Prezzo  has everything that you could ever want in an Italian restaurant.

It’s black and white art deco décor, skilfully arranged tables that allow privacy, a vibrant atmosphere, amazing friendly and ultra efficient staff and the best Italian food in town contribute to making it simply the best.

This restaurant is just so authentically Italian without being over-bearing or in your face. It’s sophisticated, bustling and lively – in fact Prezzo can be anything you want it to be.

We started off with a cocktail from the small but selective list and of course it had to contain Prosecco. My partners Prezzo Royal was just as it should be whilst I opted for the Pornstar Martini which had the mixologists own twist.

Whilst we waded through the large menu we munched on garlic bread. My partner, who has lived in Italy and speaks the language, was over the moon when it came to ordering as he could re-invent his rusty Italian with the staff, who loved the opportunity to show their linguistic skills too.

I decided to opt for the vegetarian options for all my three courses.  I was truly amazed by the content and large selection of vegetarian dishes on the menu – they were too good to miss. For my starter I chose the Spiced Butternut Squash and Rosemary Soup. It came piping hot with toasted sourdough and was decorated with crispy sage. The soup was very flavoursome and the texture perfect and both the taste of the squash and rosemary came through.

My partner opted for the Baked Mushrooms. These were a twist on the normal ones, stuffed with Italian cheese, mozzarella, garlic onion and dusted in breadcrumbs with a pot of garlic mayonnaise as a dressing. What set these mushrooms apart was the skilful blending of the ingredients that took them away from blandness giving them a real kick.

We chose a bottle of Merlot Rose Castelbello from the 100% Italian Wine List. As a food and wine writer this Merlot Rose was a first for me. I loved the fresh just-off dry finish and didn’t find the strawberry fruit over-powering which happens with some Rose wines. The wine was served well chilled and was very reasonably priced, as were all the wines on the list.

For main course it had to be a pizza. My partner chose from the Executive Pizza menu,created specially by the executive chef at Prezzo. As someone who always finds fault with restaurant pizzas he was more than impressed when his Posh Pepperoni with four kinds of meats, sweet chilli pearls, rocket and of course Italian cheese and tomato arrived.

The base was not powdery, as sometimes happens, there was not an overkill of tomato and the meats were not overcooked.

I opted for one of the specially baked pasta dishes, but asked for a small portion, which was more than adequate when it arrived. My Al Forno Goat’s Cheese had mushrooms, peppers, spinach and penne in a pomodora and pesto sauce. It looked like a work of art and had some many fusions of flavour it could only be described as absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious.

The menu says finish happy with a dessert and the range is mind-blowing. The presentation on my partners Honeycomb Smash Cheesecake was artistic to say the least. The sweet was smooth and the base crunchy.

My choice for sweet was Salted Caramel Arctic Slice with frozen vanilla cream, salted caramel and golden honeycomb sandwiched between two slices of sponge. I love my desserts but I found the combination of the caramel and honeycomb just a tad too sweet – a first ever for me.

We finished with an Italian coffee and as we made our way through The Light, it was only the cold air and the sight of the Town  Hall that convinced me I was still in Leeds and hadn’t time travelled to Italy after  such a wonderfully authentic taste of that great foodie country.

Prezzo, The Light, 16/18 The Headow. To book a table call 0113 246 1910.

Open every day from 12 to 11pm.

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