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I stopped eating the doughy, half-empty pouches that corner slice shops call calzone years ago. Until tackling this immense one the other day, I’d never eaten a proper Italian style calzone. The brick-oven blistered bad boy is the creation of Massimo Slama, the Trieste-born pizzaiolo at Manducatis Rustica in Long Island City. At $15, it’s not cheap, but is delicious and filling, so much so that I didn’t eat anything else for the rest of the day. “In Europe they’re huge,” Chef Gianna Cerbone told me.

Cerbone’s parents, Vincent and Ida, own the nearby Manducatis, so I guess it’s fair to call Manducatis Rustica a daughter restaurant.

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“Calzone is supposed to be like a pizza folded over on itself,” Cerbone pointed out. “The dough and the sauce should be two totally separate entities.” Rustica’s calzone has a pleasantly chewy, slightly burned crust and topped with vibrant tomato sauce and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Inside, find a mixture of mozzarella and ricotta from Leone Latticini along with Parma Cotto ham, artichoke hearts, Gaeta olives and mushrooms.

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A closer look at those savory innards.

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And lastly, a parting shot of a calzone upskirt. Molto sexy, no?

Manducatis Rustica

46-31 Vernon Blvd, Queens NY 11101 (map)
718-937-1312

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