Prezzo has over 200 restaurants but I’d honestly never heard of them (or perhaps noticed them) until they arrived in the Light. Prezzo lies at the bottom of the escalator that I use when exiting the gym, I’m usually ravishing and stare longingly at the pizza and pasta being eaten or advertised. I’m surprised I’ve held off visiting for so long.
As a food blogger you’re not exactly ‘praised’ for going to chain restaurants, they’re often seen as the enemy taking away the custom from the local independents, but I guess we forget that at one time they were probably a local independent too. Despite the ‘foodie’ (a term I use loosely) world frowning upon chains they are still very popular with regular folk, they offer a sense of security for most and not only this, people actually like their food (shock horror).
I was invited to see what Prezzo had to offer, I checked with the good folk of Twitter beforehand who told me it was akin to Zizzi’s and that they catered to children and the gluten intolerant well. I was intrigued.
Our table was booked for 6.30pm on a Wednesday night and despite this time of the week the restaurant was roughly half full and continued to fill up through the night. We were shown to a table beside the window and I could see the pizza oven blazing from my seat.
The menu was as expected with predominantly pizza and pasta dishes with a few specials and dishes from the grill. It’s worth noting at this point that all pizza is available gluten-free, a big win for all the coeliacs out there.
We started off the meal by ordering a couple of Sanpellegrinos and some olives to nibble on whilst we looked over the menu.
Due to the extensive nature of the menu we struggled to decide what to have for mains and in the end we decided to share both a pizza and a risotto. I had noticed that most of the dishes came as a light option and I was planning on test driving this option following my recent 10lbs weight gain, but sadly the pizza and risotto we chose didn’t have this skinny option. Damn it..
To start we ordered what appeared to be a mini pizza, or rather a pizzette topped with N'duja sausage, rosemary and mozzarella on flat bread. It was fairly filling so I was glad that we had opted to share rather than have one each.
The pizza which we chose for mains was the 'Posh Pepperoni' (from the executive range) which consisted of salami milano, calabrese sausage, salsiccia piccante pepperoni, prosciutto, sweet roquito chilli peppers, rocket, bella lodi, mozzarella and tomato.
It certainly packed a good mouthful with crispy edges and a doughy (but not too doughy) middle. It was fairly spicy and after a while I had to start picking some of the chillis from the pizza. A surprisingly well executed pizza.
The risotto we ordered was from the specials menu and consisted of parma ham, beans, spinach and tomato. It was piping hot on arrival and once again very filling. The small pieces of parma ham and bean gave it some additional texture other than rice but I would have struggled to eat a full dish not for being too full but rather from being bored. This is the reason why I never eat risotto, it's just a large bowl of sameness, personal preference clearly but I'd prefer a smaller version as a starter rather than a main.
Too full for dessert and slightly lethargic after all the carbs we bypassed the offers of Gelato, cheesecake, tiramisu and other sweet luxuries and instead opted for a coffee each. When the lattes appeared they reminded me of the lattes that my Tassimo produced (see here), thankfully they were a little nicer, much less sweet and filled with so much milk I could barely taste the coffee... because I stirred mine unlike D who didn't and had a mouth full of coffee and then just milk at the end.
Service from our waiter was great, a true gent, he even jumped in quickly as we tried to mispronounce the Italian dishes. He was always on hand to see if there was anything we needed and I didn't feel he was too intruding or that we were left out on a limb either.
Prezzo surprised me with the quality of their food, it's no independent (far from it) but it's a good choice to suit all needs (gluten intolerant, diets, kids) and fussy eaters.