Since first bringing its takeaway outlet to Five Valleys Shopping Centre in 2019, legendary Gloucestershire pizzeria, Fat Toni's, has grown from strength to strength – opening its biggest venture, a contemporary Italian restaurant with space for over 100 diners, at the Stroud leisure destination in January 2023.
So far, it's been a raging success, capturing passing trade from the Vue cinema next door and enticing Fat Toni's fans from all over the county with its brand-new and exclusive menu options.
With more square footage than its original Cheltenham restaurant and a full-scale kitchen to play with, Fat Toni's has been experimenting with new recipes, evolving its much-loved sourdough pizza offering for Stroud diners.
And the stand-out showstopper has to be its giant, metre-long pizzas.
Easily big enough to feed six people – or four very hungry ones – diners can tuck into a whole metre of Fat Toni's pizza, only at the Stroud restaurant.
Freshly made in-house, using the same dough as its signature pizzas, it's a thin and crispy Romana-style pizza with the choice of up to four toppings – including a tangy heritage tomato upgrade topped with a whole burrata ball, or aged prosciutto ham paired with fresh figs.
For something a little different, pizza bianche options have no tomato sauce, giving the rich Italian flavours of its pesto mortadella and carciofi e spinaci toppings their moment to shine on the one-metre base.
The restaurant also serves a menu of cichette – tapas-style small plates that are perfect for sharing, inspired by the small snacks that are typically served in Venice's traditional cicchetti bars. With dishes like garlic butter doughballs, creamy tomato and mozzarella arancini, Italian sausage with honey and mustard or marinara meatballs to choose from.
Sweet-toothed diners won't be disappointed either, with Fat Toni's speciality tiramisu packing a flavoursome punch to round off a meal; as well as more adventurous takes on the classic Italian dessert, with unique tiramisu flavour combinations like limoncello and pistachio to look out for.
The bar injects some vibrancy into Stroud's nightlife too, mixing up light and fresh prosecco-based cocktails inspired by Italian spritzes. Head out for drinks on a Wednesday or Friday evening to catch happy hour, where you can get two-for-one cocktails from 7pm to 9pm.
And there's more to come. The Gloucestershire pizza legend has big plans to expand its food and drink offering even further, with its spacious Stroud venue offering heaps of potential for fresh ideas.
Coming later this year, passers-by can try 'the authentic Italian way of eating lunch' by grabbing a Grandma slice – a thin, rectangular slice of pizza made with Fat Toni's trademark sourdough and topped with cheese and tomato.
These smaller yet substantial slices are designed to take away so people can enjoy them on-the-go; they also make a pretty perfect bar snack, served with a refreshing spritz or aperitif!
Fat Toni's expects its Grandma slices will be available from September 2023 – and there's also plans to launch an Italian-inspired brunch offering, bound to be a hit with Stroud shoppers. Watch this space...