth best on the list, just behind Lachine’s Restaurant Bardeco (601 Notre-Dame).

“These things are arbitrary. Much more art than science,” said Harrison.

Check out both the ‘epic’ pizza’s and ‘Best of the Rest’ lists at montreal.eater.com.

Follow @AAbbondanza1 on Twitter!

Organizations: Eater Montreal

Geographic location: Montreal East, West Island, Charleroi Pointe Claire

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  • pizzaloverinthewestisland
    April 03, 2014 - 10:30

    I have been to pretty much all the Pizzerias in the West Island. Gigi's is by far the best. It is a landmark that has been serving the best pizza in the area for close to 40 years... One of the few places left that are still making pizza they way it was made in the 70's and 80's with high quality generous toppings...