Restaurant reviews

A late Christmas Prezzent!

Leeds is a city blessed with some truly fantastic independent Italian restaurants. So, when we plumped recently for a trip to a mainstream Italian restaurant chain, it felt a little disloyal!

That said, Prezzo offers some fantastic deals (such as a free main meal with the presentation of a Gourmet card) as well as a sense of calm and order through its simple atmosphere and décor.

We were all seated very quickly and service was prompt. We opted to go for some pre-New Year pink fizz along with some garlic bread and olives before sitting back for a relaxed chat whilst enjoying some excellent, if not groundbreaking, food.

If anything, this starter summed up the pleasure of Prezzo: good food, good service and a family-friendly atmosphere. We enjoyed the bread so much that, after ordering our mains, we switched to greedy mode and ordered a large garlic pizza bread with beautiful sweet balsamic onions on top. As there were seven of us, this really went down well as a decent size dish but on greedier days I could envisage two people gobbling it down without too much trouble!

The decision to pick a main was a tricky affair as pretty much everything sounded good on the menu. In the end I plumped for a healthier option and went for a ‘light’ version of the arrabiata pasta dish, which came with a fresh and varied side salad. I really enjoyed the dish, particularly the freshness of the salad and the spice level of the arrabiata, which had just enough of a kick to remind you it was a chilli-based dish.

My wife plumped for the oven baked carbonara, the spaghetti with pancetta and chicken baked with parmesan on top. It had a beautifully nutty crunch to it and was an excellent dish – if not a little intimidating upon arrival given its size!

As for everyone else’s dishes in our party, the pork belly my wife’s grandfather ordered looked particularly superb and my brother-in-law’s lobster ravioli looked like it did not disappoint with the richness and delicate flavour of the lobster allowed to shine through.

Sadly, we were way too full to enjoy a dessert but I can safely say that had I not been quite as full, I would definitely have opted for a pud.

All in all for a good family-friendly experience at a really sensible price, I simply cannot fault Prezzo, a chain that now undoubtedly puts other big high-street dining chains like Bella Italia, which seem to prioritise pumping out mediocre pasta dishes to the masses over quality of ingredients, to shame.

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