“ Address: 2-6 Thorpe Rd / Norwich NR1 1RY / England „
As my manager was leaving, we sorted out a work's night out/ leaving do. Someone else was picking the location for the restaurant and we ended up at Prezzo in Norwich. Now, there are two Prezzos in Norwich and the branch we went to was right near the train station so it was easy for everyone to get to/ from seeing as we were coming from out of the city. Before that night, Prezzo isn't a restaurant that I had been to before but had always heard good things so I was looking forward to a nice meal and a fun night out.
From the outside this branch of Prezzo looks very inviting with its large, open windows, large but pretty tree like plants and the cute tables and chairs set inside the iron fence. As you enter the branch there is a small bar, a room with tables to the left and stairs straight ahead which leads up to another seating area. Overall, Prezzo has a very upscale look to it and one which would have made me want to eat there regardless of our table being booked beforehand.
As this was a work night out, there were 18 of us eating on that particular night. My friend and I had a bit of car trouble on the way there and therefore, got there about 15 minutes late. Upon arrival at the bar we were told that only this once could we order drinks there as we were late but afterwards, everything had to be charged at the table. Our server was extremely rude and abrupt with us which was the last thing we needed after being at work all day and having the car break down.
When we were shown to our table, which was in the small room to the left of the bar, we were all a bit shocked at the layout. We had one long table with a round table stuck at the end while there were also two other tables for two at the back of us. Being set up in this way meant that we were obviously going to be quite loud in order to be able to talk to each other. I felt extremely sorry for the tables of two as they were seated later during the night. One of the couples actually got up and left. Working in this kind of industry myself, I was appalled because if I were the other people, I wouldn't have wanted to sit in the same, closed space as a large booking.
When it came to ordering our food, things didn't get much better. Our waitress, who turned out to be the manager, could not handle such a big table at all. She was going back and forth between people and not even taking orders in a logical manner. Also, as we didn't want to order drinks at the table to add to the confusion of splitting up the bill for each person we asked for jugs of water and glasses. We were brought a couple of jugs of water but not nearly enough glasses for everyone at the table. The restaurant didn't have any air conditioning whatsoever and we happened to visit on the hottest day of the year so far at that point. We were hoping the water would cool us down but the majority of us sat in our seats sweating horribly which made us all very uncomfortable too.
We had an extremely long wait for our food which I could kind of understand considering how many of us there were. We got to the restaurant (after my lateness) at 7:40 but we didn't get our food until nearly an hour after that. Price wise though, Prezzo is very reasonable. Many of us had pizzas with a margherita costing £7.20 while some others had pasta or spaghetti. There are plenty of options available on the menu and for many different price ranges which was great. There really was something for everyone at our table and when the food finally arrived, we were all extremely happy with the taste and value for money. Prezzo also do a great range of sides which are fabulous for an event such as ours because it meant we got to share with the person sitting next to us and we were able to have a better range of food without stuffing ourselves silly.
After everyone had finished their meals, we realised that not once were we asked whether or not everything was ok or if we needed anything else. Considering it was the manager and sometimes one other waitress serving us, I found this to be completely unacceptable. We knew our bill even without desserts would come to well over £250 and if that had been me, I would have made sure the whole table was happy. Not only were we not asked if everything was ok but one girl was extremely ill due to the heat and was sick at one point during the night. The staff did not care one little bit about any of the problems we had during our meal.
At the end of the meal, due to everyone ordering on the same bill and having drinks as well, it was a nightmare to figure out what everyone owed. Some people drank more than others, some had desserts while some didn't and some had main meals a lot more expensive than others. After taking a long time to sort out everyone's money, we also noticed a £25 service charge had been whacked onto our bill without our consent which none of us were prepared to pay considering the terrible service we received.
As we paid the bill at the end of the meal, the girl paying (also who booked the table) noticed a note behind the till with her name and number on saying she was never, ever to come back. Now, if she hadn't seen this I don't think any of us would have been as angry as we were when we left. It was extremely bad form to have this on show for us to notice. Yes, we were loud but then what table of 18 isn't but other than that, we did nothing wrong. We may have gone outside a little more than they would have liked but it was ridiculously hot in there and we needed the fresh air to cool ourselves down. The staff at this particular Prezzo could not cope with such a big booking.
Considering this was my first visit to a Prezzo, I wasn't at all impressed. While the food was lovely, the service was possibly the worst I have ever had while at a restaurant. I would go back to Prezzo but definitely not this branch and I'm pretty sure none of the other people I went with that night will be going back again.
I love going out for meals and will happily eat all cuisines - my favourites are Thai and Indian, but I'm happy enough with Italian. I've been to this restaurant several times in the past and have always had a good experience, so was happy to recommend it for a recent birthday meal out for a friend.
There were 6 of us, and we had pre-booked for dinner on a Saturday evening. 2 of us arrived first and were greeted by a rather rude waiter, who showed us to a sofa and gave us menus. The others arrived shortly after and we were taken to our table. The restaurant itself is really nice inside, with lots of little Italian touches of decor. There are quite a lot of tables, some are located upstairs but on this occasion, we were sat downstairs. Our table would have been fine, but one of the group's chair seemed to be right in the pathway of the waiting staff and his chair got bumped into every time someone walked past - with no apology.
The menu is pretty big and there is always plenty of choice here. There is a good range of starters and the main courses are endless - pizza, calzone, pasta, risotto, salad and even burgers or fishcakes. We ordered our drinks whilst still trying to make a decision on our food. Two of our party ordered a bottle of Perroni and I noticed that there were two sizes available on the menu and they weren't asked which they would like. When our drinks arrived, I saw that they had just brought over the biggest bottles (which aren't cheap at £6 a time!) - one of the recipients of this drink was driving too, so he would probably have been over the limit on this!
Once we had ordered our food, we were in for quite a long wait before the starters materialised. My husband and I ordered mozzarella sticks to share, these were delicious and came with a tomatoey pomodoro sauce.
For my main course, I had Pollo Carbonara, which is described as seasoned chicken, pancetta bacon and spaghetti in a creamy grana padano cheese sauce. This had been baked in the oven and came in an unbearably hot dish, but once again, was mouth wateringly delicious. My husband had one of the calzones and he absolutely loved it. All of the food went down really well with everyone in our party, although it had been incredibly slow in coming out.
Our empty plates were cleared and the waitress didn't ask whether everything had been ok. She simply stated 'You look at dessert menus' and handed them around. I, personally, chose not to have a pudding as I was full, but others did order. We were waiting for around 20 minutes before one of our group decided to ask whether we would be getting our desserts, they came out not long after this. I have tried the Honeycomb Smash Cheesecake and the Milk Chocolate Fudge Cake and would happily recommend either of these!
We got the bill and it had come to around £150, which doesn't sound too bad for 6 of us. This included 3 starters, 6 main courses and 3 desserts as well as mainly soft drinks. Previously, I have always used vouchers when visiting Prezzo as they are fairly readily available, but I didn't have any this time. Personally, I find Prezzo to be fairly pricey for what it is - especially as the service was so poor on this occasion.
I would go back as the food is always excellent, but I was seriously disappointed with the service for so many reasons on this visit. As a former waitress, I ALWAYS leave a tip, but we left nothing after this visit as everyone had been so rude and unhelpful. If you are looking for a good Italian restaurant in Norwich then I would suggest going to Prezzo on Tombland, as I have found the staff to be absolutely lovely here and the meal is worth the money! I would go back to this particular restaurant, but only armed with vouchers so I didn't have to pay full price to deal with the staff!
I'm going to give it 3 stars because the food is always so lovely, but am taking 2 stars off for the rude staff and the length of time you have to wait to actually get the food!
Until I met my partner I had never tried Italian food, and never tried Prezzos. What a big mistake that was - but I have now been converted.
At first I had nothing to compare Prezzos to, but after experiencing a few more Italian restaurants around Norfolk, and further afield as the opportunities have arisen I have come to realise what a great place Prezzos in Norwich actually is.
The restaurant is always busy, every night of the week, and to avoid disappointment at the busiest times it is advisable to book in advance.
Prezzos is located right near the bridge at the bottom of Prince of Wales Road, making it the ideal location (if you are on foot). If you are driving then the nearest car parks are the Riverside multi storey or the train station. Neither of these are a long way from the restaurant.
Prezzos looks nice and cosy from the outside, which is always a good start. Upon entering you are greeted by friendly, pleasant staff that appear to be happy and pleased to see you. The staff here cannot do enough for you - they are probably a bit too friendly and forever topping up wine glasses as they walk past your table.
The decor is stylish, classy and modern. It makes for an excellent, comfortable atmosphere and one that is a pleasure to be in.
I won't bother going through the menu - this appears in many other reviews and the full menu can be downloaded from prezzoplc.co.uk.
I will briefly summarise that it includes:
1) A wide variety of pasta dishes from Spaghetti Napoletana to Penne Arrabbiata (which with its chilies in tomato sauce with garlic is my personal favourite and highly recommended!)
2) Risotto dishes
3) Alfornao dishes
4) A variety of chicken dishes
6) A variety of pizzas from the 'basic' margherita to quattro Stagioni. Again these pizzas are large, filling and very tasty ;and
7) The house specialties.
In addition there are starters, side orders and desserts. My girlfriend is not a big eater, therefore we have a small starter of a cheesy garlic bread.
The food is very reasonably priced. Service (as mentioned before) comes with a smile and is very prompt - even at busy times. If there is a wait then you are informed from the outset, giving you the choice to wait or go elsewhere. I don't know of any other restaurant that does this as it is sacrilege to potentially turn customers away even if they do get annoyed and start moaning when they have to wait a long time to be seated. I would never give Prezzos a miss even when there is a long wait. The atmosphere is so friendly and welcoming that it is a pleasure to sit in and chat whilst waiting.
It does not appear to be a family place, luckily in Norwich there is Fatsos, Frankie and Bennys (DO NOT GO THERE), Pizza Hut and many others. There are too many to list that are more family orientated close by. Consequently there are no screaming kids, angry parents etc about, making it ideal for those quiet meals.
The background music is soft and not over-powering. It is not cheesy like other places - a refreshing change.
The toilets are clean, adequate and regularly checked. The only complaint is that they are upstairs - but this does not really create too many issues, unless stairs are a problem.
As with all places there are some disadvantages, little things that could be changed to make it better, but these are minimal at Prezzos.
Some of the tables are bit close together - but I think this is a complaint in all eateries.
There is a very limited selection of beers in that there is one bottled beer! Luckily, I have been converted to drinking wine with meals. The selection isn't huge but it consists of all types that you would want. I cannot comment on the reds or the roses but the whites are very nice. We usually go for the Lugana Doc, it is highly recommended. Unfortunately, this can only be bought by the bottle (and at nearly £17 per bottle it is quite expensive), this applies to most wines that cannot be bought by the glass.
Drinks are quite expensive but this is to be expected as it applies at all restaurants.
After you have eaten you are not kicked out of the restaurant straight away. The staff appear content to let you sit there for a while and let the digestive process start - as long as you don't out-stay your welcome.
Overall this Prezzos is fantastic - and can't really be faulted. So, if you ever come to Norwich and fancy a nice place to eat then try Prezzos. You won't be disappointed.
The address is 2 - 6 Thorpe Road (opposite the train station), Norwich, NR1 1RY. tel 01603 660404.