“ Address: 4 Marine Parade West / Clacton-on-Sea / Essex / CO15 1QZ / England „
Having moved 150 miles away from my family, we love to cherish the time we have together when I go to visit and we always make the effort to go out together for a meal as well so we can enjoy each others company. Our last visit coincided with my mums 50th birthday so of course we wanted to go out to dinner to celebrate, but the next task was to pick a location that suited the occasion but also that accomodated everyone's tastes and a loud and happy 3 year old as well! We finally settled on the newish restaurant to the town - Prezzo, booked our table and looked forward to our lovely family meal.
Prezzo is an Italian pizza and pasta chain of restaurants that seem to be rapidly growing in popularity at the moment, and it seems many towns have one too. They offer a wide range of dishes to suit everyone, lots of pizzas, many different pasta dishes and also a good selection of starters, deserts and drinks as well. However, according to the website, there are 2 different menus in Prezzo restaurants which is dependant on whether your local Prezzo is an older restaurant or a newer one, and you can check this out on the website. Apparently though, the only difference is one set menu has "folded pizzas" and the other has Rotisserie Chicken so its not that big a deal really! They also offer a Children's menu too (3 courses!), which is supplied with a small box of crayons and pictures for the little ones too which Harry loved.
Prezzo in Clacton on Sea is located right on the seafront with an attractive glass fronted building which looks fresh, modern and new amongst some of the older hotels and restaurants also along the seafront. There is an outside balcony area which is used for seating in the warmer weather and as a "Smoker's Area" in the colder weather. It does look like a nice building, and because it is glass, you can see inside to the inviting eating area and attractive bar as well. When you go in, you have to wait for the Maitre'd to greet you and either take you to your reserved table or to a free table if you haven't booked. As we had booked, he showed us directly to our table and we were all seated. We requested a high chair for Harry which was promptly brought over, but we didn't use it as Harry wanted to sit on the big chairs like everyone else. They did leave the high chair beside our table for us in case we needed it which was nice of them.
We had a long table for 6 adults and a Harry, and although the table was nice, we would have preferred a round one as it was hard to talk to everyone at the same time, and I felt the people sat on the ends struggled to talk to those at the other end, but we had to make do. Our table was situated right by the doors which myself and my brothers girlfriend weren't too happy with because everytime someone came in, a freezing sea breeze swept across us and made us feel very cold, but as the restaurant was fairly busy we couldn't move. The men of the group didn't notice the cold so much but for cold people like me and Kirsty, it wasn't too great!
We had decided that we were going to have 3 courses and take the night slowly, so the menus were brought to us by an enthusiastic Italian waitress. My parents had said that they were going to pay for all the food and that we were to buy the drinks and since we had done that before at another Prezzo without problems, we thought it'd be okay here too so we ordered our drinks, starters and mains. The drinks came quickly, and the starters not too long after. They were very nice, all piping hot and everyone seemed happy with their choices, so it was a good start to the evening. After the plates had been cleared, we were able to sit and chat for a bit while we waited for our main meals. They came after around 20 minutes, and were boiling hot too. This was fine for the adults but serving up a 3 years old pizza which was burning hot on a boiling hot plate didn't strike me as too clever, and Harry was upset he had to wait around 10 minutes before his food was at an edible temperature.
I must say though that everyone else was more than satisfied, the amount of food on each plate was more that sufficient and everyone felt well fed. I had Chicken in a creamy sauce which was divine, my fiance had Meatballs, Chilli and Fusilli, and the rest of our party had pasta dishes. Again, the waiting staff quickly tidied away our plates and offered a desert menu, which we asked to be offered again in around 10 minutes. The waitress came back after that time and showed the menu, and we each chose a desert. 4 of us had a Honeycombe Cheesecake which was really scrummy, a Sticky Toffee pudding was chosen which was sickly but nice and Harry had ice-cream as part of his child's meal although he didn't eat it as it was too cold!
One of our main problems of the evening was paying for the drinks separately to the food bill. We had no problem with this at Christmas when we all went out, with the waiter bringing over the drinks bill as and when we ordered them However, when my brother told the waitress this time that he wanted to pay for the initial drinks order now, the problems arose! They said we couldn't pay for the first order separately since they were on the bill already, so my dad ended up having to pay for those with the entire bill and have my brother pay him later. Then when my fiance went to get the second round (at the bar so he could pay there and then), they added it to the bill AGAIN(!) but still took his payment for it at the bar. So when we got the bill, they had to subtract the amount my other half had already paid before we had our total figure... what a palaver!
Overall though, despite the few hiccups, we had a really nice evening, and were very impressed with the restaurant as a whole. The staff were very attentive, clearing our plates away when we had finished so we were able to sit and socialise and enjoy our evening free of dirty plates and cutlery, and were very friendly towards us and to Harry as well. The menu offered something for everyone with plenty of choice, lots of Pizzas, pastas and meat too (the menu can be viewed online at www.prezzoplc.co.uk), with a great choice of drinks, starters and deserts too. The building as a whole was lovely, nicely presented and very fresh which always makes for a nice atmosphere, and even the "facilities" were modern and clean, and located near a lounge area too for people to sit and have a drink without ordering food. Most importantly of all, my mum thoroughly enjoyed her birthday meal and says she'll always remember it. My dad was also pretty pleased that all the food for the evening was half price, so that saved a small fortune for him too! It was a great evening, and I would highly recommend Prezzo in Clacton-on-Sea for a great meal, great service and nice atmosphere.
Address: 4 Marine Parade West, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 1QZ.
Telephone: (01255) 223894
Thank you for reading.