Duck in for the food and views
KATHERINE CLEMENTINE eats at Prezzo, 36-38, High Street, Ruislip HA4 7AR Tel 020 8966 9916
HAVING previously enjoyed summer evenings at The Duck House in Ruislip High Street, and having never once stepped foot in a Prezzo chain restaurant, I was intrigued to see how the two combined would turn out.
Prezzo took over the family-run pub before Christmas and opened the doors on Saturday February 6.
In the meantime the interiors have been retouched, and subtle Prezzo branding adorns the quaint exterior.
It’s hard to fault the ambiance of a listed building, with reclaimed oak church pews for seating, rustic wall lighting and original beams, dating back centuries.
Prezzo’s modernisation provides a cosy retreat for winter comfort whilst their conservatory seating overlooking the duck pond will surely be a summer hit.
The warm interior comfortably detracts from the fact the restaurant is situated directly on a busy roundabout and provides a relaxed atmosphere suitable for families with children and diners of all ages.
Service was warm, friendly and attentive throughout our meal.
Every good Italian meal should contain wine and olives, so my partner, Tom, and I began with marinated olives (£3.25) and ordered a bottle of fruity Sicilian Viognier at £19.95.
Tom had slight food envy as I tucked into Italian staple, bruschetta at £5.25 with burrata mozzarella melted over the top for an additional 60p, and fresh, sweet tomatoes.
He opted for crab cakes with garlic mayonnaise, (£6.10) describing them as “although well-cooked were underwhelming with no particular flavour of crab or evidence of seasoning”.
Ruislip’s Prezzo offers a Winter Specials Menu, and assistant manager Sami recommended I try the gnocchi with ricotta, spinach, walnuts and fontal cheese, (£11.95) which paired beautifully with our chosen wine. A true winter comfort dish with an individual twist and highly recommended for vegetarians especially.
Tom, a staunch meat lover, had high hopes for ‘new recipe’ roasted pork belly, (£14.45) served with green beans, mushrooms, broccoli and marsala wine sauce and garlic and rosemary mashed potato.
The pork was well-seasoned but burnt on the bottom and served with overcooked vegetables.
The marsala sauce had been under heat for too long and had formed a skin. He did however, praise the generous portion of mash as “rich, buttery and well-herbed”.
The final course was the highlight of the evening for both of us.
Feeling full after my rich main course, I chose to try two different scoops of the gelato by Gelupo selection at £4.25. My chocolate marmalade and cherry sorbet combination was sublime and I was pleasantly surprised to try a completely new flavour at a chain restaurant.
Putting it bluntly, Tom devoured his heavenly chocolate hazelnut cheesecake (£5.95) commenting that it was “pretty much perfect”.
This particular Prezzo offers a comfortable retreat for guests of all ages at affordable prices all year round surpassing the majority of chain restaurants for both its setting and food.
n AMBIENT: The restaurant has carefully converted from the listed Duck Inn
n MAIN DISHES: The gnocchi with walnuts (above) and pork belly roast