I was recently invited to Prezzo to sample their limited edition sharing menu which is available until 4th March 2012. Our waiter Peter could not have been more attentive and was happy to offer advice on the the meals available and his favourites, although he was quick to point out most meals were very good.
The restaurant had a great atmosphere and was full due to it being Valentines Day, yet the Staff were very attentive, drinks were replenished when needed, empty plates were cleared quickly, and fresh courses brought out to eager diners with loved-up eyes and soon satisfied stomachs.
I was very impressed with small details like the chilled glasses, there is nothing worse than putting a cold drink into a warm glass. The soft drinks were served to the table in a glass bottle which I prefer as drinks seem to taste nicer when served out of an ice cold bottle.
Mini Gourmand took her time perusing the vast menu, I would have probably ordered everything as there were some amazing sounding dishes on the but we decided that myself and Mr Gourmand would order from the sharers menu and Mini Gourmand and Grandma Gourmand would order from the main menu. We couldn’t quite decide what to order so we went for an appetizer to give us a little more time.
Marinated Olives (£2.95) The mixture of green and black pitted olives were marinated in a mixture of garlic, peppers, herbs and olive oil. I found the green olives were very firm and juicy holding the flavours well. The black olives were soft and soaked up the delicious oil. I loved the contemporary bowl that housed the olives. The delicious olives gave our brains enough time to select the combinations of food we thought could satisfy our craving stomachs.
The King Prawns (£5.65) were served in a spicy tomato sauce with just a hint of chilli which left a nice amount of heat in the back of the mouth. a sprinkling of spinach garnished over the prawns really complemented the dish.
We shared a Pane Con Cipolla (£4.95) which was the perfect combination of thin base and soft and bouncy with a crispy crust thin base. There was a perfect combination of cheese and sweet onion, the garlic not at all overpowering, and beautifully tangy. Mr Gourmand and Grandma Gourmand commended this as their favourite starter.
Next up was the Italian Nachos (£6.95) which mixed sweet and juicy red and yellow cherry tomatoes with smooth Pesto and just the right amount of basil to not be overpowering from. Mini gourmand devoured these.
In my opinion I have left the best till last. I ordered Green Pea and Basil Soup (£4.95) from the Sharing Menu. This was beautiful and creamy with a kick of pepper. There were so many different flavours in the soup which combined to create an amazing taste with a slight aniseed after taste which is really cleansing on the palette. The peas provided a different texture giving a combination of smooth and chunky at the same time which is very pleasing, a pleasing and perfect consistency. Probably the nicest soup I had ever tasted. Time for the mains.
Now this was an interesting concept – a selection of sharing pizzas that offered contrasting and complimentary toppings. The Hot and Not (£16.95) was always going to be Mr Gourmands choice. The Hot side featured Bolognese sauce, red onion, roasted peppers, fresh chilli, crushed chilli, rocket and mozzarella The Not side featured white béchamel sauce, button, field and oyster mushrooms, spinach and mozzarella drizzled with truffle infused oil.
The Hot Pizza had a beautifully thin base, a perfect ratio of meat to vegetables and a spicy heat that made the lips tingle.
The Not pizza was very creamy and the mushroom texture was really gorgeous alongside the crispy base. The bechamel sauce was a lovely surprise and made a comforting change to tomato and worked extremely well with the mushrooms. The base was thin yet fluffy and the spinach gave the dish a very light taste which worked very well with the richness of the sauce.
I ordered the Seafood and Meat (£17.95). The Seafood side featured king prawns, grilled artichokes, spinach, olives, fennel, tomato and mozzarella drizzled with a tomato chilli dressing. The Meat side featured spicy Italian sausage, roasted peppers, red onions, Roquito chilli, fresh rocket, tomato and mozzarella.
The seafood pizza had a lovely thin base with great kick from the tomato chilli dressing that permeated around the mouth. The fennel gives great crunch and artichoke added great flavour. There was also just the right amount of cheese and subtle flavour of oregano which was common on both pizzas.
The Italian Sausage pizza had amazing fruity flavour from the peppers which gave a sweetness to the pizza. The dryness of the sausage was delicious making it more like a Mediterranean dish than a pizza.
My only slight criticism was the Pizzas were rather difficult to cut on the boards even with the pizza cutter, you never really felt like you were cutting through it. I would like to mention that even after the pizzas had cooled down not one had gone crispy on the bottom, they were still a perfect texture.
Mini Gourmand ordered The Carbonara (£9.15) which unusually came with crispy prosciutto which was delightful and gave this dish a much more expensive and exotic flavour than when it is prepared with the usual bacon. The cheesy sauce was particularly tasty and had a great smokey taste that seemed infused with the pasta. Mini Gourmand polished this meal off without much help, and believe me when I say this, she knows a good carbonara , and the sparkling plate she left was testament to this.
Grandma Gourmand opted for the tried and tested Spaghetti Bolognese (£8.95), which although quite safe in terms of choice, is a good gage for Italian expertise as they can be bland. A perfect sized portion of delicious soft pasta was presented with good sauce to pasta ratio. The Bolognese consistency was described as perfect with a lovely meaty taste. Mister Gourmand is a man of few words, I now see where he gets this from. Everyone was so full after their starters and mains courses that deserts were never going to be ordered, thirty seconds later we all had a change of heart…..
We ordered a medley of starters from the coffee and small desert menu, alongside one desert from the main menu. We decided to share everything. The vanilla cheesecake with coffee (£4.95) was covered with a raspberry coulis and fresh raspberries, the cheesecake was light and fluffy with a creamy texture, the tartness of the coulis was delicious alongside the sweetness of the cheesecake.
The lemon drizzle cake with coffee (£4.95) was light and fluffy with a sweet crunchy topping with an added tartness. The raspberries worked so well with the cake and added not only texture but flavour bringing out the lemony taste.
The profiterole with latte (£4.95) was like an inside out version of the popular classic. The filling was a chocolate cream covered with a vanilla cream and decorated with milk chocolate curls. A lovely combination and perfect as part of the coffee and cake option if you really want a desert, but feel like you can’t quite eat the full size version.
The chocolate fudge cake (£5.15) was sweet and decadent, the fudge filling was one of the nicest I’ve tasted. Having such a big slice of cake would be a challenge for anyone after such a huge meal, but Mini Gourmand managed to polish it off in record time!
All meals except the two Spaghetti dishes and desserts were recommended by Peter for us to try to give us an idea of the variety of dishes offered by the restaurant.
I would like to thank Prezzo Leamington Spa for inviting me to sample their menu, as always my review is honest and impartial and my opinion has not been forced.