Christmas Cheer at Prezzo – Value and Style in Marlow:
It’s that time of year again – the pre-Christmas dining season. I took my daughter to Prezzo in Marlow to try the Prezzo Christmas Menu, sample their hospitality and catch up with her about life in general. Now you may think me mad to go anywhere before Christmas, but Prezzo has managed to deliver sensible dining to small groups, as well as catering for larger parties if booked in advance.
Coming in from the cold winter night, we were warmly greeted and offered a choice of tables to sit at. The interior follows the Prezzo format, but manages to be intimate without being crowded, with each restaurant adding its own unique style. A Christmas tree twinkled by the front doors, and decorations subtly adorned pictures on the wall. No piped Christmas music here, the natural sounds within the restaurant and the background noise of other diners was all that was needed.
Once seated, olives to share, a Prosecco for me and a sparkling apple juice for my daughter arrived quickly.
The Christmas menu offers three different options, Signature, Premium and Classic, although our waitress said we could mix and match from any dishes on the list. The options are based on price, from £24.95 down to £16.95, and are all Italian inspired. Don’t expect to find Turkey or Roast Beef here, just good, reliable, Italian dishes with some seasonal flavours you may not have had before.
My daughter went for the Smoked Salmon with Toasted Ciabatta, and I chose the Antipasto for One.
The portion sizes were spot-on, and the salmon fresh and easy to tear.
For mains, I couldn’t resist the Wild Boar Tortelli in a creamy sauce while my daughter chose the Roast Duck Leg. The duck was served with a plum glaze, on a bed of broccoli, asparagus, red onion, green beans, baby potatoes, red chilli and a thick pomodoro sauce. Thoughts from my daughter as she tucked in – “The glaze really adds to the duck flavour and is like a sweet tasty skin, and the chilli is so delicate and mild it doesn’t feel at all hot (which is good)”
Wild Boar Tortelli was served without cheese, our Waitress offering the grate large flakes of fresh Parmesan on at the table. The sauce was thick, more pesto than tomato, and not creamy, reinforcing the strong flavour of the boar. A case of the description letting down how good the food is!
The wine list is a varied as you can expect, covering the tastes of all but the most critical of diners, and offers a good range of whites and reds that work with the Italian food options. All can be bought by the bottle, but I decided to sample by the glass, matching my wine to the food.
First up, a Pinot Grigio Blush, light and crisp, with a sharpness edging the fruity red berry flavours. This worked well with the Antipasti and olives, just adding a bit more zest than a regular Chardonnay would. For the main, an Australian Shiraz; hard to go wrong with Shiraz and it works perfectly with pasta and cream, whilst allowing the meat (boar in this case) to retain its full flavour.
Always leaving some room for dessert, the options include a traditional Tiramisu and Profiteroles, through to some more seasonal choices such as a Panettone bread and butter pudding made with Italian Christmas Cake and an assortment of ice-cream bombs.
I ordered the White Chocolate and Raspberry Bomb while my daughter opted for the Chocolate Orange Cheesecake. Presentation of both was good, and the flavours in each really came through, letting you finish the meal with a great taste at an unhurried pace.
And that was one of the best things about our evening at Prezzo; smaller tables for groups of 2,3 and 4 people, all enjoying an evening out without the rowdy mass parties that so often appear this time of year. There were a few other diners with their teenage children, so clearly this is a place that caters for everyone. Look out for a Prezzo near you; it’s well worth a visit.
The Prezzo Christmas Menu costs £24.95, which includes four courses and a glass of Prosecco and offers real value and a hospitable environment.
The Prezzo Christmas menu is available until 5th January 2014