Tuesday, 4 October 2011
On such a beautiful Sunday afternoon we decided to go to Prezzo in Belsize Park so that we could sit outside. This branch has only been open 10 weeks, so still looked very new, fresh and clean. The branch's design is very sleek, with a nice seating arrangement even if the tables were a little close together. The back of my chair was touching against the chair behind and if anybody would have sat there, then it could have been a problem. I guess that is called maximising your floor space! At the back is a conservatory which is very stylish and if it hadn't have been so hot I would have sat there, rather than outside.
I was little apprehensive about going because our last few Sunday restaurant visits had not been very good (see previous posts.) I was also concerned that this was yet again another chain, rather than an independent restaurant, but went along with it, as they took the Tastecard . Well I needn’t of worried because it was actually a very agreeable expericence.
To start I had oven roasted chicken thighs with rosemary and a tomato chilli dip which were well cooked with the right amount of rosemary so as not to be overpowering. The tomato chilli dip was pretty boring as had no heat. I guess it can be hard to cater chilli to the British palate because most people can't do heat, unlike me- I love it. My partner had calamari- these were a little greasy and overcooked and were tough . Also the garlic mayonnaise accompanying the dish was too strong.
For our main course we both had salads, it being a scorcher of a day, as a hot main course would have been too much. I had salmon and advacado salad and my partner had chicken with spinach salad. We both agreed they were both very tasty and fresh salads (though they has skimped somewhat with the chicken), but amazingly the highlight was the char-grilled flat bread that accompanied each dish- chargrilled and delicious . My salmon was topped with cracked black pepper, which gave it a warming sensation, which complimented the semi-dried tomatoes. It was the semi-dried tomatoes that made me decide this dish, as I love them and they are not as overpowering as sun-dried tomatoes.
The staff started off a little sullen, but when they saw that I was taking pictures of the restaurant they changed and were very chatty and polite, with the manager coming over for a chat. I wondered if they figured it out that I was “reviewing” the place. Which is not completely wrong, but at the end of the day I was just having lunch with my partner and they should be polite and chatty to everybody.
The whole experience was really good and enjoyable. I would definitely go back with my Tastecard again.