Well hello Christmas dinner menus

Festive stomach rumbling sorted

by Bernadette Fallon

It's started. No matter how much you might exclaim 'it's too early' as Christmas trees spring up in shop windows, the countdown to Christmas has begun. And, for me, the cold dark days of November are all the better for it. So round about now, restaurants will be touting 'Christmas dinner menus', with everything from traditional roasts to the slightly more unconventional turkey pizzas. I took myself off to Prezzo at the weekend to sample my first taste of Christmas.

Prezzo is a chain of Italian restaurants in the UK, with 150 branches around the country and several more to open soon. Tucked away in a cobbled side street, just off the bustle of the main shopping thoroughfare, is the High St Kensington branch, small and cosy and feeling Christmassy already, with its flickering candles and friendly atmosphere.

There are three Christmas dinner menus to choose from and all offer good value; the Signature menu with four courses and a glass of Prosecco for £24.95, the Premium – three courses for £19.95, or the Classic – three courses for £16.95; each menu has its own selection of starters, mains and desserts to choose from, and the Signature gives you a pre-starter bowl of olives with your Prosecco.

From the Signature we had starters of gnocchi gorgonzola (pictured) – hot and crispy from the fryer, served with a very tasty tomato sauce, and antipasti of Prosciutto, salami, buffalo mozzarella, olives, sunblushed tomatoes, rocket and ciabatta – a cold sample of Italy on a plate.

My main of scallop and prawn panciotti (I had to ask the waitress – it turned out to be similar to ravioli in a cream and spinach sauce) is surprisingly mildly flavoured, despite its fishy components; my companion’s main packed much more of a punch, the earthy ‘funghi’ giving a dense richness to the ‘pollo’, nicely chargrilled juicy chicken breast, the marsala wine adding the final kick to the sauce. Lovely.

This might be Christmas in Italy but nobody on the west coast of Ireland would be serving any of it on Christmas Day – so for my main course I go all-out-festive with traditional Italian Christmas cake – Panettone – soaked in custard and oven baked, served with ice cream. And dig in happily to my companion’s honeycomb cheescake – which reminds me of Crunchies from our selection boxes, as we sat down to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Christmas Day.

The Kensington Prezzo is located at 35 Kensington High St, W8 5BA; to find your nearest restaurant visit the website at www.prezzorestaurants.co.uk

 More Christmas dinner menus

Pizza Express also recently launched its Christmas menus, including goodies such as traditional Sicilian arancini ragu and contadino, a rustic Italian stew served with dough sticks. Christmas main courses include pizza with chestnut and closed cap mushrooms, taleggio cheese, fresh sage and garlic on a bed of mushroom and truffle sauce. And Christmas desserts of mulled winter fruit crumble, plus a sweet snack of snowball dough balls – the famous balls sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar, served with ice cream and a chocolate star.

Set  menus at Pizza Express from £14.95 for two courses, with a range of options available including free aperitif and Limoncello to finish. There are 420 restaurants across the UK, find your nearest online at www.pizzaexpress.com

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About The Authors

Carla  Griscti

Carla Griscti

Editorial assistant on allaboutyou; Music lover, travel bee and food fanatic.

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Emma Marsden

Emma Marsden

Food consultant of All About You, loves creating something out of nothing and decluttering.

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Bernadette  Fallon

Bernadette Fallon

Editor of All About You; an online journalist with a fetish for glossy magazines.

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Adrienne  Wyper

Adrienne Wyper

Deputy editor of All About You. I love cycling, cooking and creating

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Carol  Muskoron

Carol Muskoron

Associate editor of All About You, loves life (mostly) and one-pan recipes (always).

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