ABOUT five hundred years ago I started a ‘local restaurant reviews’ section on the blog, wrote two reviews and then promptly forgot about it.
I’m dedicated like that.
Anyway, it was Yer Man’s birthday this weekend and I brought him out to dinner so I thought I’d blow the dust off the reviews section here and include some details on our night.
Being the seasoned travellers that we are, we went all the way to the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre (about ten minutes from our house) to see a film and afterwards decided to drop into Prezzo right beside the cinema, which opened a couple of months ago.
Prezzo is an Italian style bistro and boasts an extensive menu, featuring among others pizza, pasta, fish, chicken and meat dishes as well as antipasto platters and the Liffey Valley branch is the chain’s first outlet in Ireland.
We arrived around 6pm to find the restaurant about three quarters full, but we were seated promptly at a table for two and had a look through the menu, deciding this time to only have a main course as we had eaten our body weight in popcorn in at the flicks.
I was tempted by the pizza but in the end went for the pork belly with a Marsala sauce, while Yer Man had the Fusilli alla Rusticana which was a chicken pasta dish in a tomato sauce.
Service was friendly and efficient – it took about 20/25 minutes for our food to arrive but personally I don’t mind that as it shows the food is being cooked fresh and also we didn’t have starters so the wait seemed longer.
My pork belly was soft and tender and melting, though the skin could have been a bit crisper. The Marsala sauce was subtly and nicely flavoured, if a little thin and the accompanying veggies of green beans,mushrooms and broccoli were crisp and fresh. I had a tasty side salad also which was a generous portion of mixed salad leaves with cherry tomatoes, peppers and red onion and I chose an oil and balsamic dressing.
Yer Man’s pasta was enormous, a truly huge portion, nicely cooked with a light, fresh tomato flavour that was zingy and satisfying.
We were only there for an hour, so this is only a first impressions review but overall we were impressed. It was a lovely meal and we’ll be back to sample other dishes and we’ll bring friends too. More info including menus are here.
Our two main courses, plus two soft drinks came to €38. Prezzo is a mid-priced restaurant, starters are expensive enough varying between €7 to €9 while pizza/pasta dishes are around €12-€15 and meat courses average about €18. It’s not quite cheap and cheerful, but it’s not overpriced either, considering the generous portions.
This seems to be a family friendly restaurant – we counted about six tables with children on our visit – and there was plenty of space as well as several high chairs available. There’s a nice buzzy, energetic atmosphere about the place.
The dining room itself is bright and beautifully decorated and there’s loads of space between the tables. I abhor going to restaurants that squeeze you in like sardines in a tin so it was nice to be able to have a conversation without feeling like the next table was listening in.
The main feature in the dining room is the kitchen area with open pizza oven in the centre of the room – it’s a great visual but it does make the room really warm and when we were there the air conditioning didn’t seem to be switched on, so dress lightly!
There’s an outside seating area looking out on the newly refurbished plaza outside the cinema which would be lovely for a summer’s evening meal, so if it’s a nice day, see if you can nab one of those tables.
For food quality, menu selection and ambience Prezzo gets a solid 4/5. Next time we go, we’ll order all three courses and I fully expect that rating to rise to a 5/5.
For value for money I give a decent 3.5/5.