Review of Prezzo in Ely

Prezzo seem to have solved the food/service,/price puzzle that so many other restaurants struggle with.

THE Prezzo restaurant in Ely sits in the shadow of the magnificent Ely Cathedral and if the weather is fine, and there are spaces, diners can sit and eat upstairs on the open-air terrace which offers a bird’s eye view of the cathedral. My partner and I went along on a balmy, but wet Tuesday evening and while the downstairs eating area is not steeped in Norman architecture and history, it does offer pleasant surroundings with a generous amount of space between tables. If I was being hypercritical I would suggest that more could have been done with the decor of the Ely restaurant to reflect the charm and history of its quaint location rather than fitting it out to look like a modern wine bar - a look that is so over-used these days. Having said that, in comparison to other chain restaurants, Prezzo has managed to create an ambience within a formulaic structure. After receiving a warm welcome we were shown to a table by a window with a view of the patio, which added a relaxed touch to the evening.

The staff were helpful and friendly, but what impressed me most was their detailed knowledge of the menu. When you are presented with so much choice, it is always helpful if the staff can make recommendations and understand the food they are serving. My partner and I are not huge eaters so we decided to forgo the starter and go straight for the main course.

The Prezzo menu is impressive and everything sounds delicious when you read the description, so it was difficult to choose just one dish, but I opted for the field mushrooms with ricotta in crepes which were mouth-wateringly good. I am vegetarian and I thought the menu offered me an excellent choice and believe me although menu choices have improved in the last 20 years some restaurants still can’t seem to get the veggie option anywhere near right. My partner went for the crab cakes in creamy saffron sauce with rocket and cherry tomatoes and it looked and tasted wonderful. Our waitress recommended the lemon cheesecake for dessert and apart from looking beautiful on the plate it also tasted great and complemented the main course perfectly as it was so refreshing. We don’t normally stay for coffee but we felt so relaxed that we decided to order some Irish coffee, which finished the meal off nicely.

All in all it is difficult to fault Prezzo. They have launched a chain of restaurants serving delicious Italian cuisine, but have cleverly managed to create what feels like an intimate and individual eating-out experience. The Ely restaurant was extremely busy for a Tuesday night so I guess they have the price about right too.

I will definitely be returning to Prezzo and would not hesitate to take friends or a larger party as they seemed to cope well with the busier tables on the night. Prezzo seem to have solved the food/service/price puzzle that so many other restaurants struggle with.