Paul Cataldo has built his restaurant from the ground up — literally.

Paul helped mud the bricks that made up the exterior of the building alongside his father, a bricklayer. He went from slinging mud to slinging dough in the kitchen of his uncle’s restaurant, when he began making pizzas in middle school.

Fast-forward to 2019, when Cataldo was named a World Pizza Champion for his creation of what is now known as the Vegas Fortuna. The pizza starts with 72-hour hand-stretched artisan dough and is topped with pomodoro sauce, housemade Italian sausage and hot honey sausage, cup-and-char pepperoni and mozzarella blend.

The pizza was named by Cataldo’s wife, Erin, who thought a winning pizza should have a name. She asked Paul what the Italian word for lucky was and he told her Fortuna.

“Erin said, ‘You went to Vegas and gambled, got lucky and won,” Cataldo said. “It should be called the Vegas Fortuna.”

The award-winning pizza has been on the menu for the past year and has brought customers from around the region into the restaurant to try it. But don’t try an call a carry-out order for the Vegas.

We only allow it to be eaten in house because I want you to experience the same thing the judges did,” Cataldo said. “The judges tasted that pizza no more than five minutes after it came out of the oven. When you put a pizza in a box, it changes the structure of the crust and it might get a little soggy or tough. We want this pizza to be tried, tasted and enjoyed the same way the judges did.”

The Vegas Fortuna is a winner and it is rare. The restaurant who on a busy weekend can push out over 200 pizzas a night, can only make 16 of the Vegas Fortuna. Because the crust takes three days to make, there have been times when the restaurant has run out.

“We are very honored and very blessed to have the opportunity to share this pizza from our family to everyone else’s family,” Cataldo said.

Antonio’s Italian Ristorante

Antonio’s Italian Ristorante is an Italian restaurant specializing in pizza and feeding you like family. According to owner Paul Cataldo: “It was Italian. We were Italian. We started with pizza because it is such a universal food. Thin crust, thick crust. If you’re young or old or anything in between. You can feed the masses. You can personalize it. If you are a meat lover or a vegetarian, you can still eat pizza. For us, it was a natural thing to roll into.”

1105 Goshen Ave
Elkhart, IN 46516

574-295-8424

antoniositalian.com

“We are very honored and very blessed to have the opportunity to share this pizza from our family to everyone else’s family.”

Paul Cataldo

Owner and World Pizza Champion, Antonio's Italian Ristorante