Michelle and Jess sample the delights of Prezzo’s yuletide menus…
Now the weather has turned cold and crisp and December is upon us, we at Fed Up and Drunk HQ are feeling decidedly Christmassy, so it was with much excitement that Jess and I headed to Prezzo in Anchor Square in Bristol to enjoy our first festive feast of the holiday season.
We were presented with three equally tempting Christmas set menus and deliberated for what seemed like an eternity before deciding – in the true spirit of this time of over-indulgence – to mix and match from all three. With a setting as smart and chic as Prezzo’s, you’d be forgiven for thinking Christmas dinner here is a pricey affair – but you’d be wrong. Three courses from the classic menu will set you back just £16.95, while the same from the premium menu is offered for the pleasingly non-premium price of £19.95. Or you can go all out (and why not – it is Christmas after all) and order four courses and a glass of Prosecco from the signature menu for only £24.95.
Jess kicked things off with a lovely glass of bubbly: ‘To me, an aperitif, especially at Christmas, means something fizzy. I wasted no time in singling out the Prosecco and elderflower cocktail. It was gorgeous and is definitely what I’ll be drinking should I find myself back at Prezzo over the Christmas period.’
In my view, a Christmassy meal just isn’t complete without cheese, so I began with the grilled goat’s cheese on light ciabatta bread with juicy plum tomatoes, caramelised onions and a beautifully tangy balsamic glaze. For Jess, meanwhile, festivities have to involve smoked salmon.
She says: ‘Smoked salmon is a Christmas staple in my house, so the starter comprising this, a light and creamy pesto and ciabatta toast was a bit of a no-brainer for me. Even more so as was recommended by our waiter, who definitely seemed to know what he was talking about when it came to the Christmas menu.
This first course ticked all the right boxes: the fish was fresh, all the components complemented each other, it was presented thoughtfully and the whole thing was light enough that my appetite wasn’t spoilt for my main.’
Inspired by Jess’ salmon starter, I plumped for a fish-based main from the signature menu: the panciotti with scallop and prawns. This featured generously filled pasta parcels in a rich, velvety, creamy dill sauce with red onion and spinach – a suitably indulgent main for the festive season.
Jess also tried something a bit different: ‘I went for the pollo ai funghi, which was unusual as I’m not the biggest chicken fan. It just sounded rather nice, and I often have pasta at Prezzo so thought I’d go for something a little different. Pleasantly surprised I was, too.
The chicken itself was flavourful without being dry, which is what you run the risk of if you chargrill it like this, and it was smothered in a thoroughly moreish mushroom, spinach and Marsala sauce, which really made the dish. To accompany the chicken, you get the option of salad (yeah, right), chips or rosemary potatoes. I went for the latter and they were spot-on.’
Leaving not a scrap on our plates, we then got down to the tricky task of choosing dessert – and debating whether we could fit one in at all. After surveying the options – all of which sounded just as tempting as the last – we found we just couldn’t say no to a little something sweet. Mine came in the form of the moreish honeycomb smash cheesecake (delectable cheesecake topped with crunchy honeycomb pieces coated in chocolate) which I have no qualms in saying is one of the best cheesecakes I have ever eaten (and I’ve eaten a lot of them).
Jess says of her dessert-choosing dilemma: ‘My ever-demanding sweet tooth fought with my already stretched stomach. In the end, they negotiated and I ended up with the raspberry and white chocolate ice cream bomb. This was basically a ball of velvety mascarpone ice cream with a zingy raspberry coulis core, encased by a hard white chocolate shell. Needless to say, I felt pretty smug about my choice.’
We also got to try some mini mince pie calzones; crescents of light, thin pizza dough with warm, spiced mincemeat inside. Although full to the point of dizziness, these went down a treat. Jess’ verdict? ‘Sweet enough for my dessert stomach to take on but not sickly in any way, they were a fab end to the meal. By this time though, I had myself a St. Nick-style belly that definitely shook when I laughed, like a bowl full of jelly…’ And that, folks, is how to celebrate Christmas, Prezzo-style.