“ 236 High Street / Epping / Essex / CM16 4AP / Tel: 01992 570056. „
I'm a sucker for a pizza and have visited Prezzo, a pizza chain restaurant in Epping, Essex a few times. It opened in Epping in 2005, but the chain itself was first started in 2000. The Décor The décor is simple with wooden floors and tables, and seats with beige leather padding. There are lots of wooden beams and low ceilings due to the nature of the building which was previously an old pub. Unfortunately the wooden floors and low ceilings can contribute to it being quite noisy at times. There is small, sheltered area outside that fits four small tables also. The Food Starters average about £4.25 and include Minestrone soup, calamari and various salads. I adore their Bruschetta Pomodoro - lightly toasted bread topped with fresh tomatoes, onion, basil and garlic. It always tastes fresh and delicious. You normally get three pieces in a portion for £3.95 and it is large enough to share if you just want a taster and don't want to damage your appetite. Speciality mains include chicken dishes, a pesto and mozzarella beefburger, traditional lasagne, mushroom and ricotta crepes for about £8.95 plus a range of mains size salads for no more than £7.95. Pasta dishes include spaghetti with crayfish, or pesto dishes, ravioli etc. There is a good mix of traditional favourites and something a bit different with an average price of about £7.95. Everytime I go there I end up having pizza which averages about £7.75. I can recommend a couple to you: Buffolina is a plain pizza base without the grilled cheese and tomato and is topped high with chunks of buffalo mozzarella, rocket leaves, tomatoes, onion, pesto and garlic. It is fresh and tasty and could be a lower fat alternative to a more traditional base with tons of grilled cheese, as you don't have to eat all the mozzarella slices. Bianca is on the traditional tomato and mozzarella base and features goats cheese and asparagus, two of my favourite ingredients. It is a very rich pizza, due to the strength of flavour of the goats' cheese. They also go a range of standard pizzas such a Margherita, mushroom and Fiorentina (spinach with an egg in the middle) as well as more varied ones. I have never been disappointed with any of my pizzas there, and neither have any of my companions, although I have heard that the traditional spaghetti can be disappointing if you are more of a pasta fan. Pizza sizes are a good 12" thus can be very filling. I have never been able to manage a dessert apart from ice cream so cannot comment beyond that. They have a range of sides such as galric bread and olives for about £2.00 Drinks There are a limited number on wines available by the glass, and even then they only offer the large 250ml glasses (a third of a bottle) which may not appeal to those who have to drive and prefer just a smaller glass. A glass of Pinot Grigio is £4.65, which I think is quite expensive. The bottle is £13.50, and bottle prices are £12-16. They offer one bottled beer (Moretti) and a range of spirits and soft drinks - a coke is £1.75. Service I have not had to fault it, even at busy times. The staff are normally Italian and are polite and friendly even though they are often kept busy. Other Stuff Toilets are clean and well designed. 236 High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4AP 01992 570056 The website lists all restaurant locations and a menu: http://www.prezzoplc.co.uk/index.htm I have had no problems being seated straightaway at weekend lunchtimes or early evening mid week in a party of up to four people. I would advise booking if planning on eating later or at weekends, or there is a large party.